Animal Survival #37

(grades 3-8)
Soft-bound, 64 page book, 20 reproducible activity sheets, full teaching notes.

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Something to charm every child in your class: physical activity, art, story-telling, imagining. Explore how creatures blend in, defend themselves, fly away, and otherwise survive in their environments. See how crafty great education can be!

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Table of Contents for #37 Animal Survival:

Preparation and Support

A TOPS Teaching Model • Getting Ready • Gathering Materials • Sequencing Activities • Gaining a Whole Perspective • Review/Test Questions • Long Range Objectives • Teaching to a Higher Level

Activities and Lesson Notes

  1. 1. Tell Me Clearly
  2. 2. You Don't Say
  3. 3. Compare / Contrast
  4. 4. Observe / Hypothesize
  5. 5. Beat It!
  6. 6. Adapt-A-Bird
  7. 7. Staying Alive
  8. 8. Stir Crazy
  9. 9. Tints and Shades
  10. 10. Over the Rainbow
  11. 11. Paint the Landscape
  12. 12. Oh Say, Can You See?
  13. 13. Now You See It?
  14. 14. It's All In Your Mime
  15. 15. Attention Please!
  16. 16. Sound Off
  17. 17. The Untouchables
  18. 18. To Run or Not to Run
  19. 19. Get It Together
  20. 20. Meanwhile, Back in the Jungle

Supplementary Cut Outs

adapt-a-bird body parts • selection squares*


Complete Master List for #37 Animal Survival:

Key: (1st/2nd/3rd) denote needed quantities: (1st) enough for 1 student doing all activities; (2nd) enough for 30 students working in self-paced pairs; (3rd) enough for 30 students working in pairs on the same lesson. Starred* items may be purchased below.

  1. 1/7/10: rolls cellophane tape
  2. 1/30/30: bugs in jars (students bring from home)
  3. 1/1/1: roll of string
  4. 1/10/15: pairs of scissors
  5. various: classroom animals (any subject that moves or makes noise is suitable). You can even ask the class to observe the teacher, observing them. (A nice way to enjoy 5 minutes of uninterrupted silence!)
  6. 1/1/1: box aluminum foil
  7. *1/10/15: large metal washers with 1/2 inch diameter holes
  8. 1/2/3: sets sealable jars of tempera paint in red, blue, yellow, white and black
  9. *1/1/1: box straight plastic straws
  10. 1/30/30: plastic margarine tubs, any color OK
  11. 1/30/30: plastic margarine lids or equivalent, must be white on inside
  12. 1/1/1: sink with running water, or a bucket
  13. 1/30/30: watercolor brushes
  14. 1/7/10: bottles of paste or glue
  15. 5/200/200: index cards
  16. 1/1/1: small box corn flakes
  17. 1/1/1: cassette tape recorder
  18. 1/1/1: clock that measures seconds (or substitute wrist watches)
  19. various: construction materials you ALREADY have on hand. These might include paper and pencil, scissors, construction paper, tape, glue, cardboard, clay, yarn, pipe cleaners, fabric scraps, rubber bands, clothespins, straight pins, bottle caps, buttons, or paper clips. Paper mache supplies may also be useful: flour, water, newspaper strips, molded over forms of crumpled paper and masking tape, balloons, chicken wire and the like.
  20. Convenient Shopping:

    Aluminum Foil

    regular strength, 20 square feet x 12 inches rolls

    Buy aluminum foil here as a convenience item, or for less in many grocery stores.

    Tape - clear

    3/4 inch x 1000 inch roll

    Your standard desk tape with matte write-on surface.

    Straws - straight

    plastic, thin

    Any length straw, between 0.20 and 0.25 inches in diameter is suitable. Grocery stores generally carry straws with flexible "elbows." You can use those if you cut off the bendable section before using.

    Washer - large

    1 3/8 inch flat washer with 9/16 inch hole

    A specialty item used in #11 Oxidation and #37 Animal Survival.

Teaching Tips for #37 Animal Survival:

No special tips at this time. Please email us with your personal experiences and suggestions that might help or inspire other teachers.

