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Year 2 Science Unit:

Living Things


General Capabilities Ethical behaviour
Literacy  Consider animal ethics when caring for the class
 Record observations, labelling diagrams, create a pets
story, learning new words Personal and social capability
Numeracy  Care for the class pets, communicate and
 Count data, interpret data collaborate with peers

ICT capability Intercultural understanding

 Appreciate how people from different cultures
 Use digital photography, use of laptops
have different features
Critical and creative thinking Cross-curriculum Priorities
 Use thinking skills, create a story Sustainability
 Explore connections between all living things

The unit aims to have the students explore a variety of living things and the ways that they grow and change over
their life spans. Students need to understand that although a developmental pattern is predictable, each living
thing has a somewhat unique sequence of life stages. They can therefore gain appreciation for the diversity
amongst all the living things that surround them (Primary Connections; Watch it Grow, 2007).

The unit has been formed for conceptual development using the 5E framework approach, following the
sequence of engage, explore, explain, elaborate and evaluate (Hoskins, 2013). Each phase contributes to
developing students with better attitudes, skills, and scientific and technical knowledge (Skamp 2015, p. 204).
The unit incorporates a variety of learning experiences scaffolded by the teacher, exploring the concept of living
things and the changes they go through as they grow. Students are encouraged to work collaboratively and
construct explanations for the scientific concepts together, surrounding the common experiences they are
provided during class (Skamp 2015, p. 204).

Learning Focus and Strands:

Science Understanding- Science Inquiry- Science as a Human Endeavour-
Living things grow, change and  Respond to and pose questions, and SCIENCE
have offspring similar to make predictions about familiar objects Science involves observing,
themselves ACSSU030 and events (ACSIS037) asking questions about, and
describing changes in, objects
and events ACSHE034
 Participate in different types of guided
investigations to explore and answer
questions ACSIS038
 Use a range of methods to sort
information, including drawings and
provided tables ACSIS040
 Compare observations with those of
others ACSIS041

Elaborations- Elaborations- Elaborations-

 Representing personal QUESTIONING AND PREDICTING  Describing everyday
growth and changes  using the senses to explore the events and experiences
from birth local environment to pose and changes in our
 Recognising that living interesting questions, make environment using
things have predictable inferences and predictions knowledge of science
characteristics at PLANNING AND CONDUCTING
different stages of
development  sorting objects and events based
on easily identified characteristics
 sorting information in provided
tables or graphic organisers
 discussing observations with other
students to see similarities and
differences in results

Achievement Standard- Achievement Standard- Achievement Standard-

Students pose and respond to questions Students describe changes to
Students describe changes to about their experiences and predict objects, materials and living
objects, materials and living outcomes of investigations. They use things.
things. informal measurements to make and
compare observations. They record and Students pose and respond to
represent observations and communicate questions about their
ideas in a variety of ways. experiences and predict
outcomes of investigations.

Assessment of Student Learning

1. What SCIENCE UNDERSTANDING(s) do I want the students to know, or to understand?
At the completion of the unit the students will be expected to know and describe changes that occur to living
things. I aim for students to have an understanding of the different changes that occur to a variety of living
things, with a more in depth understanding of humans and tadpoles. They will be expected to understand that
even though all growth and life cycles are predictable each living thing will still have individualised, unique
sequence of life stages due to numerous factors (including diet).

2. What SCIENCE INQUIRY SKILLS do I want the students to have?

The students will be made to develop all science inquiry skills. Students will be constantly encouraged to
question throughout all phases. They are expected to actively participate in each activity where they will develop
ways to predict, process, analyse and evaluate information and data.

3. What concepts about SCIENCE AS A HUMAN ENDEAVOUR do I want the students to demonstrate
understanding about?
It is expected that the students will demonstrate an understanding of why life and growth are related to science.
They will understand that observation and experiences contribute majorly to our understandings in science.
Furthermore, that having good science knowledge (particularly about growth and life cycles) contributes to a
better understanding of our life, experiences and the life surrounding us.

4. WHEN and HOW will I gather and record this information?

The students’ progress will be observed throughout the entire unit. Students’ understanding will be formatively
assessed in the ‘How have I grown?’ activity, with feedback provided to them in their books. The feedback will
work towards confirming that they are understanding or clarifying any of their misconceptions. Summative
assessment will be completed during the elaborate and evaluate stages. Using a reflection video created about
the investigation and a story created about the frog’s life cycle.

