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Title: To Vertebrae or Not to Vertebrae?

By: Emily Childs

Subject: Science, Reading, Writing
Grade Level(s): 5th grade
Duration: 1 class period-70 minutes
Standards and Elements:
S5CS6. Students will question scientific claims and arguments effectively.
a. Support statements with facts found in books, articles, and databases, and
identify the sources used.
b. Identify when comparisons might not be fair because some conditions are
S5CS8. Students will understand important features of the process of scientific
Students will apply the following to inquiry learning practices:
a. Scientific investigations may take many different forms, including observing
what things are like or what is happening somewhere, collecting specimens for
analysis, and doing experiments.
b. Clear and active communication is an essential part of doing science. It enables
scientists to inform others about their work, expose their ideas to criticism by
other scientists, and stay informed about scientific discoveries around the
c. Scientists use technology to increase their power to observe things and to
measure and compare things accurately.
d. Science involves many different kinds of work and engages men and women of
all ages and backgrounds.
*S5L1. Students will classify organisms into groups and relate how they determined the
groups with how and why scientists use classification.
a. Demonstrate how animals are sorted into groups (vertebrate and invertebrate)
and how vertebrates are sorted into groups (fish, amphibian, reptile, bird, and
ELACC5RI3 Key Ideas and Details: Explain the relationships or interactions between two or
more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based
on specific information in the text.
ELACC5RI4 Craft and Structure: Determine the meaning of general academic and domainspecific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.
*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.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas (Depending on Tic-Tac-Toe products)
ELACC5RI7: Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources,
demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a
problem efficiently.
ELACC5RI9: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to
write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
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

ELACC5W2 Test Types and Purposes: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a

topic and convey and information clearly.
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.
Summary: This lesson will take two class days and out-of-class product creations. This
combines informational reading, comparing and contrasting, along with product
differentiation. To Vertebrae or Not to Vertebrae? allows student discovery, research, and
creations based on their efforts.
Enduring Understanding(s): At the end of the lesson, students will be able to differentiate
between vertebrates and invertebrates as well as a specific animal example of one category
from their research.
Essential Question(s): How can the animal kingdom be further divided? How can information
and research be compiled to better explain vertebrates/invertebrates? What can be
concluded from comparing and contrasting vertebrates and invertebrates?
Evidence of Learning:
What student should KNOW: Organisms are separated through classification. This first
breakdown is into kingdoms.
What students should BE ABLE TO DO: (SWBAT) explain vertebrate and
invertebrate characteristics; distinguish a vertebrate and invertebrate animal
Suggested Vocabulary:
Criteria, vertebrates, invertebrate, classification, kingdom, animals, backbone
Day One: Guided introduction to topic and future product creations
1. Project Part 1 onto the Promethean board and have student jot notes on their desks for their
answers (5 minutes tops)
2. Explain Part 2: Students will Read to Someone (go over expectationsEEKK, Voice Level,
Check for Understanding, Stay in One Spot, and Read the Whole Time)
3. Complete Part 3 with their Read to Someone partner. (TAG and non-TAG should be paired
together) (15 minutes) Teacher note: May need to pull TAG students together and discuss
what criteria are and how to come up with a criteria for their chart.
4. Start Part 4 in class and finish for homework (reading an article from NewsELA about a
specific vertebrate or invertebratetake quiz and print or email to teacher for a HW grade)
Day Two: Work day and assessment introductions
5. Students will turn in their article quiz grade and check that they have emailed me (which
will be double checked later)
6. Teacher will give instructions for Part 5 and 6 (conclusion and tic-tac-toe) that will take the
remainder of the class period. Part 5 is completely independent and for a classwork grade.
This must be turned in before starting on the Tic-Tac-Toe activity. Part 6 (T-T-T) will be due 2
days after it has been introducedthe introduction day it can be worked on in class then is
homework the next two and will be turned in the 3 rd day after introduction for a project
grade using the rubric below.

Partner work, Criteria chart

Summative: Article Quiz (Homework grade)

Conclusion answers (classwork grade)
Tic-Tac-Toe board (Quiz/Project grade) see rubric below
Technology Integration: QR codes, websites, tic-tac-toe products can use online resources
but it is up to the student.
Differentiation: All tic-tac-toe products are up to student choice and interest.
Enrichment: 2 Tic-Tac-Toe portions must be completed; create own criteria
Support/Intervention: criteria have already been assigned to help students focus on
the material
Resource(s)/Material(s): chromebooks, handouts below, NewsELA access, other items that
may be used for the tic-tac-toe products.

