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Title: Which Class is Best?

By: Emily Childs

Subject: Science, Reading, Writing,
Grade Level(s): 5th grade
Duration: 30-35 minutes one day
Standards and Elements:
*S5L1. Students will classify organisms into groups and relate how they determined
the groups with how and why scientists use classification.
S5CS1. Students will be aware of the importance of curiosity, honesty, openness,
and skepticism in science and will exhibit these traits in their own efforts to
understand how the world works.
S5CS6. Students will question scientific claims and arguments effectively.
ELACC5RI4 Craft and Structure: Determine the meaning of general academic and
domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject
ELACC5RI5 Craft and Structure: Compare and contrast the overall structure (e.g.,
chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts,
or information in two or more texts.
ELACC5RI10 Range of Reading and Complexity of Text: By the end of the year, read
and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and
technical texts, at the high end of the grades 45 text complexity band
independently and proficiently.
Speaking and Listening:
ELACC5SL1 Comprehension and Collaboration: Engage effectively in a range of
collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse
partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others ideas and expressing their
own clearly.
TAG standards:
HO/CTS 1: HO/CTS 1: The student asks probing, insightful, and relevant questions.
HO/CTS 2: The student responds to questions with supporting information that
reflects in-depth knowledge of a topic.
HO/CTS 3: The student conducts comparisons using criteria***
HO/CTS 4: The students makes and evaluates decisions using criteria***
CT&CPSS 3: The student incorporates brainstorming and other idea-generating
techniques to solve problems or create new products.
CT&CPSS 5: The student develops original ideas, presentations, or products through
synthesis and evaluation.
CT&CPSS 8: The student tolerates ambiguity when solving problems.
ARS 2: The student formulates original and appropriate questions to test the limits
of an existing body of knowledge.
ARS 1: The student uses a variety of print and non-print resources to investigate a
topic of interest.
ARS 3: The student uses concepts within and across disciplines to develop valid
hypotheses, thesis statements, or alternative interpretations of data.

ARS 5: The student gathers, organizes, analyzes, and synthesizes data from multiple
sources to support or disprove a hypothesis.
ACS 2: The student produces written and/or oral work that is complex, purposeful,
and organized, includes relevant supporting examples and manipulation of
ACS 7: The student responds to contribution of others, considering all available
ACS 8: The student participates in small group discussions to argue persuasively or
reinforce others good points.
ACS 10: The student supports and defends his/her own opinions while respecting the
opinions of others.
Summary: This lesson will solidify everything learned with the 5 different phylum in
the Animal Kingdom by allowing students to defend a phyla claimingit isthe
best. This will aide in students opinions and argument statements while
considering what others bring to a discussion. It also forces the students to use
everything they know about each phyla during their explanations.
Enduring Understanding(s): At the end of the lesson, students will acknowledge that
no phyla is the best or better than another but they all have value within the
Animal Kingdom. Students will know and apply all the traits associated with each
phylum to help identify unknown organisms.
Essential Question(s):
How do the characteristics separate an organism from another kingdom? How are
the phyla interrelated? Which pyla (of the animal kingdom) is best? (Last question
is a debate starter.)
Evidence of Learning:
What student should KNOW: 5 kingdoms, characteristics of the kingdoms, and
why organisms are classified, names of 5 phyla in Animal Kingdom
What students should BE ABLE TO DO: (SWBAT) distinguish between the 5
different kingdoms, identify specific characteristics belonging to each kingdom,
distinguish between the 5 different phyla of the Animal Kingdom, identify specific
characteristics associated with each phyla, defend a point of view, and (attempt to)
persuade others using reasoning.
Suggested Vocabulary:
Kingdom, phyla/phylum, class, classification, animal, plant, fungus, protists,
bacteria, bird, fish, reptiles, mammals, amphibians, persuade
1. Students will be placed into groups by table or other way deemed
appropriate by the teacher. (Need 5 groups total, no more or less)
2. Sparking question to be addressed to the class: Which class of the
animal kingdom is best?
3. The teacher should choose an animal class for each table group to
discussfor instance: bird or amphibian. Set expectations and ground rules.
Groups will be given 10-12 minutes to write down, draw a representation of

their class, and have each group member share a reason why this class is the
best? (Help explain to students that this is a persuasive exercise to show
what they know and try to convince others of their viewpoint.)
4. Teacher calls attention to the class. Have posters for the students to
stand under the represent each class to see where the students would line up
(preferably under their own kingdom)take a picture to show later and
examine the difference.
5. Students will be tasked with 10 minutes (set timer) to explain to other
groups why their class is the best using reasoning. Remind students that all
group members should share with at least one person and the information
should be collected and compiled onto the second handout.
6. Call attention after time goes off and have students stand under an
animal class again. (May want to have students close their eyes and do a
hand raise of which class they would change now before peer pressure has an
effect to gauge the student responses.) Has it changed? Was there a shift?
Have some volunteers share their experience.
7. Have a large group discussion using agree and disagree non-verbal
signals to help guide the discussion. Have one person who changed classes
and one who didnt explain their reasoning. Discuss the support used in
groupswas it helpful? Powerful enough to persuade classmates? What would
you do differently in the future if this occurred again?
8. Have students complete the self-assessment classwork page and turn
A. Classroom observation based on engagement, participation, and
information relativity.
B. Self-assessment at the end of the lesson that will be taken for a
classwork grade.



1. Are you able to defend or explain your groups class with evidence?
2. Did you give a supporting reason as to why your class was best?
3. Did you participate in your small group?
4. Were you a helpful group member?
5. Did you present your information to more than one person?
6. Were you able to persuade another classmate to your animal class?
7. Were you persuaded to support another class?


8. Did this discussion lead to more/deeper questions about the 5 animal classes?
9. Were you able to link knowledge from class to this activity?
10. Could you summarize the 5 classes after learning them and from this activity?
Points: ______ out of 30 (Points come from Shakerag Essential #13: Speak the Truth.)
Technology Integration:
Students will be able to research their chosen animal class for evidence to support
their opinion that their specific class is the best. Students may use Mackinvia and
other school resources.
Enrichment: Students in TAG will be asked to give two reasons to support their
class (and both should be different from their other group members). TAG students
will have at least one more TAG student in their group to help scaffold their ideas.
Support/Intervention: ESOL students will have more pictures on their handouts
and simpler language so that they can understand the vocabulary. Students not in
TAG have to give a minimum of one reason their animal class is best but can
certainly provide more (this is helpful to the students who think in-depth, but dont
qualify for TAG services). Students will also be working in groups to help jumpstart
their thought process.
Posters with the names of the animal classes, handouts below for each
student, chromebooks technology access, class and book notes, writing utensils

Focus on one Class of the Animal Kingdom

Student Name: ________________________
Name of Class: _____________________
(Fish, Bird, Reptile, Amphibian, Mammal)
*Include a related drawing in the box to the right.
What has your group learned about this Class?
(Minimum 2 from notes; others from different resources)


TAG students must provide two different responses for the second column.
Name of each group member

Responses to: Why is this the very best

class to in the animal kindom?







Describe the best reason based on your groups responses. You will use this to
persuade other classmates.

Comparing Animal Classes

You will now speak to one person from each animal class group and hear their
reasoning as to why their class is the best.
Name of group

Name of Class

Response to: Why is this the very

best class in the Animal Kingdom?






Now, you get to make a choice! THINK INDEPENDENTLY! Which animal class is

Ms. Childs/Mrs. V will tell you when to stand by that poster!