K.4.1.1 Structure & Function

Grade: 
K
Subject:
Science
Strand:
Life Science
Substrand:
Structure and Function in Living Systems
Standard K.4.1.1

Living things are diverse with many different observable characteristics.

Benchmark: K.4.1.1.1 Comparing Plants & Animals

Observe and compare plants and animals.

Benchmark: K.4.1.1.2 External Parts of Organism

Identify the external parts of a variety of plants and animals including humans.

For example: Heads, legs, eyes and ears on humans and animals; flowers, stems and roots on many plants.

Benchmark: K.4.1.1.3 Comparing Living & Nonliving

Differentiate between living and nonliving things.

For example: Sort organisms and objects (or pictures of these) into groups of those that grow, reproduce, and need air, food, and water; and those that don't.

Overview

Standard in Lay Terms 

Students will understand the definition of living. Living things have many things that are the same and different about them. Students will observe different plants and animals, identify external parts and compare/contrast how they are alike and different.  Name the outside parts of a plant, animal and a human.

Big Ideas and Essential Understandings 

Big Idea:

  • Children need to understand the definition of living and what makes something alive. Some animals and plants are alike in the way they look and in the things they do. Other plants and animals are very different from one another.

Atlas of Science Literacy p. 31

  • General similarities and differences among organisms are easily observed. Children can focus on any attribute - size, color, limbs, fins or wings.

Benchmarks for Science Literacy

  • Living things have many things that are the same and different about them. Name the outside parts of a plant, animal and person.
Benchmark Cluster 

MN Standard Benchmarks:

  • Observe and compare plants and animals. (K.4.1.1.1)
  • Identify the external parts of a variety of plants and animals including humans. (K.4.1.1.2)
  • Differentiate between living and non-living things. (K.4.1.1.3)
Correlations 
  • NSES Standards:

Each plant or animal has different structures that serve different functions in growth, survival, and reproduction. For example, humans have distinct body structures for walking, holding, seeing, and talking. NSES, p.129

  • AAAS Atlas:

Some animals and plants are alike in the way they look and in the things they do. Other plants and animals are very different from one another.AAAS Atlas Chapt. 5

  • Benchmarks of Science Literacy:

Living things are found almost everywhere in the world.  There are somewhat different kinds in different places.( p. 116)

Some animals and plants are alike in the way they look and in the things they do, and others are very different from one another.(p. 102)

Benchmark page 116 and 102

  • Framework for K-12 Science Education

All organisms  have external  parts.  Different  animals  use their body parts  in different  ways to see, hear, grasp objects, protect  themselves, move from place to place, and seek, find, and take in food, water  and air. Plants also have different  parts  (roots,  stems, leaves, flowers,  fruits) that  help them survive, grow, and produce  more plants. 2LS1.A

Animals have body parts  that  capture  and convey different kinds of information needed for growth  and survival—for  example,  eyes for light, ears for sounds,  and skin for temperature or touch.  Animals respond  to these inputs with behaviors  that  help them survive (e.g., find food, run from a predator). Plants also respond  to some external  inputs  (e.g., turn  leaves toward the sun). 2LS1.D

  • Common Core Standards (i.e. connections with Math, Social Studies or Language Arts Standards):
    • Math Standard K.3.1.2- Sort objects using characteristics such as shape, size, color and thickness. Sorting plants and animals into groups according to shape, size, color , number of legs, etc.
    • Language Arts Standard: Comparing/contrasting:  0.1.9.9 Version:1.0 With prompting and support, compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in familiar stories.

Misconceptions

Student Misconceptions 

Young children do not recognize trees as living although they understand that seedlings are alive. Plants, fungi, eggs and seeds are not living ( Berthelsen, B. (1999). Students Naïve Conceptions in Life Science.   MSTA Journal, 44(1) (Spring'99), pp. 13-19.  Source

Young children often believe that if an object moves it is alive.

(Driver, R., Squires, A., Rushworth, P., & Wood-Robinson, V. (1994). Making Sense of Secondary Science. New York: Routledge, Chapter 5.)

A video:

Ernie's Snowman:  Sesame Street character, Ernie believes his snowman is alive.  His friend, Bert, helps Ernie to understand that his snowman is not alive.

