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Jake Brandolino

Grade Science
UNIT: Animal Adaptation DATE:12/3/2013
LESSON: Reptile TIME LENGTH: 20 minutes

1. 3.1.5.A1: Classify Plants and Animals according to their physical characteristics that they
1. Anchor Descriptor S5.B.2.1: Identify and explain how adaptations help organisms

Share amazing facts with students: At one time, giraffes came in a variety of neck lengths. Some
giraffes had much shorter necks than modern giraffes. Ask students to brainstorm why short-
necked giraffes did not survive. Then offer an explanation of natural selection:
The giraffes with shorter necks couldnt compete with long-necked giraffes. Explain that
the giraffes were not in an actual contest that they could win by changing their physical
characteristics or behavior; they were unknowing participants in a competition that takes place
every day in nature: Food supplies are limited so animals must compete for them with other
species and like animals. Unlike the giraffes with long necks, short-necked giraffes couldnt
reach leaves and twigs up high as well as the ones closer to the ground. Because many animals
could eat the low-lying vegetation, fewer short-necked giraffes got enough to eat. Over
generations, giraffes with longer necks grew stronger and healthier. The long-necked giraffes had
more and more babies that, like their parents, inherited long necks and were better able to survive
when food was scarce; no other animal could reach the high leaves as well as they could. Over
time, more and more short-necked giraffes died before they could reproduce more short-necked
babies. Eventually, only long-necked giraffes were born. This process of change, called natural
selection, happens in all species.
Explain that a giraffes long neck is an adaptation, a trait that helps it fit in and survive in its
environment. Tell students that sometimes different species within the same family have very
Commented [JMB1]: Assigned to establish a 5
classroom environment.

Commented [JMB2]: Content pedagogy- These standards align
with the curriculum and build off of students prior knowledge.

Commented [JMB3]: Motivation and management - The teacher
uses an understanding of individual/group motivation and behavior
to create a learning environment that encourages positive social
interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.

With use of PowerPoint and imagery, classroom conversation
engages students into the content of the lesson to be taught
different adaptations that depend on location. For example, the Siberian tiger has striped fur
while the snow leopard sports a white and black coat. These adaptations allow each species of
cat to meet the challenges of its different environment. The Siberian tigers striped fur keeps it
disguised in the dense forest of China; the snow leopards white fur helps it hide in its snowy

Students will be able to understand the following:
1. Adaptation describes the changing traits that enable reptiles to live in their environments.
2. Adaptations can be found in physical and behavioral traits of reptiles. Snakes and lizards,
turtles, crocodilians, and the tuatara constitute the living orders of reptiles.

6 boxes of crayons
7 poster boards (one for modeled demonstration: Snapping Turtle)
6 different handouts providing information on reptiles (Nile crocodile, rattlesnake,
iguana, American alligator, chameleon, tuatara). 4 copies of each reptile.

Computer and Projector

LESSON TYPE (Pedagogy):Cooperative Learning
I. Introduction
Commented [JMB4]: Communication and technology - The
teacher uses knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, and media
communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration,
and supportive interaction in the classroom
Commented [JMB5]: Planning - The teacher plans instruction
based upon knowledge of subject matter, students, the community,
and curriculum goals.

For this lesson the students will first observe direct instruction via
the PowerPoint slides and then use a higher level of bloom
taxonomy as they work together to complete worksheets assigned.
A. Good afternoon 5
graders. As you know we have been learning about animal
adaptations within this chapter. Use PowerPoint and Motivational Device about
giraffes to review Adaptations. (3 mins)
2 types Physical (polar bear fur) and Behavioral (lizard plays dead)
B. On the PowerPoint present a three column chart. Label the first column Animal, the
second column Adaptation, and the third column Effect. Fill in the first two columns
with some sample animals and their adaptations. Then, ask students the effect of each
animals adaptation. Encourage students to add their own ideas to the list. Here are a
few examples to start the list: (2 mins)
Animal Adaptation Effect
Giraffe Long neck Can eat leaves in tall trees
(the parts of plants other
animals cant reach)
Bird Flies south in
Porcupine Sharp, stiff
Can defend itself against
Chipmunk Hibernate Can avoid winter food
Dolphin Tail Helps it swim

II. Lead into discussion about Reptiles and Activity
A. For sake of Time Print hand outs of definitions and only read through the list
definitions once (PowerPoint/ Hand outs) . (1 Min)
o Adaptation
o Reptile
o Cold Blooded
o Scale
o Vertebrate
B. Introduce Activity.
o Divide the class into groups of two or three students. Assign each group one of
the following reptiles to research: snapping turtle, rattlesnake, iguana, American
alligator, chameleon, tuatara, sea turtle, python, Nile crocodile. You might allow
them to select a different reptile of their own choice. (0 mins already grouped at
o Review Directions on PowerPoint and Model Activity Poster for Class. (1Min)
III. Have groups perform Activity (10 mins)
o Read Assigned Reptile Hand outs
o Draw Assigned Reptile
o Identify and label two Adaptations
o Come up with a creative future Adaptation with a two sentence explanation.
IV. Closure (4 mins)
A. Thank the students for their participation in the cooperative learning lesson.
B. Have all groups stand and show there Posters to the class.
C. Select one or two groups to explain their future adaptations that they feel are creative.
D. Review Vocab.
E. Collect Posters as Ticket Out the Door.

1.Check for understanding by walking between groups and monitoring activity.

REFLECTION (Include at least three questions):
1.Did you set clear expectations so that students knew what was expected of them? If not,
how can you make them clearer?
2.Was students' level of enthusiasm/involvement high or low? Explain why.
3.Was the group work effective? What adjustments could you make for next time?
Commented [JMB6]: Diverse learners - The teacher
understands how students differ in their approaches to learning and
creates instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse

Groups can assign roles based on interest.
Commented [JMB7]: Assessment - The teacher understands and
uses formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and
ensure the continuous intellectual, social, and physical development
of the learner.

Teacher observes students for formal assessment. Assigns
completion of worksheet for homework.

Commented [JMB8]: Reflective practice: professional
development - The teacher is a reflective practitioner who
continually evaluates the effects of his or her choices and actions on
others and who actively seeks out opportunities to grow

The lesson was successful. Be sure to account for possible absences.