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PBLOverview

Title:
Teacher:
Content
Focus:
Project
Idea:
Summary of the
issue, challenge,
investigation,
scenario, or
problem

Essential
Question:
Content and
Skills
Standards to be
addressed:
(CCCSS, NGSS,
Calif.)

TCK Life Lab

Est. Start Date:


Duration:4
9/27/15
weeks
Donna Robertson
Grade Level: Third Grade
Ecosystems
Other subject areas to be included:
Measurement and Data
Students will investigate the ecosystems in the schools Life Lab. They will
document what plants and animals currently live in the pond and garden
areas. They will learn to measure the area and perimeter of the life lab.
They will research plants and animals that would thrive in that
environment. They will graph various data they collect.
What cause/effect relationships Driving How can we make the Life Lab
can be found in the local
Questi
a better environment for the
environment?
on
organisms that live there?
3-LS4-3 Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems: Construct an
argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can
survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
____________________________________________________________________________
_________________________
3-LS4-4 Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems: Make a claim about
the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes
and the types of plants and animals that live there may change.
____________________________________________________________________________
___________________________
LS4.D: Biodiversity and Humans: Populations live in a variety of habitats,
and change in those habitats affects the organisms living there.
____________________________________________________________________________
___________________________
CCSS Reading 3.3 Describe the relationship between a series of historical
events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a
text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
____________________________________________________________________________
___________________________
CCSS Writing 3.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point
of view with reasons.
____________________________________________________________________________
__________________________
CCSS Writing 3.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic
and convey ideas and information clearly.
____________________________________________________________________________
___________________________
CCSS Writing 3.8 Recall information from experiences or gather information
from print and digital sources, take brief notes on sources and sort evidence
into provided categories.
____________________________________________________________________________
__________________________
CCSS Speaking/Listening 3.4 Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or
recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive
details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
____________________________________________________________________________

21st Century
Skills and
MPS to be
explicitly taught
and assessed
(T+A) or that
will be
encouraged (E)
by Project work
but not taught or
assessed:

___________________________
CCSS Mathematics 3.NBT Number and Operations in Base Ten.
____________________________________________________________________________
___________________________
CCSS Mathematics 3.MD.B.3 Draw a scaled picture graph and a scaled bar
graph to represent a data set with several categories. Solve one-and twostep how many more and how many less problems using information
presented in scaled bar graphs.
____________________________________________________________________________
___________________________
CCSS Mathematics 3.MD.C.7.B Multiply side lengths to find areas of
rectangles with whole-number side length in the context of solving real
world and mathematical problems, and represent whole-number products
as rectangular areas in mathematical reasoning.
____________________________________________________________________________
___________________________
CCSS Mathematics 3.MD.D.8 Solve real world and mathematical problems
involving perimeters of polygons, including finding the perimeter given the
side lengths, finding an unknown side length, and exhibiting rectangles with
the same perimeter and different areas or with the same area and different
perimeters.
T+
E
T+
E
A
A
MP.2 Reason
x
NGSS Science Practice:
x
abstractly and
Analyzing and Interpreting
quantitatively.
Data
MP.4 Model with
x
NGSS Science Practice:
x
mathematics.
Obtaining, Evaluating, and
Communicating Information
MP.5 Use
x
Collaboration
x
appropriate tools
strategically.
Critical Thinking
x
Presentation

Group:

Culminating
Products
and
Performanc
es
Individual:

Visual Representation:
Student focus groups will present
their findings and proposals for
improvements for the Life Lab in a
poster form including photos,
drawings, maps, thinking maps,
etc.
Written Assignment:
Students will demonstrate their
learning by writing to the topic In
what ways can we improve the
environment of our Life Lab?

Presentation Audience
Class
x
School
Community:
Principal, PTSA board (if
funding for proposals is
needed)

Experts
Web
Other: Possible booth
presentation at 2016
AgVenture.

Project Overview
2

Entry event
to launch
inquiry, engage
students:

Outline or
Conceptual
Flow
Include
assessment
points:

Walking tour of Tully C. Knoles School Life Lab and recording of living
organisms found there in science journals.
3-LS4-3 Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems: Construct an
argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can
survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
NGSS Science Practice: Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating
Information
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________