Evaluation of the Unit

1. How well did I provide the students with a variety of living things growth and changes? Was the variety
too wide for the students to gain an in depth understanding?

2. Did the students have enough opportunity to develop their science inquiry skills? How was this
apparent? Were the assessment pieces a true representation of the students’ learning throughout the
whole unit?


Links to Learning Activity Resources

Prior Knowledge Activity

What is a Living Thing?
The activity:
 Hand out the worksheet (Appendix 1), one per student.
 The worksheet asks students to ‘draw something living’ and
continuing from this it asks, ‘What makes it living?’, ‘What -Worksheet
do you think will happen as it gets older?’ and ‘Draw its -Pencils
S(U) parents’.
Living things grow,  If time allows, take the students outside, they can choose to
change and have find and draw something living from around the school yard
offspring similar to  Allow students to complete the sheet individually so each
themselves ACSSU030 students’ individual prior knowledge of the topic can be
 Recognising acquired.
that living  Walk around the class, talking to each student to gather
things have additional knowledge of their understanding of the topic.
predictable  Collect all students’ worksheets and use the student data to
characteristics further plan the unit.
at different
stages of This activity was chosen because:
development  It is an easy and time efficient way of determining students’
prior knowledge
 The open-ended questions allow the students to show the
S(HE) breadth and depth of their understanding surrounding the
Science involves topic
observing, asking  If introduced enthusiastically, particularly using the
questions about, and exploratory approach, it can elicit student interest in the
describing changes in, unit to come (Hewson, 2003)
objects and events
ACSHE034 The findings from the activity were:

The following conclusions were formed:

 Neither students showed any misconception about living
 Both students showed understanding that plants were living
things (Clara through conversation with teacher)
 Students could elaborate more on their knowledge if given
the opportunity

The implications of the PK activity are that the unit will:

 Cover a variety of living things (Humans, animals, insects,
 Include animals of interest (pets, classroom pets/insects,
plants in the school)
 Have focus on different, unusual developmental patterns
and growth
 Explore different life stages, including death.
Plant the Word Wall Climber
-Writing  Introduce the class to the new word wall (which will be -Paper (Green,
-Learning new words shaped as a plant, with the words written on leaves, it will yellow, orange)
grow larger throughout the unit as more words on leaves cut into leaf
are added) shapes
 Allow students to brainstorm some words in their table -Blue tac
groups, giving them 3 leaves to fill in as a group – one word -Pot plant (real
per leaf or cut out of
 Attach the leaves to the wall with the students’ help, paper)
discussing each word, ‘What does it mean?’ ‘Why does this -Paper/ribbon
word belong on our word wall plant?’ ‘How will we use this or other craft
word during this unit?’ item to create
 Allow students to fill in blank leaves (kept on teacher’s desk) the plant
and attach to the plant throughout the unit

Links to Learning Activity Resources

Let’s go Searching!
Living things grow,  Prompt discussion surrounding ‘What living things are in the -iPads/ cameras
change and have school yard?’ -Paper/ books
offspring similar to  Guide students to begin talking about the growth and the to record in
themselves ACSSU030 changes these living things may go through -Pencils
 Recognising  Explain the task of searching for these living things in the
that living school yard with focus on looking for similar living things at
things have different stages of their lives, provide an example
predictable  Discuss the possible ways to record the findings eg. Photos,
characteristics drawings, writing observation notes in a table
at different  Form small groups of 3-5 students
stages of  Explore the school grounds recording results
development - Could include eggs/birds, plantlings/plants/trees,
caterpillars/butterflies/moths, slaters, spiders
S(I)  Share results as a class, students can compare their images
and discuss the similarities and differences between each
living thing
CONDUCTING  Introduce the class animals; TADPOLES -Tadpoles
PROCESSING AND -have between 5-15 tadpoles to allow students to see the -Tank set ups
ANALYSING DATA AND differences that occur between the same species (Skamp, -Food (fish
INFORMATION 2015, p. 245) food/prepared
EVALUATING -Have tadpoles that are larger and therefore closer to vegetables)
turning into froglets; takes around 6 weeks (RSPCA, 2016)
S(HE) -Divide the tadpoles equally between two tanks -Care
Science involves -Label the tanks ‘Fish food’ and ‘Vegetables’ instructions
observing, asking  Describe how each student will keep a journal of the -Journals
questions about, and tadpoles’ growth -iPads for
describing changes in,  Explain the two different conditions photos
objects and events  As a class, students fill in their ‘investigation planner’ which Tadpole books;
ACSHE034 will be stuck in the front of their journal (Appendix 2) -999 Tadpoles
 Students will make their journal entries every morning by Ken Kimura
 Read a book about a tadpole; this can link in to the literacy -From tadpole
block to frog by
 Allow each student to record in their preferred way, Wendy Pfeffer
choosing from the different recording methods used -Tadpole’s
Maths/Numeracy previously Promise by
-counting when  Allow different students to feed the tadpoles each day Jeanne Willis
observing (create a feeding schedule)