Lesson by Lesson Objectives for #37 Animal Survival:

  1. Lesson 1: To sharpen observation and communication skills. To enable students to express themselves at higher levels of thought.
  2. Lesson 2: To learn to see clearly and say it well.
  3. Lesson 3: To observe similarities and differences between yourself and another animal.
  4. Lesson 4: To provide a generalized form useful for observing a diversity of animal life, both in and out of the classroom. To understand the distinction between a observation and an hypothesis.
  5. Lesson 5: To recall the many different ways that animals survive. To relate animal survival strategies to variations in habitat.
  6. Lesson 6: To appreciate how each body part helps a bird survive in its particular environment.
  7. Lesson 7: To study how animals survive using escape and confusion. To appreciate the rich diversity of animal adaptation within these two broad categories.
  8. Lesson 8: To discover how primary colors mix to form secondary colors plus brown. To introduce a foil mini-paint system useful in future painting activities.
  9. Lesson 9: To study tinting and shading. To learn how to mix a broader, more subtle spectrum of color.
  10. Lesson 10: To practice mixing and blending primary colors, plus white and black, to match any given color value.
  11. Lesson 11: To create 3 natural-looking environments, then paint a critter that can survive in one of them.
  12. Lesson 12: To experimentally determine which colors camouflage best in 3 simulated natural environments. To relate this information to animal coloration.
  13. Lesson 13: To camouflage paper moths so they blend into the patterns and textures of classroom surfaces.
  14. Lesson 14: To understand mimicry as a survival strategy. To cleverly mimic the appearance of a corn flake.
  15. Lesson 15: To understand how animals use shape, color and sound to warn away predators.
  16. Lesson 16: To understand how animals communicate using sound.
  17. Lesson 17: To study variations in protective coverings. To understand that adaptations have disadvantages as well as advantages.
  18. Lesson 18: To understand speed, endurance, and camouflage as survival techniques. To consider the trade-offs.
  19. Lesson 19: To design fantasy animals that survive by natural means. To review the major survival strategies presented in this book.
  20. Lesson 20: To summarize the survival concepts learned in this book. To communicate them in a creative story-writing activity.

National Science Education Standards (NRC 1996) for #37 Animal Survival:

TEACHING Standards

These 20 Activity Sheets promote excellence in science teaching by these NSES criteria:
Teachers of science...
A: ...plan an inquiry-based science program. (p. 30)
B: and facilitate learning. (p. 32)
C: ...engage in ongoing assessment of their teaching and of student learning. (p. 37)
D: and manage learning environments that provide students with the time, space, and resources needed for learning science. (p. 43)

CONTENT Standards

These 20 Activity Sheets contain fundamental content as defined by these NSES guidelines (p. 109).
• Represent a central event or phenomenon in the natural world.
• Represent a central scientific idea and organizing principle.
• Have rich explanatory power.
• Guide fruitful investigations.
• Apply to situations and contexts common to everyday experiences.
• Can be linked to meaningful learning experiences.
• Are developmentally appropriate for students at the grade level specified.

Unifying Concepts and Processes

NSES Framework: Systems, order, and organization • Evidence, models and explanation • Constancy, change, and measurement • Evolution and equilibrium • Form and function
Core Concepts/Processes: Animal adaptations are driven by natural selection. Successful survival strategies pass from generation to generation. Unsuccessful survival strategies do not.

Science as Inquiry (content standard A)

NSES Framework: Design and conduct a scientific investigation. • Use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze, and interpret data. • Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and models using evidence. • Think critically and logically to make the relationships between evidence and explanations. • Recognize and analyze alternative explanations and predictions. • Communicate scientific procedures and explanations.
Core Inquiries: Examine how animals survive in specific environments. Can you design a critter that hides in plain sight; that survives a class vote?

Life Science (content standard C)

NSES Framework: The characteristics of organisms • Organisms and environments • Structure and function in living systems • Populations and ecosystems • Diversity and adaptations of organisms • Interdependence of organisms • Behavior of organisms
Core Content: Camouflage • Mimicry • Predators and prey • Hide, fight or flight?

Science and Technology (content standard E)

NSES Framework: Abilities of technological design • Understanding about science and technology
Core Content: Design an animal well adapted to survives in its chosen environment: Do you hop, crawl, swim or fly? Will you claw and chew your way through life, or hide and blend in? Do you carry armor, sport quills, sting or just smell bad?