Ernie's Snowman

Vignette

The classroom teacher begins the class by telling the kids she is wondering about something..."How do I know if something is alive?"  The teacher can show pictures of a car, wind, tree, etc.  and asking these questions;  Do you think a car alive? Why/why not? How about the wind?  Is that alive? Why/why not?  And a tree? Is a tree alive?  Why/why not? What makes something living or alive? How do you know it is living? What characteristics or things you observe make it living?  What do you notice that makes it living?  The teachers asks the kids if they will help her discover the answer to her question, "What makes something alive?"( of course they will answer YES!) The teacher could ask what they think they should next to answer question. ( You may very surprised at what ideas they give-go with it!)  But next the teacher shows the students various living and nonliving things like: toy car, plant, cup of water, etc. The teacher asks what the students notice or observe about each item. "What is the same/different? Does it move? Does it make a sound? etc. Do you have any ideas on what it means to be living and nonliving?" The teacher will introduce a living things/nonliving things word wall chart and will begin the living things/nonliving things word wall chart by writing down what the students observe/know about living and nonliving things.  Then show the video "Is It Alive?"  The teacher will tell students to watch and think about whether they believe each thing is alive or not alive and why. When the video is finished the teacher will discuss with the students what they believe the characteristics of living things are.   Let them provide examples and talk about what they saw on the video.  Then take a walk around the classroom, school or play-yard and have students name living and nonliving things and tell why.

Adapted from: Bright Hub

After the teacher begins the unit with the living things/nonliving things word wall chart s/he will place a nonliving stuffed toy in a safe place, like a cardboard box with some food and water. The teacher will have the students observe if it moves, eats or drinks. Have them draw a picture in a science journal or other writing page and indicate their observations. *Note- you may have to refill the water only due to evaporation. The teacher will follow the same procedure for a living thing.  The students will continue to observe and draw their observations of these animals for the week. After one week, the students will review their journals/sheets and discuss the differences between the live animal and the stuffed animal. The teacher will ask the students what they notice about each of the animals and s/he can point out that you would expect that the nonliving thing did not move, eat or drink because it is not alive. The teacher will chart the similarities and differences on a Venn Diagram and post in the science center or other area.

Resources

Instructional Notes 

Instructional suggestions/options:

The teacher should provide multiple hands on activities with as many different items of both living and nonliving things that move. Together group items over and over again using the definition of living and giving reasons or proof of why the item is living or nonliving Then have children sort items into living and nonliving and give reasons or proof.

Teaching Science: Topics  to teach to Kindergartners:

Teaching Science to Kindergartners                                    

Physical science - the study of non-living things

Kids love to sort piles of objects, take things apart, and make collections of things. As students play, observe, and classify things they begin to identify the properties of these objects and think about their similarities and differences and how each one may be used. Winter is a great time to for teaching kindergarten science lessons involving water and ice.

Students will be able to:

  • describe properties of materials, color, shape, texture, size, and weight
  • identify materials that make up familiar objects
  • describe ways to rethink, reuse, reduce, refuse, and recycle
  • tell the difference between solids, liquids, and gases
  • identify common types of forces (magnetism, gravity..)
  • use a variety of objects to describe motion and changes in motion
  • describe the properties of a variety of common objects
  • identify a variety of changes that cannot be reversed (popped popcorn)
  • recognize changes in properties of matter when water is added
  • recognize changes in properties of matter when it is heated or cooled
  • describe how objects can change over time
  • Life Sciences - characteristics of living things

Insects are part of the children's immediate surroundings, and studying them allows kids to observe characteristics of animals and offers lots of material for data collection, recording sheets, poster displays and more.

Whether learning the names of trees, planting seeds, or making a leaf collection, children have opportunities to count, measure, classify, compare and extend their vocabulary. Local parks often have great programs to help teachers and parents learn how to involve children in the outdoors.

Students will be able to:

  • describe characteristics of some local plants and animals e.g. color, shape, size, texture
  • compare local plants and animals
  • learn what plants and animals need to stay healthy
  • compare the life cycle of an animal hatched from an egg with one born from the mother
  • describe the appearance and behavior of a variety of animals
  • identify similarities and differences among animal species
  • Living creatures in the classroom

When teaching science, include teaching children how to respect and treat living creatures when studying them. Tapping on bug bottles, shaking the container, leaving living things in the hot sun should all be discouraged.  Teach the "Four Ls":  Look at them, learn about them, let them go (after an hour or two), then leave them alone.

Teachers Domain: Lesson Plan for living and non-living things

Summary: Living and Non-Living Lesson

Living and Nonliving is actually five activities in one inquiry. In How Do I Observe My World?, students use their senses to record and collect data. In How Do I Classify Things in My World?, students practice classifying objects as living or nonliving. In Is it Real Or Pretend?, students group objects as real or pretend. In What is Living?, students discover the needs of living things. In What Is Living Outdoors?, students compare indoor and outdoor discoveries. The Family Page extends this learning to the community by inviting parents and students to classify living and nonliving things at home.