How have I Grown?

S(U)  Ask students to bring in a baby photo of themselves a week
Living things grow, before the lesson, with reminders each day (if they do not
change and have have one, they may use a sibling, friend or the teacher’s).
offspring similar to  Using mirrors students will compare what they look like now
-Baby photos
themselves ACSSU030 to what they looked like as a baby
 Representing  Students draw a picture of themselves noting similarities -Worksheet
personal and differences on the worksheet (Appendix 3) -adapted from
growth and  To extend themselves, students can predict what they may Primary
changes from look like in the future noting the similarities and differences Connections
birth in their science exercise books ‘Watch it Grow’
 Discuss the different changes that have occurred as the
students have grown Formative
 Discuss the was that the students have remained the same assessment
If time permits; provided for
 As a class the students will the help to predict how the children to see
teacher will look 50 years their progress
 Make a list of what will change and what will remain the
 Create a drawing of the ‘old’ teacher as a class, working as a
Following the exploratory activities students may have questions that they hope to have answered in the
following phases. Predicting these possible questions will help to form sequential activities, much like the prior
knowledge activity (Hoskins, 2013).
Some possible questions students may ask are:
 Questions specific to certain living things; ‘How does a butterfly change over their life?’
 ‘Why do different animals grow in different ways?’
Links to Learning Activity Resources

Order my life
 Present students with images of different living things at -Multiple sets of
S(I) different stages of lives eg. Butterfly, bird, frog, bird, dog, images
QUESTIONING AND ladybird, apple tree, pumpkin & human.
PREDICTING - One set of all images per table group (3-5 students)
- Include/substitute in pictures that the students took in
PLANNING AND the Explore – ‘Let’s go searching activity’
CONDUCTING - Include any living things the students may have shown
interest in through their questions or PK activity
- Images should be labelled to introduce new words such
PROCESSING AND as maggots or cocoon
ANALYSING DATA AND  Allow students time to discuss and collaboratively place
INFORMATION each of the life cycles in what they think is the correct order
 Support and encourage student discussion in each group
EVALUATING - Use prompts such as ‘Where have you seen this?’, ‘Why
do you think this belongs there?’, ‘How do you think this
changes into that?’
S(U)  As a whole class sort the life cycles discussing each of the
Living things grow, changes that occur
change and have  Introduce the concept of a life cycle
offspring similar to
 Ensure the students understand that not all living things
themselves ACSSU030
make it the whole way through the lifecycle (Skamp, 2015,
 Recognising p. 245)
that living - Use frogs as an example, ‘of the 50 eggs that the mother
things have frog had, only 20 hatched. What could have happened
predictable to the others?’
 Clarify any misconceptions that were shown by students
at different
during the activity
stages of
- Through further discussion, or use of a story book or
YouTube video
 Display the correct orders (linear or in life cycle format) in
the classroom for the remainder of the unit

 Allocate each group an animal/living thing
 Allow 5 minutes for students to work out the actions they
want to use
 Provide any assistance where needed
 Have children seated on the floor
 Each group has a chance to act out their life cycle
 The other students will guess what living thing it is and name
each of the stages of growth
Links to Learning Activity Resources

