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GRADE 4 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY- UNDERSTANDING

LIFE SYSTEMS: HABITATS AND COMMUNITIES


Two 60 minute blocks and one 40 minute block

DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION DETAILS


Knowledge of Students
Differentiation based on student:
Readiness Interests Preferences:
Styles
Intelligences Other
Need to Know
Students areas of interest to choose engaging RAFT activity
choices
Students preferred intelligences and learning styles
Students level of understanding and capability of higher order
thinking
How to Find Out
Class discussions and observations of group work
Exit cards
Prior observation and class work
Differentiated Instruction Response
Learning materials (content) Ways of learning (process) Ways of
demonstrating learning (product) Learning environment
CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
Overall Expectation(s)
1. Analyze the effects of human activities on habitats and communities.
Specific Expectation(s)
1.1 Analyze the positive and negative impacts of human interactions with natural
habitats and communities, taking different perspectives into account, and
evaluate ways of minimizing the negative impacts.
Learning Goals:
I understand how long-term human use of natural resources can affect the
environment.
I can suggest ways to reduce that affect.
ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION
Assessment/Success Criteria
-Assessment for learning:
Understanding the negative effects of long-term human use of natural
resources on different habitats and communities (specifically forest
habitat)
Being able to take different perspectives when it comes to resource use
and habitat destruction
Suggest ways that humans can reduce the negative effects.
Assessment Tools:
Anecdotal Notes
Check-list
Co-created success criteria for RAFT assignment (Appendix D- example of what it
might look like)

PRIOR LEARNING
Previous to this lesson students would have learned:
what a habitat is.
that animals and plants are interdependent in an ecosystem
the protocols for collaborative group work and RAFT assignments
MATERIALS AND RESOURCES
Materials:
-For each group of four:
120 craft (Popsicle) sticks in a sealable plastic bag
32 craft sticks in a sealable plastic bag
Watch with second hand
Recording chart
Graph paper
-Markers
-Various craft materials and dress-up options for RAFT roles
Internet Resources:
Various YouTube videos about the effects of humans on natural resources and
habitats.
Resources:
Leveled non-fiction books about habitats
CD ROMS
MINDS ON: Establishing a positive learning environment, activating prior
knowledge, setting the context
Time Allocation: 60 minutes
Remind students of proper protocol for read-alouds/watching media presentations
Remind students of proper protocol for think-pair-share and working in small groups
Whole Class- Read-aloud and facilitated discussion
1. Ask students to name things that are made from natural resources.
2. Introduce the story, The Lorax by Dr. Suess. Let the students observe the
pictures and ask them to predict what they think will happen in the story, who
the characters are, and problems they might face.
3. Read aloud the story, stopping along the way and ask students to predict what
will happen next.
4. Use Think-Pair-Share to discuss the following questions:

Why did the Once-ler need to make so many thneeds?

What was the Lorax trying to tell the Once-ler? Why did they disagree?

How were the animals and birds affected when more Truffula trees were
cut down?

In the beginning of the book, the Once-ler claimed that thneeds were
something everyone needed. Do you think that they were really something
that everyone needed? Why or why not?

Can you give examples of things people want but dont need? What impact
does that have on the environment?

Small groups of 5 or 6 up to a maximum of 5 groups (heterogeneous grouping)


1. Using the jigsaw strategy, have students discuss the attached list of
questions. (Appendix A).
2. Each home group is to collaboratively present their summary of one* of
the questions to the class using a medium of their choice (verbally, making
a poster with images or words, a skit etc.)
* The teacher assigns which group presents which question after all the
experts had a chance to discuss their summaries with their home group.
Individual: Exit Cards (How does humans long term use of natural resources
affect different habitats? Give examples of ways that we can positively affect the
environment and conserve the use of these resources.)

Action: Introducing new learning/reinforcing/extending


learning, exploring and investigating, providing practice
opportunities
Time Allocation: 60 min
Deforestation Simulation Activity
Small groups- Advanced groups of four and rest of students in
heterogeneous groups of four
1.
Give each group the following:
120 craft (Popsicle) sticks in a sealable plastic bag
32 craft sticks in a sealable plastic bag
Watch with second hand
Recording chart (Appendix B)
Graph paper
3. Divide the class into groups of four students. Ask students to think of ways that
people use wood. Explain that all of these reasons lead to a demand for trees.

