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Nikki Levine

Introduction to Prairies Lesson Plan

Name: Taking a First Look at Prairies Grade Level/Subject: 3rd Grade/Science Prerequisite Knowledge: Students will be aware that Illinois is a state with many Prairies, and that there is a great deal to learn about the elements that make up a prairie. Approximate Time: 2 30-minute sessions Student Objectives: 1. Students will listen to the story, If Youre Not From the Prairie and be able to recall key words and definitions from it. 2. Students will actively participate in the creation of a classroom K-W-L chart on Prairies. 3. Students will utilize prior knowledge to determine what they already know about prairies, such as where they are located and the kinds of plants and animals that have formed habitats there. 4. Students will brainstorm ideas on what they want to know or learn more about prairies. They will use ideas heard in If Youre Not From the Prairie to generate any other inquiries that they may have. 5. Students will record what they have learned about prairies through the knowledge they have gained from the completed activities, observations, and projects in the unit. WIDA Language Objectives: 1. Students will distinguish among elements of prairies form oral statements and visual support. 2. Students will orally identify details on prairies based on previously learned knowledge. Content Standards: Illinois Standards: 11.A.2a Formulate questions on a specific science topic and choose the steps needed to answer the questions. 12.B.2a Describe relationships among various organisms in their environments (e.g., predator/prey, parasite/host, food chains and food webs). 12.B.2b Identify physical features of plants and animals that help them live in different environments (e.g., specialized teeth for eating certain foods, thorns for protection, insulation for cold temperature).

Materials: If Youre Not From The Prairie by: David Bouchard Large sheet of butcher block paper or poster board, separated and cut into 3 sections Markers Blank construction paper for drawings Procedure: Day 1 1. On the first day of introducing the Prairie unit, inform students that they will be completing a Know-Want-Learn organizer (KWL) with information on prairies. 2. Engage students by explaining that prairies make up a large portion of our physical country, and a great deal of plants and animals thrive in prairies. 3. Place three separate, large sheets of paper at the front of the classroom so that all students are able to see them. 4. Label one sheet as Know, one sheet as Want to Know, and one sheet as Learned. 5. Prompt students to brainstorm all the information that they know or think that they know about prairies. Use questions of the following nature to generate ideas: a. What do you think a prairie is? Have you ever heard of or seen one before? b. What kinds of animals live in prairies? c. What kinds of plants grow in prairies? d. What is the weather climate like in prairies? e. Where are prairies located? 6. Record student ideas on the Know sheet of paper. 7. Instruct students to use their paper and markers to draw a picture of what they believe a prairie looks like, and what elements they believe are a part of it. Day 2 8. Have students remain in their seats, or gather in an area of the classroom in which they can easily hear and see a story that is read aloud. 9. Instruct students that when they are hearing the story to be listening and looking carefully for important terms or specific illustrations that could be useful in their research on prairies. 10. After completing the story, have students return to their seats or remain where they are. 11. Prompt students to brainstorm some ideas related to prairies that they would like to learn more about during this unit. Ask questions such as, What do we want to learn about the climate of prairies?, How should we find out what prairie animals eat?, etc. 12. Record student ideas on the sheet labeled Want to Learn. If students are struggling to formulate ideas, prompt them with similar questions from the Know organizer. 13. Hang the collaborative lists in a location in the classroom in which students can easily refer to them.

14. Engage students in a closing discussion. Prompt them with questions such as, What kind of research should we conduct to find out more about prairies? and What kinds of resources are available to us to find out more information? (Students should respond with internet, library, traveling to prairies to get firsthand experience, etc.) Assessment: Create a Guess Box that will be placed in a central location in the classroom. Explain to students that throughout the unit, they may write their guesses to the questions posed by the class, and submit them to the box when they are confident in their answers. These guesses can be used to assess which concepts the students may be grasping or confused about, as well as what they would like to know more about. Explanation About Modeling: Modeling is seen in this lesson plan through the students being given the opportunity to create a visual representation of what they believe a prairie looks like. The drawings that they create will serve as a model for what a prairie is made up of for the rest of the unit. Although this student-created model would not be completely accurate, it would serve as a much more simplified representation of a full-scale prairie. Lesson Adjustment for ELLs: A way that this lesson could be adjusted to accommodate ELL students is to place students in partners, with one partner being an ELL student and the other partner being an English speaking student. Then, have each partnership formulate their own KWL chart. Talking one-on-one with another student may be much less intimidating for a student that is in the process of learning English than if they were expected to participate in a large group discussion with the rest of the class. Each partnership may also be allowed to incorporate drawings or visuals into their KWL chart in order to better communicate their ideas and their questions. The partners can help one another to not only share their own ideas, but to share the ideas of their partner with the rest of the class and the teacher. WIDA Standards for ELL Accommodation Grade Level Cluster: Grade 3-5 Framework: Summative ELP Standard: 4- Language of Science Language Domain: Listening Standards: Level 1 (Entering): Identify key examples and elements of prairies, from oral statements with visual support. Level 2 (Beginning): Distinguish among elements of prairies from oral statements and visual support. Level 3 (Developing): Identify details on prairies based on oral descriptions, visual support, and previously learned knowledge. Level 4 (Expanding): Identify information that is yet to be learned based on oral descriptions, visual support, and previous knowledge.

Level 5 (Bridging): Deliberately articulate, both orally and written, what is known, what is yet to be learned, and an assessment on what is learned throughout the lesson.