CODE/MOE/UOIT Makerspaces Project

Lesson Plan:  Grade 4 Science & Language Arts:

Understanding Life Systems - Endangered Species—PSA Print (Part 1)


  • Human activities can have an effect on animal populations, habitats and communities

Specific Curriculum Expectations:

Language Arts

-create a variety of media texts for different purposes and audiences, using appropriate forms, conventions, and techniques;

-reflect on and identify their strengths as media interpreters and creators, areas for improvement, and the strategies they found most helpful in understanding and creating media texts.

Overall Science and Technology Expectations

-analyse the effects of human activities on habitats and communities;

Specific Science and Technology Expectations

1.2 identify reasons for the depletion or extinction of a plant or animal species, evaluate the impacts on the rest of the natural community, and propose possible actions for preventing such depletions or extinctions from happening

Learning Goals:

“We are learning to get our message across with pictures and few words (PSA print ad).

We are learning why species of animals can become endangered or extinct and what can be done to stop this.”

Success Criteria:  

“We will be successful when…”

  • we create a PSA print ad that is persuasive;
  • we can identify the reasons that animals become endangered or extinct;
  • we can share ways to stop this from happening.”

Lesson Overview:

  • students begin by researching on the Ontario endangered species website. 
  • look at reasons why they were endangered - could something be done to change the situation?
  • then look at many examples of public service announcements (PSA) print ads.
  • using the green screen create a print ad.
  • criteria - must have an interactive part of the ad - must have an animal in the ad

Materials and Technology:  

  • chromebook
  • green screen
  • iPad

Student Accommodations/Modifications:  

-pairing with a student who has a better understanding

Lesson will be differentiated by:

  • Content, specifically:
  • Process, specifically:
  • Product, specifically:
  • Environment, specifically:  

MINDS ON:  Getting Started

During this phase, the teacher may:

• activate students’ prior knowledge;

• engage students by posing thought-provoking questions;

• gather diagnostic and/or formative assessment data through observation and questioning;

• discuss and clarify the task(s).

During this phase, students may:

• participate in discussions;

• propose strategies;

• question the teacher and their classmates;

• make connections to and reflect on prior learning.

Describe how you will introduce the learning activity to your students. What key questions will you ask? How will you gather diagnostic or formative data about the students’ current levels of understanding? How will students be grouped? How will materials be distributed?

  • students are introduced to the topic of endangered species and how we can change our lifestyles to help them - introduce Earth Day - read the Lorax
  • research on Ontario endangered species website
  • come up with ideas to help endangered species then look at Public service announcements print ad
  • Questions to ask - what is the job of a PSA - how do you persuade with very few words(catchy slogan) - what else needs to be on your PSA?
  • use green screen to capture what we want our PSA to say

ACTION:  Working on it

During this phase, the teacher may:

• ask probing questions;

• clarify misconceptions, as needed, by redirecting students through questioning;

• answer students’ questions (but avoid providing a solution to the problem);

• observe and assess;

• encourage students to represent their thinking concretely and/or pictorially;

• encourage students to clarify ideas and to pose questions to other students.

During this phase, students may:

• represent their thinking (using numbers, pictures, words, manipulatives, actions, etc.);

• participate actively in whole group, small group, or independent settings;

• explain their thinking to the teacher and their classmates;

• explore and develop strategies and concepts.

Describe the task(s) in which your students will be engaged. What misconceptions or difficulties do you think they might experience? How will they demonstrate their understanding of the concept? How will you gather your assessment data (e.g., checklist, anecdotal records)? What extension activities will you provide?

  • use success criteria created with students - catchy slogan (does it get your message across),  does it follow the ⅓ picture, ⅓ words, ⅓ white space?
  • is it a picture with green screen or are you a part of the image?
  • peer/self- assessment

CONSOLIDATION:  Reflecting and Connecting

During this phase, the teacher may:

• bring students back together to share and analyse strategies;

• encourage students to explain a variety of learning strategies;

• ask students to defend their procedures and justify their answers;

• clarify misunderstandings;

• relate strategies and solutions to similar types of problems in order to help students generalize concepts;

• summarize the discussion and emphasize key points or concepts.

During this phase, students may:

• share their findings;

• use a variety of concrete, pictorial, and numerical representations to demonstrate their understandings;

• justify and explain their thinking;

• reflect on their learning.

How will you select the individual students or groups of students who are to share their work with the class (i.e., to demonstrate a variety of strategies, to show different types of representations, to illustrate a key concept)? What key questions will you ask during the debriefing?

  • this is part 1 of the assignment the next step is for the students to create a PSA commercial using the same topic – co-create success criteria
  • then we are going to compare which method is more effective, would there be times where one method would be more effective, could you have changed your PSA to make it more effective?
  • put up on bulletin board PSA print ad - share commercials with class
  • may be assessed using a check list or rubric

St. Elizabeth Catholic School—St. Clair Catholic District School Board

Adapted from