What science skills should children learn?     Used from:  Science skills

When teaching science lessons the following skills include opportunities for your students to practice the skills of observation, collecting, and communicating. The skills are the framework for teaching the topics of life, physical, and earth and space sciences.

Observation - students are able to:

  • gather information using their five senses
  • know what body part is used to gather specific sensory information
  • describe their observations, I see.. I hear... I can smell...
  • identify, with help, the shape, texture, hardness. etc. of an object
  • relate what they have learned to other areas of learning

Collecting - students are able to:

  • collect information by counting objects, taking part in surveys, measuring, and doing simple experiments
  • use the words never, sometimes, and always to describe the chance of things happening
  • describe their observations, I see.. I hear... I can smell...
  • ask questions about the information they have gathered (data)
  • compare data using measurement terms - bigger, smaller
  • draw a picture of their data using one-to-one correspondence

Communicating - students are able to:

  • talk about their observations using new vocabulary
  • work with others by sharing, listening, and encouraging
  • with help, show their information in a realistic and organized way
  • with help, show their information in different ways -pictures, graphs, with some math and writing
  • share ideas about why the thing they observed happened
  • ask "I wonder how" or "I wonder why" questions

Instructional Pedagogies

Inquiry

Hands on learning

Multisensory Methods

Student to Student Interaction

Discourse and Reflective Thinking

Reading and research

The Scientific Thinking Process( from Foss)

Observing:  using the senses to get information

Communicating:  talking, drawing, acting

Comparing:  pairing, one to one correspondence

Organizing:  grouping, seriating, sequencing

Relating:  cause and effect, classification

Inferring:  superordinate/subordinate classification, if/when reasoning, developing scientific laws

Applying: developing strategic plans, inventing, questioning, critical thinking, inquiry, investigations, hypothesizing, technology, and more are critical for helping students understand and learn the sciences.

Read more at Suite101: 10 Science Teaching Tips for Elementary School

Selected activities:

Benchmark:  0.4.1.1.1:   Observe and compare plants and animals

Foss Animals Two by Two (Foss: Animals Two by Two)  or similar:  Compare and contrast two similar animals and/or plants, eg.  frogs/toads, goldfish/guppies, turtles/tortoises, evergreen tree/deciduous tree, etc

Take time to observe, draw, label, explore and discuss each creature/plant on its own.  What do you see, notice, observe? What are the parts used for? Is it alive? How do you know? What needs do they have that make them living?( Find great plant and animal pictures and information about them at Pictures)

Then compare/contrast using a chart or other diagram.  What makes them the same/different?  Why?

Science is Elementary:  Great lesson plans for plants and animals

Science is Elementary

All For Benchmark : 0.4.1.1.2: Identify the external parts of a variety of plants and animals including humans.

Trees or plant unit:

Observe and label parts of a tree or plant; read a variety of tree/plant books, go on a walk around the school yard, neighborhood and bring in a variety of plants or pictures of plants, draw observations.

What do they need each part for?

Do leaf and bark rubbings of plants/trees. Compare/contrast

Animals 2 by 2 unit ( Foss: Animals Two by Two) or similar animal unit

Observe and label parts of animals; read a variety of nonfiction animal books, go on walk in the school yard or neighborhood to look for animals, insects etc,  visit the zoo or a farm, have animals come to you( zoo mobile, humane society), draw animals and label observations

What do they need each part for?

Human Anatomy unit:

Observe and label parts of a human( life sized traced picture of self or other picture) , read a variety of books on human anatomy,

What do they need each part for?                                         

Make a Life-Sized Body Lesson: Have students lie down on a large sheet of butcher paper. Trace the student. Young students can draw in their features and add clothing. The students can label their body parts or point to them as the teacher asks questions. have a complicated human anatomy chart.

Bingo Lessons:  Bingo is another great way to practice the names of the body parts and their functions. It, too, can be adjusted to any ability level, including ESL students. Very young students can play bingo by matching the picture on their card to the body part called out by their teacher. Dominoes and memory cards can be made with the same images for more practice.

Human Body Jingo is a commercially made game that is a great way to review and practice anatomy. The game has three sets of questions for teachers to use repeatedly or for varying levels of difficulty.

