Animal Habitats Lesson

Melanie Broxterman

CEP 800 Summer 2012

This lesson was created as a part of the Life Science strand of the Ohio Extended Content Standards for Students with Disabilities. The goal with the extended standards it to ensure that ALL students are expected to meet grade level requirements and will assessed on these as their peers working on regular content standards. The Ohio Academic Content Standards – Extended or OACS-E can be found on the Ohio Department of Education website.

Content:

Ohio Content Standards - Extended

K: Physical and Behavioral Traits of Living Things

1: Basic Needs of Living Things

 (link to site or PDF for complexity)

TLW = The Learner Will

The students will be exploring and learning about animals and their habitats. After the initial introduction of animals and habitats, the students will choose an animal on which to do additional research. The concluding project will be a presentation about their specific animal. Due to the needs of my students, I focused this lesson on the Kindergarten and 1st grade complexity ‘objectives’ for the K-2 Life Science standards.

Kindergarten

Most complex: LS.K2.2a TLW describe traits living things have to assist with survival. Mid complex: LS.K2.2b TLW match function with identified body part (e.g., mouth – eating, nose - smelling). Least complex: LS.K2.2c TLW identify part of plants and animals (e.g., leaves, flowers, feet, eyes).

1st Grade

Most complex: LS.K2.3a TLW describe food sources for a variety of animals. Mid complex LS.K2.3b TLW identify the basic needs of plants and animals. Least complex: LS.K2.3c TLW identify a source of food.

 

Pedagogy:

Due to the needs of the students, much of the learning needs to be guided. The main learning theory used during this lesson would be the constructivist theory, which I feel, is one of the most effective learning theories for working with students with multiple needs. Some pedagogical strategies used are direction group instruction, guided 1-1 instruction for research, and paired work with 5th grade “tech buddies”. Lastly, the students are expected to retain and retrieve information as they give their animal report to the class. Scaffolding of the lesson is also an important component. The students need to see the step-by-step process as well as what is expected in the end. It is important the lesson builds on itself.

 

Content & Pedagogy:

The students’ unique learning challenges effect my choice of strategies and the focus on using more of the constructivist method. My students enjoy learning and have surprised me with the things that they can do; however, they still require guidance and carefully planned, sequential lessons to get them there. Taking the lesson from whole group direct instruction to 1-1 research to project creation by modeling each stage will allow the students to progress in a step-to-step manner that is important to their development.

 

Technology:

The technology used will be an ipad (to be used for research and as a communication device), SMARTBoard (to project videos and interact with various animal/zoo related websites and activities), and desktop/laptop computers (to be used for research and Glogster – online poster – creation).

These technologies would not be needed to teach this lesson on a very basic level. The students could do research using books or other forms of print material; however, the students would not be as engaged, nor would it allow for multiple means for representation that the students need for learning. Without use of the ipad, one of my non-verbal students would not be able to actively participate in the presentation section of the lesson. The use of these technologies allow the student to view the content in a variety of ways, gather information using a variety of methods, and organize their research to create the online poster, leading to a deeper understanding of the content through that creation.

 

Technology & Pedagogy:

The technology, especially the use of Glogster, fits perfectly with the idea of scaffolding the learning and creating for understanding. Each step of the learning process builds on the step before so that the students have a base knowledge of information and research. Then, the students are shown how to use the research and display it in another way. Lastly, after the teacher reviewed the initial research, the students will be allowed to create the online poster that will required the students to recall information and use research data sheets to create the poster.

 

Technology & Content:

The technology used helps with all aspects of the lesson from teaching to the assessment. The technology allows for opportunities to engage and demonstrate concepts that relate to the essential questions.

 

Assessment:

On top of the student individual goals/objectives, I also expect them to be able to meet the OACS-E for their grade level. The students will be assessed on their understanding of the content by completing a 1-1 assessment session, observations during class discussions, and poster creation and presentation. Technology will be used to create the final project poster as well as be used as a student’s voice by using a communication device to have them answer questions.


Lesson: Animals and their Habitats

Subject: Science

Grade Level: Kindergarten/1st Grade – Student with Multiple Disabilities

Lesson Objectives:

Overall objectives will be tailored to individual student needs and reflect complexities listed below in OACS-E:

TLW identify and matching animals to their original habitat. TLW identify their specific animal and answer questions relating to the animal. Using various assistive technology devices as needed, TLW participate in project presentation by (minimal requirement): stating animal name, where animal is from, and what animal eats.

Ohio Academic Content Standards –Extended (combination of state and Common Core State Standards)

Kindergarten

Most complex: LS.K2.2a TLW describe traits living things have to assist with survival. Mid complex: LS.K2.2b TLW match function with identified body part (e.g., mouth – eating, nose - smelling). Least complex: LS.K2.2c TLW identify part of plants and animals (e.g., leaves, flowers, feet, eyes).

1st Grade

Most complex: LS.K2.3a TLW describe food sources for a variety of animals. Mid complex LS.K2.3b TLW identify the basic needs of plants and animals. Least complex: LS.K2.3c TLW identify a source of food.

 

Materials:

iPad with wifi access, SMARTBoard, desktop or laptop computers, collection of pictures/videos of animals, glogster access, “tech buddies”, teacher created research pages, animal fact sheets from Learningpages.com

Essential Questions (beyond grade level and IEP expectations):

How would you describe the best habitat for your animal?

What would happen if animals switched habitats? For example, an elephant went to Antarctica, a giraffe went to Australia

How can animals live in zoos or animal sanctuaries that are outside of their natural habitat?

Lesson:

The students are introduced to various animals, including discussions about animals that live at home, animals that live at the zoo, and animals that live on a farm. The students will experience information about animals through whole group instruction using various websites and videos (websites: The Cincinnati Zoo, Auckland Zoo (New Zealand), The San Diego Zoo; videos: The Cincinnati Zoo You Tube Channel) During this exploration time, students will be questioned on what animals eat, where they live, etc as well as this time will allow the teacher to model how to research information online. Animal fact files will also provide information for students when conducting their research. The students will begin thinking of an animal or 2 they would like to research.

Next, the students are given time 1-1 with an adult to complete research on an animal of their choosing. The specific (teacher made) research pages contain questions to answer regarding the information that the students are looking for. The pages require students to write, draw, and cut/paste to complete the research giving them multiple ways to present the information.

Once the initial research is complete and the student has reviewed the information the teacher models taking the “paper research” and putting it into the online format. After this has been modeled with the students, the students are paired up with a 5th grade “tech buddy” to help navigate Glogster to create their animal presentation poster. Pre-Discussion with 5th graders about allowing the students to create their own work and establishing the roles of the “tech buddies” is essential.

Additional information about animals/zoo animals can be found here.

Assessment: Assessment of students is based upon individual objective mastery (from IEP objects that have been incorporated) and questions answered during 1-1 research. Large group assessment will be based on completion and presentation of glogster poster about animal.