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Name: Nicole Lockhart & Melinda Laari

Cohort: B1

Lesson Plan
Lesson Title: Exploring Biodiversity at Your School
Subject/Strand: Understanding Life Systems

Grade: 6

Date: ___________

Unit: Biodiversity Location: In classroom/ Outside

Time: 50 Minutes
Lesson Plan Description

(What are you teaching? How does it fit into the context of the unit? What are the big
ideas/essential/enduring understandings?)

Todays lesson is Exploring Biodiversity at Your School where students will be activating their prior knowledge regarding
biodiversity. Students will be learning about biodiversity in their school yard through observation. As a class we will be
going outside and using either string or a hula hoop to place down creating a sample area for students. They will then look at
different plants and animals in that area and record their findings in the graphic organizer provided. Students will only collect
samples that used to be living, for example, leaves that have fallen off of a nearby tree or grass clippings. They are not to
disturb living plants, animals or bugs. Once they have looked at their sample area, they will then compare the different plants
and animals in the area with that of another group. Come back into the class and discuss what students have found.
Ontario Curricular Overall Expectations

(numbers from documents and details)

2. Investigate the characteristics of living things, and classify diverse organisms according to specific characteristics .
Ontario Curricular Specific Expectations

(numbers from documents and details) selected & listed from the Ont.
Curriculum, refined when necessary, has verbs that are observable & measureable, has realistic number of expectations (1 to 3), have
expectations that match assessment

2.1 Follow established safety procedures for outdoor activities and field work (i.e., stay with a partner when exploring
habitats; wash hands after exploring a habitat)
2.3 Use scientific inquiry/research skills (see page 15) to compare the characteristics of organisms within the plant or animal
kingdoms (e.g., compare the characteristics of a fish and a mammal of coniferous and deciduous trees, of ferns and flowering
2.4 Use appropriate science and technology vocabulary, including classification, biodiversity, natural community, and
interrelationships, vertebrate, invertebrate, stability, characteristics, and organism, in oral and written communication.
Learning Goals

Discuss with students: What will I be learning today? (clearly identify what students are expected to know
and be able to do, in language that students can readily understand.)

Today I will learn

To follow established safety procedures.
To use scientific inquiry and research skills.
To compare specific characteristics between animals.
Success Criteria

Discuss with students: How will I know I have learned what I need to learn? (Clearly identify the criteria
to assess students learning, as well as what evidence of learning students will provide to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and
thinking, in language that students can readily understand).

I can: Follow safety procedures.

I can: Use the correct scientific terms and research skills to find information about animals.
I can: Explain the different characteristics of animals.


How will I know students have learned what I intended?

Achievement Chart Categories (highlight/circle the ones that apply):

Knowledge and Understanding;
Assessment For, As, Of Learning (Circle One) (Describe way(s) you and/or your students will assess.)

Lakehead University Orillia, 09 02 15

Assessment Mode
Written, Oral, Performance
(Write, Say, Do)

Assessment mode will be

written within the graphic
organizer that students will
be provided with when
they go outside.

Assessment Strategy and Task

for Students- What are the students

Assessment Tool - Instrument used to

assess task and record learning e.g.,

doing to show their learning? e.g. turn and

talk, role play/individual, cooperative, etc.

rubric, checklist, observation sheet, turn/talk, role play


Students will be completing a graphic

organizer to provide evidence of their
learning while they are outside looking at
their sample area.

The assessment tool being used is a check list to

ensure that students have met all of the required
parts. During the action part, while students are
outside, the teacher will be observing the students
and taking notes on how well they are doing, if
they are staying on task and working well as a
group. Are they discussing what they should be
relating to the assignment?


Prior Learning: Prior to this lesson, students will have
Students will have an understanding of how plants and animals are interdependent and adapt to meet their needs.
Students will have an understanding of how society relies on plants.
Students will understand that plants have distinct characteristics, similarities and differences.
Everyone can work together to create graphic organizer, so that everyone is observing and recording the same
Differentiation: Content, Process, Product, Environment, Assessment/Accommodations, Modifications
If a student is unable to go outside, they could be placed in a group of three students. Therefore, they could research in
the library or in class about animals and plants within the community.
If they are unable to write, they could draw pictures for in their graphic organizers.
For bad weather, students will have the chance to do a little background research about organisms they believe to be
apart of their school yard.
In case of bad weather, we could also switch the next lesson with this one and come back to it next day when it is
hopefully nicer outside.
Learning Skills/Work Habits

Highlight/circle ones that are assessed:





(for word wall and/or to develop schema)



independent work,

Natural community

Resources and Materials /Technology Integration

List ALL items necessary for delivery of the lesson. Include any
attachments of student worksheets used and teacher support material that will support communication of instruction. Include the use
of Information Technology (ICT) in your lesson plan where appropriate.

String (or use a hula hoop).