Musical Lessons: Music is one of the best ways to stimulate the brain and help students remember information. Younger students can sing old favorites like "Them Bones" and "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" as well as dozens more.

Read more: Body parts activities

Read more: Lesson Plans About Body Parts

An interactive site that has students label body parts.

Labeling body parts

Benchmark : 0.4.1.1.3 Differentiate between living and non-living things.

Begin with Vignette above

Read a variety of books, videos on living and nonliving things from all around the world (see below) to gain more understanding and build background knowledge (opening up the world through books to build background knowledge, vocabulary and better cultural awareness)

Give students a sheet with pictures and name it "Classifying Living and Nonliving Things" and tell them to put a check in each box that is correct about the objects.  

If students cannot read the information do the checklist as a group.   Discuss their choices and why they think it is living or nonliving

The teacher will have a box of items or pictures with living and nonliving items and slowly show each item or picture.  Ask the children if the item/picture is living or nonliving. Then ask, "How Do You Know?" What characteristics make it living or nonliving?

Then children can classify pictures or objects of living and non-living things.Using pictures  ask, why do you think (correct response/ incorrect response) is alive or not alive?

Nature Walk:  Go on a nature walk in school year, neighborhood, park, nature center etc.  looking for living and nonliving things. Then give each child a notebook and allow the students to draw the pictures of the living and non-living things as they see them. When back in the classroom, list those living and non-living things that the children found and discuss the differences.

A video clip link directly related to the standard.

Is it Alive?

View short video of various pictures and decide if they are living or non-living and why. (0.4.1.1.3)

Read more: Kindergarten Living & Non-Living Science Activities

Teacher's Domain: Living and NonLiving Lesson Plan

Instructional Resources 

Additional resources or links:

Use these resources to integrate the nature and process of science into your teaching.

Teacher's Lounge

Keys to Inquiry

This is a great resource for teachers to gain insight on how students think. 

The Power of Children's Thinking by Karen Worth:Children's Thinking

Science songs for all concepts and topics:Science songs

Books

  • What is a Living Thing by Bobbie D. Kalman allows children see themselves as part of a non-living world of houses, schools and televisions. This intriguing new book explains what a living thing is so that children can make the connection between themselves and other living things, including plants, animals, and insects.
  • What's Alive? by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld explains how to tell the difference between living and nonliving things--an essential first skill in scientific sorting and classifying--is explored with hands-on activities and colorful diagrams.
  • Each Living Thing by Joanne Ryder celebrates the creatures of the earth, from spiders dangling in their webs to owls hooting and hunting out of sight, and asks that we respect and care for them.
  • Living Things by Adrienne Mason offers a number of easy educational experiments for children to do on their own or with very limited adult supervision.
  • Welcome to the River of Grass by Jane Yolen describes a perfect armchair tour through a surprisingly vast array of wildlife in a swampy strip unlike any other place on earth.
  • Every Living Thing by Cynthia Rylant includes twelve stories in which animals change people's lives for the better. ISBN 0689712634
  • Dot and Jabber.  By Ellen Stolen Walsh, Harcourt, Brace & Jovanich, 2001.  Two mice try to figure out how a little acorn turns into a huge oak tree.
  • When Will the Snow Trees Grow?  By Ben Shecter, Charlotte Zolotow Book, 1993.  By celebrating the changes that autumn brings to the land, a bear passes on his knowledge about the cycles of life to a young boy.
  • A Log's Life.  By Wendy Pfeffer, Simon & Schuster, 1997.  Clear illustrations show the life cycle of a tree and all the activity that takes place within the tree.
  • A Tree for Me.  By Nancy Van Laan, Alfred A. Knopf, 2000.  A child climbs five different trees looking for a place to hide and finds an increasing number of animals already in residence.  Finally, the perfect tree is found.  Lots of repetition and rhyme!
  • Look What I Did With a Leaf.  By Morteza E. Sohi, Walker & Company, 1993.  A great addition to any tree unit as it shows how to create artistic pictures with leaves - colorful and inspiring!
  • A Tree is a Plant.  By Clyde Robert Bulla, Harper Collins Publishers, 2001.  A Let's Read and Find Out About Science book that clearly show the life of the world's largest living plants.
  • Be a Friend to Trees.  By Patricia Lauber Harper, Collins Publishers, 1994.  Find out all the benefits trees provide and how to take care of this important natural resource.
  • From Acorn to Oak Tree.  By Jan Kottke, Rosen Book Works, 2000.  Follow the growth of an acorn into an oak tree with photographs that show each stage.
  • Trees.  By Henry Arthur Pluckrose, Children's Press, 1994.  A general overview of trees and what they produce.
  • Leaf & Tree Guide - Backyard Explorer.  By Rona Beame, Workman Publishing Co., 1989.  A great hands-on book that teaches children how to collect leaves as well as identify them.  A nice reference for educators.
  • From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons
  • How a Seed Grows (Let's-Read-and-... by Helene J. Jordan
  • From Seed to Plant (Rookie Read-About Science) by Allan Fowler
New Vocabulary 