S(I)  When the tadpoles were introduced students created -Student
predictions on what would happen to the tadpoles if they journals
are fed different foods? -iPads
PROCESSING AND  Allow students to look through their journals to reflect on -iMovie app
ANALYSING DATA AND their observations (Pennington, 2008) -Whiteboard or
 Ask students how we could sort our data, ‘What different smartboard
EVALUATING  Collaboratively create a table for the data on the board with
the students (somewhat like appendix 4)
 Fill in the first row as a class for an example
 Allow students to attempt to recreate and fill in the rest of
Science involves
the table in their journal
observing, asking
 Each student then individually forms their own conclusion
questions about, and
 Prompt students through questioning, ‘why do you think
describing changes in,
these were the results?’
objects and events
ACSHE034  Using iPads all students will record themselves explaining
the investigation, the results that were found and their
 Write the points needed in the videos on the board for
student reference
 The students can understand that although all of the
tadpoles are the same and will eventually all become frogs,
their life cycles are not all in sync due to many factors, one
being the food they consume

Links to Learning Activity Resources
-Creative writing Create a story
-Can link in to the English
unit at the time -Pencils, textas,
 Students will create a short story about a tadpole’s life
S(U)  In the story they must show the tadpole at its different life
Recognising that living stages up to death
things have predictable  They must also include at least one other living thing,
characteristics at -Laptops
showing changes that occur to both
different stages of -Task sheet
 Give students a criteria sheet to follow (Appendix 5)
development (Appendix 5)
 Students will be given a laptop to write their story with -Contributes to
 Once their story is complete they will print it and can then the summative
add some drawings/ decorations assessment
(Appendix 6)
Teacher Resources/Reference List

Australian Academy of Science Education 2007, Primary Connections: Curriculum Corporation of Australia, Watch
it Grow, Canberra. www.primaryscience.com.au

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA}] 2017, The Australian Curriculum;
foundation to year 10; Science

Hewson, MG & Hewson, PW 2003, 'Effect of Instruction Using Students' Prior Knowledge and Conceptual Change
Strategies on Science Learning', Journal of Research in Science Teaching, vol. 40, pp. S86-S98.

Hoskins, P 2013, 'Maximising Students' Progress and Engagement in Science through the Use of the Biological
Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) 5E Instructional Model', School Science Review, vol. 94, no. 349, pp. 117-126.

Pennington, B (2008) Life and Living, Ages 8–10: Hands-on Science Experiments for the Classroom, MacMillan
Education Australia

Queensland Studies Authority, 2012, Good to grow. https://www.qcaa.qld.edu.au/p-10/aciq/p-10-


RSPCA, 2016, Taking care of tadpoles, http://kb.rspca.org.au/how-do-i-take-care-of-tadpoles_42.html

Skamp, K 2015, Teaching primary science constructively, 5th edition, Cengage Learning Australia Pty. Ltd.,
Prior Knowledge Worksheet
Investigation sheet
Our Investigation:
What will happen to the growth of our tadpoles when we
feed them different foods?

We will change:

We will observe:

We will keep the


I predict that:

My observations:
DAY 1:
Fish Food Tadpoles Vegetable Tadpoles
How have I grown activity


This is me as a baby: This is me now:

Data table

Number of days
Tadpole with
back legs
Tadpole with
all legs
Total number of tadpoles that turned into frogs:


My conclusion is….
Task sheet

Dear Author,
I would love for you to write a story about me.
The story should;
 Show my whole life cycle (from egg to death).
 Give me 1 or more friends who are not tadpoles
(choose another living thing we have explored).
 Show my friend/s growing and changing too.
 Use some of the language we have discovered on
our word wall.
 Could also add criteria linking into the
literacy topic at the time.
Yours Sincerely, Tadpole.
Summative Assessment Rubric
Tad more Developing Frogtastic

Record some Record most Record observations

Recording observations with observations with at every day possible
Observations little detail some detail with great detail

Form well informed

Forms conclusions
Forming Form conclusions and detailed
with teacher’s
Conclusions presented confidently conclusions
presented confidently
Story incorporates 2 Story incorporates 2+
Story incorporates different life cycles different life cycles in
Life Cycle life cycles which lack showing an great depth showing
Understanding life stages or are understanding of the an understanding of
muddled up different stages of the different stages
growth of growth
Story is plentiful (>10
Story lacks (<5 words) Story uses some (5-10
words) with language
Using Language language from the words) language from
from the unit/ word
unit/ word wall the unit/ word wall