Create a large thinking map for categorizing living things found in the Life
Lab in the form of a tree map to be placed on classroom wall and added to
as more information is provided.
NGSS Science Practice: Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating
Information
Analyze data from the tree map.
MP.2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
Create bar graphs showing most prevalent types of living organisms in the
Life Lab.
CCSS Mathematics 3.MD.B.3 Draw a scaled picture graph and a scaled bar
graph to represent a data set with several categories. Solve one-and twostep how many more and how many less problems using information
presented in scaled bar graphs.
Assessment: Students write summary statements using the data in their
bar graphs.
Photograph living organisms in the Life Lab and add with labels to the large
class tree map.
NGSS Science Practice: Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating
Information
Show video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrQEWRUIFlw (Kermit the
Frog singing On My Pond.
Introduce driving question: How can we make the Life Lab a better
environment for the organisms that live there?
3-LS4-3 Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems: Construct an
argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can
survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
Pre-Assessment : Students write their initial thoughts to the driving
question.
CCSS Writing 3.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point
of view with reasons.
Measure the Life Lab dimensions and find both area and perimeter of the
two main parts of the lab (pond and garden).
MP.4 Model with mathematics.
MP.5 Use appropriate tools strategically.
CCSS Mathematics 3.MD.C.7.B Multiply side lengths to find areas of
rectangles with whole-number side length in the context of solving real
world and mathematical problems, and represent whole-number products
as rectangular areas in mathematical reasoning.
CCSS Mathematics 3.MD.D.8 Solve real world and mathematical problems
involving perimeters of polygons, including finding the perimeter given the
side lengths, finding an unknown side length, and exhibiting rectangles with

the same perimeter and different areas or with the same area and different
perimeters
Assessment: Student groups present their sections area and perimeter.
Research an organism found in the Life Lab (find multiple sources).
CCSS Writing 3.8 Recall information from experiences or gather information
from print and digital sources, take brief notes on sources and sort evidence
into provided categories.
Show video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=BkphFQXA178&list=ELCHAQVZVP_ZHq34URogy1nA (The Magic School
Bus Hops Home)
Assessment: Students write to the prompt What makes a good animal
habitat?
Show video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC__dRs8bYo (The Magic
School Bus Goes to Seed)
Assessment: Students write to the prompt What do plants need to
survive?
Guest presenters from UC Cooperative Extension San Joaquin County.
Choose one improvement which could be made in the selected section of
the Life Lab.
3-LS4-4 Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems: Make a claim about
the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes
and the types of plants and animals that live there may change.
Create cause/effect scenarios for the sections of the Life Lab.
LS4.D: Biodiversity and Humans: Populations live in a variety of habitats,
and change in those habitats affects the organisms living there.
Prepare proposals for change in the Life Lab and final presentations.
CCSS Speaking/Listening 3.4 Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or
recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive
details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
Assessment
s

Formative
Assessments
(During Project)

Quizzes/Tests
Journaling/Learning Log

Preliminary Plans/Outlines

Rough Drafts

Online Tests/Exams
Summative
Assessments
(End of Project)

Resources
Needed

On-site people,
facilities

Written Product(s), with


rubric

Other Products

Oral Presentation, with


rubric

Peer Evaluation

Multiple Choice/Short
Answer Test

Self-Evaluation

Essay Test

Other

Access to Life Lab (including the padlocked pond section).


Middle School Life Lab Elective students to help with access,
measuring dimensions, recommendations, identifying organisms,
etc.

Rolling metric measuring tools, digital cameras, printers, Chrome


Books/access to computer lab
Books, videos, on-line sites

Equipment
Materials
Community resources

Reflection
Methods

(Individual, Group,
and/or Whole
Class)

PTSA Board Members (if funding is needed for improvements),


volunteers to help with clean-up, planting, weeding, etc.

Journal/Learning Log

Focus Group

Whole-class Discussion

Fishbowl Discussion

Survey

Other

Project Teaching and Learning Guide


Knowledge and Skills Needed by Students
(to successfully complete culminating projects and to do well on summative assessments)
Student needs to be able to:

Collect and record data.

Student needs to be able to:

Analyze, categorize, and graph data.

Student needs to be able to:

Student needs to be able to:

Answer how many more and how many


less questions using their data graphs.

Digitally record organisms through


photographs and labels.

Student needs to be able to:

Student needs to be able to:

Accurately measure dimensions, determine


perimeter and area, and record on a
sketched map.

Research and record findings on organisms.

Questions to be Provided by the Project Teacher


(to successfully complete culminating products and to do well on summative assessments)
Teacher asks questions to recall facts, make observations, or
demonstrate understanding:

Teacher asks questions to summarize, analyze, organize, or


evaluate:

Are there any organisms that dont seem to be doing well in our lab?
What might be some reasons why they arent doing well?

How many more types of animals than plants live in the pond?
How many less types of animals than plants live in the garden?
Does the number of plants change frequently? Why?
Does the number of animals change frequently? Why?

Teacher asks questions to apply or relate:

Teacher asks questions to predict, design, or create:

What changes might be made to help support these organisms?


What supplies, equipment, or help would we need to make these
changes?

What might be some living organisms in our schools Life Lab?


Which part of the lab do you think they would do best?

Teacher Reflection:
How did the unit flow? What worked well? What needs to be changed for next time? What did the students learn? What evidence do
you have to support students learning?