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1st Grade Life Science Unit Outline

Primary observation or essential question:

What clues help us understand that baby plants and animals look alike, but not exactly like their
parents? What clues can we find to draw a connection between parent dogs and their pup young?
What makes plants look alike and how does the age of plants make a difference in what it looks
like? How do animal parents know what their babies needs are? What external features do animals
have that help them survive? What can humans learn and use from looking at how plants survive
and grow?

Briefly, what do you expect the students to “DO” in this unit? (this is like an abstract)

Students will from observing matching images of different animal parent and offspring, identify
traits that establish a connection between them. Students will identify trait patterns by making
observations of young and adult animals of the same species. Students will be able to compare trait
patterns about plants that make them similar to other plants by looking at pictures of different
plants. Students will be able to distinguish the difference between human survival behaviors and
animals survival behaviors by discussion as a class. Students will be able to design a model using
different materials to demonstrate how external features of animals help them survive, grow, and
meet their needs. Students will identify properties of traits of plants that humans mimic to improve
our lives.

Performance Science and Engineering Practice, SEP
Expectations Disciplinary Core Idea, DCI
(PE) Cross Cutting Concept, CCC
SEP: Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions: Make
Constructing firsthand observations to construct an evidence-based account for
explanations and natural phenomena.
designing solutions in K– DCI: LS3.A. inheritance of Traits: Young animals are very much, but
not exactly like, their parents. Plants also are very much, but not
2 builds on prior
exactly, like their parents.
experiences and LS3.B. Variation of Traits: Individuals of the same kind of plant or
progresses to the use of animal are recognizable as similar but can also vary in many ways.
evidence and ideas in CCC: Patterns: Patterns in the natural and human designed world
can be observed, used to describe phenomena, and used as evidence.
constructing evidence-
based accounts of
natural phenomena and
designing solutions.
● Make
observations
(firsthand or
from media) to
construct an
evidence-based
account for
natural
phenomena.
Obtaining, evaluating, SEP: Obtaining, Evaluating and Communicating Information:
and communicating Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in K-2 builds
information in K-2 on prior experiences and uses observations and texts to
communicate new information.
builds on prior
experiences and uses
observations and texts to
communicate new
information.
- Read grade-
appropriate texts
and use media to
obtain scientific
information to
determine
patterns in the
natural world.
DCI: LS1.B: Read texts and use media to determine patterns in
behavior of parents and offspring that help offspring survive.
CCC: Patterns: Patterns in the natural and human designed world
can be observed, used to describe phenomena, and used as evidence.
Constructing SEP: Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions:
explanations and Constructing explanations and designing solutions in K-2 builds on
designing solutions in K- prior experiences and progresses to the use of evidence and ideas in
constructing evidence-based accounts of natural phenomena and
2 builds on prior
designing solutions.
experiences and
progresses to the use of
evidence and ideas in
constructing evidence-
based accounts of
natural phenomena and
designing solutions.
- Use materials to
design a device
that solves a
specific problem
or a solution to a
specific problem.
DCI: LS1.A: Use materials to design a solution to a human problem
by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to
help them survive, grow, and meet their needs.
LS1.D: Animals have body parts that capture and convey different
kinds of information needed for growth and survival. Animals
respond to these inputs with behaviors that help them survive.
Plants also respond to some external inputs.
CCC: Structure and Function: The shape and stability of structures
of natural and designed solutions and related to their functions.
Mini-Unit Plan Outline Example:
Initials
Activity or Investigation Assessment
and Time (min/ Driving Question
numb class)
er

Students will identify
features that parents
and offspring of the
Using images of different adult
What clues can you same species have in
45-55 mn and young animal pairs, students
find that connect common and how
1 JC 1 class will try to match them and make
young animals to variations between
observations on their similarities
parents? similar characteristics
and differences.
serve specific
functions in other
species.

Using images of adult dogs and
Students will identify
younger pups, the class will make
What clues is there the key similarities
dog noises to find their matching
45-55 mn to match the dogs and differences that
2 KF pair. Then, the class will describe
1 class with their young the young pup and
each of the dog’s characteristics
pups? adult dog have in
and provide evidence for why the
common or different.
matching pair belongs together.

Bring in different type of plants
Students will identify
What makes plants and ask them what makes them
what characteristics
look alike/ what look alike. What do clues can they
make plants look
makes them alike? use/ what do they observe from
45-55 mn similar and then
3 JH How does the age the two that would help them say
1 class identify how the age
of the plant make a that they are alike?
of a plant can change
difference in what -Use pictures of young plants and
its appearance and
it looks like? adult plants and have the students
characteristics.
try to match up which baby plant
goes with the adult plant.

Play different sounds for the
students to discuss with their
Students will be able
How do animal elbow partner what animal the
45-55 min to identify how the
4 KF parents know what sound belongs to and why the
1 class behavior patterns
their babies needs animal is making that sound. Then
keep the offspring
are? have them work in groups to
alive.
match the sounds to the animals
on the worksheet.
Students will be able
to identify external
Have students work in 4 different parts of an animal
groups to solve a scenario that may help them
containing a human problem. survive as well as
What outside
Have students solve the problem designing a model
features do animals
5 JH 45-55 min by creating a model using different using different
have that help
1 class materials. The model must be materials to
them survive?
inspired by the specific animal demonstrate how
given to each group and that external features of
animal’s external features. an animal help them
survive, grow, and
meet their needs.
Students will find
clues that connect
How can humans Students will identify attributes of
human designed
improve their lives plants or plant parts that can be
inventions to a plant
by mimicking plant mimicked to design a human
45-55 min it mimics. Students
attributes that help solution to a problem. They will
6 1 class will use evidence-
them survive and design their own illustrated model
based connections to
grow? of a solution to a problem.
design their own
solution.
Students will write and/or illustrate their observations on trait patterns and differences
between parent/offspring pairs to make evidence-based connections. Have the students circle
the similarities on the index cards and put an x through the differences to check for their
understanding. Have them verbally give their evidence and clues throughout the class when
asking questions. They will also write down evidence that shows what they know and how to
use their knowledge to identify plant characteristics, similarities, and differences. Students will
be assessed by the exit ticket by filling in the blanks to determine how parents meet their
Assess- offsprings’ needs. At the end of the activity, each student will receive a note card that they will
ment be using as their exit ticket (they will write down an animal, different from the ones we
discussed in class, and explain one external feature that may help that animal survive). Students
will design an illustrated solution to a problem based on evidence-based connections they made
during the exercise.
For example:
Need: pictures of animals and plants for each lesson
Evidence: drawing similarities and differences between the plants or animals