3. For each group, assign the following roles: lumberjack, forest, forest manager,
and timer.
3. Give a bag of 120 craft sticks to each student representing the forest. These
sticks represent the trees in the forest the supply of trees available to the
lumberjack for cutting.
3. Give 32 craft sticks to each student representing the forest manager. These
sticks represent trees that will grow during the game.
3. The lumberjack records the transfer of trees, both those added to the forest
and those cut down, each minute on the recording chart. (Appendix B)
3. Begin the game when the timer gives the signal. After 15 seconds, the timer
tells the forest manager to give the forest one tree. Every 15 seconds for the
rest of the game, the forest manager adds another tree to the forest (that is
four trees every minute). In doing so, the forest manager simulates the
average rate at which trees grow to maturity and become timber reserves in
the real world.
3. Stop at the end of the first minute of the game and let the lumberjack remove
one tree from the forest. The tree represents the amount of wood the world
needs for heating, cooking, and building materials at its present population.
3. Continue the game. At the end of each succeeding minute, the worlds demand
for wood doubles as a result of a growing population. At the end of the second
minute, the lumberjack cuts two trees from the forest. At the end of the third
minute, the lumberjack cuts four trees from the forest; at the end of the fourth
minute, the lumberjack cuts eight trees from the forest; then 16, 32, 64, 128,
and so on.
3. End the game when the wood reserves in the forest can no longer meet the
demands of the lumberjack. At the end of each minute, from 1 to 8, students
should have found the following number of trees available: 123, 125, 125, 121,
109, 81, 21, 0.
3. Discuss the following question in the groups and then as a class:
a. How many minutes did it take for the lumberjack to cut all the trees in the
forest?
b. Was the forest always shrinking? Explain.
c. If the forest manager could develop a tree that grows at a rate of one tree
per second, would tree growth keep up with timber demand? Why not?
d. What could be done to prevent the demise of the forest?
Advanced group(s):
13. Use Chart paper to graph results or alternately use the computer.
13. Suggest tweaks to the supply and demand, and run the simulation several
times until you arrive at method for sustainable management.
**While the rest of the students are working on their graphs gather a group
of students that are having difficulties understanding and explain the
lesson using direct instruction.
RAFT activity

Individually or in pairs (using previous groupings)


1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

7.

Orally explain how the RAFT assignment works and check


for understanding. (Appendix C)
Model to students how the activities should be done.
Refer students to anchor charts and give students a
summary chart with the key concepts and definitions.
Refer students to extra research materials to use as needed
(non-Fiction books, CD-ROMS, internet resources).
Project on the screen the R.A.F.T table (Appendix C) and
read aloud to the students.
Co-create success criteria for the RAFT assignment and
project them on the overhead projector as a check-list. (Success criteria
should reflect the learning goals for this lesson- Example: Appendix D)
Students are allowed to come up with their own role
provided they get approval from the teacher.

Consolidation: Guiding questions, revisiting/highlighting big


ideas, identifying misconceptions, reflecting on learning

Time Allocation: 40 minutes

-Students present their RAFT assignment


-Students self assess and peer assess using co-created success criteria.
Guiding questions:
- Does the use of trees for wood always have a negative impact on environment? Do
the benefits of wood outweigh the costs to the environment?
- Is it possible to restore land that has been negatively impacted by deforestation?

APPENDIX A
Jigsaw Discussion Questions
How could the Once-ler
have managed his company
to protect natural resources
and not run out of trees to
manufacture Thneeds? Is
it necessary to protect all
trees from axes that
hack?

The Once-ler explains his


actions by saying, If I
didnt do it, someone else
would. Is this a good
excuse for doing what he
did?

What did the Once-ler mean


by UNLESS? What
responsibility does he seem
to think someone like you
needs to take? What kinds

The Lorax says he speaks


for the trees. What does
this mean to you? What is
the Loraxs attitude at the
end of the story?

of things can we do today


to ensure that trees will be
available for all different
purposes in the future?
Compare the Once-lers
attitude toward the
environment at the
beginning of the story with
his attitude at the end.

APPENDIX B
TREES
Minut
es

1
2
3
4

Number
Numbe Numbe Numbe
of trees
r of
r of
r of
at
new
trees trees at
beginning trees
cut
the end
of minute
120

+4

-1

123

5
6
7
8

APPENDIX C

R.A.F.T Activity
ROLE
Cartoonist

AUDIENCE
Children

FORMAT
Comic

Barbaloot

Lorax

Real Estate agent

Forest
animals
Teenagers

Complaint
letter
Diorama

Actor/actress

Public
service
announceme
nt

TOPIC
Reduce, Reuse,
Recycle
Why I want to
move out.
Ill show you your
perfect home
Do you really need
that thnead

Appendix D

R.A.F.T. Activity Checklist


Demonstrate the negative impact of
long-term human use of resources on
natural habitats.
Present the perspective of the chosen
role effectively.
Presents ways in which humans can
make a positive change to the
environment.

Suggest ways in which humans can


effectively manage their use of natural
resources without negatively impacting
natural habitats, such as forests.
(Advanced students)