Part 1

Name: _____________________

Think of a time when you needed several different pieces of evidence to reach a conclusion.
Jot some notes to yourself.

Think of a time when all you needed was one piece of evidence to get a conclusion.
Jot some notes to yourself.

Which was easier?

Which yielded (created) better results?
Which option do you find yourself doing more often?

Part 2

Today, we are going to read about organisms that work independently (single-celled
organisms) and those who work with several cells to accomplish a goal (multi-celled
organisms). When you read the articles (online), think about the text structure used to
display the information. (One of five types: Cause and Effect, Problem and Solution,
Description, Compare and Contrast, Sequence)
Once you and your partner have read both articles, turn in an index card to the baskets with
both of your names and the two types of text structures you identified in the articles
Article 1:

Article 2:

A-Part 3
Use the criteria listed in the center to help you filter through the information in the articles
and write down notes in the correct columns.



Classification (KPCOFGS)



Organism examples

H-Part 3
Create your own criteria for determining the differences between articles. Write your
groups criteria in the center column and assess what each article describes under the
correct columneither invertebrates or vertebratesthat relates to the criteria you have


Part 4



In your notebook, create a comparison for the similarities and differences between
vertebrates and invertebrates. This could be a Venn diagram, chart, etc. Create something
that works for your best understanding. Title it Vertebrates versus Invertebrates.
Fill it out with a partner from your group. Include what is unique for invertebrate,
vertebrates, and what they share in common.

Part 5
**Start in class and finish for homework.
Use at least 1 article from NewsELA that has been preapproved about a vertebrate or
invertebrate animal and see how it is doing in the world currently. Take the quiz and email
or print the results as a homework grade. (This can be used in your Tic-Tac-Toe product
Obama wants to help the bees by protecting where they live and eat 6/5/15
Scientists worry dolphins are in dangers from hunting in the Solomon Islands
US Navy train dolphins and sea lions to protect ships and ports 4/17/15
Snakebite? Call the Dallas Zoo 4/14/15
Starfish are getting sick, scientists want to know why 4/13/15
Most Manatees ever under Flordias sun, but work to save them isnt done 3/23/15
No map or GPS, sea turtles still swim thousands of miles home 1/28/15

Part 6
Conclusion Classwork

(10 points total)


1. Are these two categories more alike or different? Explain your response. (5 points)

2. Which statement do you most agree with: (5 points)

A: Vertebrates are more important to the animal kingdom because they are more
B: Invertebrates are more important to the animal kingdom because they are more
Explain your response.

GAT: Complete one of the following and turn it.
TAG: Complete two of the following; start your favorite one.



Verbal Linguistic


Create a song/rap/poem
about vertebrates,
invertebrates, or both

Retell and/or write the

information you have
learned about classifying
organisms into vertebrates
and invertebrates onto an

Research statistics about

invertebrates or vertebrates
and interpret the data; OR




Create a video, poster,

comic, or chart detailing the
life of a vertebrate or

Complete an activity after

approval by your teacher.

Create a skit or activity to

show what it is like to be an
invertebrate (since humans
are vertebrates)




Write a story or journal entry

as if you were a different
animal describing its
vertebrate/invertebrate life
and how it accomplished

Work with a partner and

have a videoed or written
debate about vertebrates
and invertebrates. **Facts
are needed**

Research and investigate a

specific animal. Find a way
to present this information:
video, website, poster, etc.

T-T-T Rubric
Score of 1

Score of 2

Create a word problem

about a specific species

Name: _____________________
Score of 3


Student created a
product that was not
unique and did not put
forth effort.

Student created a product,

but did not put forth typical
amount of effort

Student created a unique

product and effort is


Most information is
false and/or does not
apply to the product

Some of the information is

true and some is false

All information provided is

true and useful within the


Gave reasons; included

examples and
information as support

Used evidence such as

quotations, and mini-stories
for support

Used a variety of evidence,

trusted sources, and
explained the evidence


Student did not

complete the
requirement(s) on the
T-T-T board or rubric OR
did not turn in on time

Student completed most of

the T-T-T and rubric
requirements on time; OR
completed all requires but
was not on time

Student completed all

requirements and turned in
their product on time.

Score =