Ziploc bags (for sample collection).
Graphic organizer.
Pencil and eraser.
Extra paper.
Chart paper.

Lakehead University Orillia, 09 02 15

Learning Environment

(grouping; transitions; physical set up)

Groups of 2-3 students.

Outside on school grounds.

Cross Curricular Links

Language Arts- writing strand.

Three Part Lesson

Identify what the students are expected to think about or do. Write the lesson description with
enough detail that another teacher could replicate the lesson without a personal discussion.
What Teachers Do:
What Students do:
Minds on: Motivational Hook/engagement /Introduction (5-15 min)
Establish a positive learning environment, connect to prior learning, set the context for learning, pre-determine key questions to guide

Time: 5-15 minutes

Today we are going to begin talking about biodiversity
with regards to plants and animals within our
community. First we need to review the safety policies
and procedures before going out on the school property.
Does anyone remember the policies and procedures?

Stay where the teacher can see you

Do not leave the school grounds for any reason

*Go over the safety procedures with students and rules

for being outside*
What are some common plants and animals that are
found in our community?
Together as a class we are going to begin a KLEWS
chart. What do you already know about biodiversity,
plants and animals?
Now what would you like to learn? Is there something
in particular that interests you about this topic?

Trees, Squirrel, Birds, Bugs

They require the sun, They are living things

I would like to know what animals do in their

natural habitat

Action: During /Working on it (time given for each component, suggested 15-40 min)
Introduce new learning or extend/reinforce prior learning, provide opportunities for practice & application of learning.

Time: 30-40 minutes

We are going to go out to the school yard and find a
sample area that you and your group members would
like to focus on. You will be using the piece of string as
a boundary.
In your groups of 2 or 3, please pick an area and take
samples of any plants that may be there, or pieces of
nature. For example: leaves, grass, any weeds, plants,
bugs, etc. These samples used to be living. You are
not to pick leaves off of a tree or grass out of the
ground. They should be samples of leaves that have
come off of the tree or grass clippings. Do not
Lakehead University Orillia, 09 02 15

damage living plants

Using your graphic organizer name 3-5 specific parts
of interest within your sample areas. i.e., a rotting
branch, spider, leaves and bugs. Draw what your sample
area looks like on the back of the paper. Also, provide a
quick sketch of what your organism looks like in the
Watch for any animals in the area that you may see that
goes by your sample area. You can also name a few
possible animals you think will pass by the sample area,
even though you did not see any at the time. If you do
not see enough samples, think about what you may see
in the area or another area close by
Take students outside and provide them with the time to
complete their graphic organizer of their sample area.
(30-40 minutes)

Students will be going outside in their groups and

collecting information about their sample area.

Consolidation & Connection (Reflect and Connect) (5-15 min.)

Help students demonstrate what they have learned, provide opportunities for consolidation and reflection.

Time: 5-15 minutes

Bring students back into the classroom
With another group, please discuss what you have
found and compare your sample area with theirs.
Now, as a class we are going to come together and
discuss what we found. Are there any similarities and
differences you noticed.
What are some other things that we may find if we
were to go to a forest as opposed to the school ground?

We both had little bugs crawling in the grass

There were a number of leaves on the ground
More animals, Animal tracks
More trees and weeds

What have we learned so far? Is there anything else

that we would like to still learn that we did not talk
about yet?
Extension Activities/Next Steps (where will this lesson lead to next)

After this lesson, it may lead to:

Research animals and plants recorded in the graphic organizer from todays lesson.
View plant samples, from school grounds, under microscope.
Observe animals in different habitats:
Discuss more about classification: kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species.
Related to seasonal changes and we can do this activity throughout the year during
another season to compare.
Personal Reflection (what went well, what would I change, what will I have to consider in my next lesson for this subject/topic)
The Lesson:
The Teacher:

Lakehead University Orillia, 09 02 15

Exploring Biodiversity at School

Name(s): _____________________________
Observation Area: ____________________________

Date: __________________

Use the graphic organizer below to record living things you find in your area.
Name of

Description of
the Organism

Draw a sketch
(and pick up
sample if

Other Notes:


* Please remember to stay with your partner in the designated area

* Only collect samples that are appropriate to bring back, no live bugs please.

Lakehead University Orillia, 09 02 15

* Please wash your hands when we are done.

Exploring Biodiversity at School

Name(s): _____________________________

Date: __________________

The possible name of the organism is listed
Student(s) provided a description of the organism they found?
If possible, theres a sample provided?
Sample not possible
Students(s) provided a sketch of the organism?
The other notes are relevant to the topic?
A further research question is provided?

Learning Skills and Work Habits:

Students stayed together and in the designated area
The graphic organizer is neat and presentable
Group Collaboration
Students worked well together as a group

Lakehead University Orillia, 09 02 15

The group stay focused and on task

Lakehead University Orillia, 09 02 15