Monday, October 7, 2013

Teaching Science with Kidlit: NGSS Performance Expectation K-ESS2-1

This week, I’m focusing on another kindergarten PE that is lumped under Earth & Space Science, though it really has significant overlap with life science concepts.

K-ESS2-1. Construct an argument supported by evidence for how plants and animals (including humans) can change the environment to meet their needs. [Clarification Statement: Examples of plants and animals changing their environment could include a squirrel digs in the ground to hide its food and tree roots can break concrete.]

Here are some books that would be perfect for addressing how animals can change an environment.
Mole’s Hill by Lois Elhert

At Home with Gopher Tortoise by Madeleine Dunphy

Turtle's Race with Beaver by Joseph and James Bruchac 
Who Lives in an Alligator Hole? by Anne Rockwell 

Wiggling Worms at Work by Wendy Pfeffer

Activity 1
Encourage your students to create a comparison mural that shows the ways animals in two of the books listed above changed their environment. For example, the fictional character Mole in Mole’s Hill and the gopher tortoise featured in At Home with Gopher Tortoise both dig underground. Why does each animal dig tunnels and how does that affect the creatures that live in the area?

It’s hard to find books that show how plants can change their environment, but this activity will do the trick:

Activity 2
Ask students to observe a tree in the schoolyard, around their neighborhood, or at a local park at least three times over a few days. Then ask them to draw a picture that shows at least one way the tree makes life better for one or more animals that live in the same environment.

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