Vocabulary/Glossary:         

  • Living-having life/not dead; having the characteristics of a living thing
  • Nonliving-does not have life; does not have the characteristics of a living thing
  • Observe-The action or process of observing something or someone carefully  in order to gain information.
  • Plant parts- roots, stem, leaves, flower
  • Animal parts- head, body, legs, tail (or not)
  • Human parts- head- parts of face (eyes, ears, nose, mouth), body, arms, hands, fingers,legs, feet, toes
Technology Connections 

A huge variety of SMART board activities are available at the following site:

Use as the site for practice and review for benchmark: Differentiate between living and non-living things. (0.4.1.1.3)

  • Living v. Non-living

This interactive site has you pick a thing, and then asks a series of questions about that thing to determine if it is living or non-living, and what type of thing it is.

 

Use as the site for practice and review for benchmark: Differentiate between living and non-living things. (0.4.1.1.3) Living and Non-living Things

At this interactive web site you explore several things including a horse, a chair, an ant, a hat, and more. You can see how each moves and determine if it is living or not. When done you can take a quiz on what you learned.         

 

Use as the site for practice and review for benchmark 0.4.1.1.3: Differentiate between living and non-living things. 

  • ReviseWise - Living Things - Life Processes

This web site uses colorful animation, great explanations, and interactive games to teach about what it means for an organism to be alive. After the instruction, the students can take an online quiz to assess their understanding.

Cross Curricular Connections 

Literature and writing:  Read the Story, "Alexander and the Wind up Mouse" by Leo Lioni

Discuss/chart differences between the real mouse, Alexander and the toy mouse.

Are the characteristics the same for all living and nonliving things?

Literature and writing:  Read the story, " The Velveteen Rabbit" by Margery Williams and compare and contrast the toy rabbit to the real rabbit.

Math:  Have the children collect, display, and look over data when you teach science lessons.

They will have opportunities to count, compare, measure, record and make sense of their observations. What a great way to practice math skills and build a math vocabulary.

Music:  Science Songs

Assessment

Students:  Kindergarten assessment should take the form of informal teacher observation and teacher questioning. During investigation, observations and discussion teacher should be asking questions about the content and understanding and then be able to adjust teaching according to findings so all children are successful. (adapted from FOSS introduction)

Assessment for Standard:  Living things are diverse with many different observable characteristics.(0.4.1.1.)

  • How can you tell if something is Living or Non-living? Name or list three things that makes something living
  • How do we tell the difference between alive and not alive?
  • Can you give me 5 examples of living things? (student writes or draws with pencil and paper)
  • Can you give 5 examples of non-living things? (student writes or draws  with pencil and paper)

The teacher will have a box of items or pictures with living and nonliving items and slowly show each item or picture.  Ask the children if the item/picture is living or nonliving. Then ask, "How Do You Know?" What characteristics make it living or nonliving?

Then children can classify pictures or objects of living and non-living things.Using pictures  ask, why do you think (correct response/ incorrect response) is alive or not alive?

Challenge students' misconceptions with a question. Ex: If the student said that living things move ask if a moving car is alive.

  • Is there anything that all living things need or require? Explain
  • Where do living things come from?
  • Do living things come from a different place than non-living things?

Assessment for benchmark 0.4.1.1.2: Identify the external parts of a variety of plants and animals including humans.

  • Draw/Label the parts of a plant: roots, stem, leaves, flower
  • Draw/Label the parts of an animal and human: head, body, legs (arms), hands/feet (paws), and basic facial parts (eyes, nose, mouth, ears)

Assessment for benchmark 0.4.1.1.1: Observe and compare plants and animals.

Using a Venn Diagram or other chart write, draw or tell what makes a plant and animal alike and different

Using a rubric to grade the level of understanding during observation of the lessons along with a checklist for each student during the lessons is a good way to monitor progress and understanding if this standard.

1

Just beginning

2

Below grade level

3

At grade level

4

Exceeds grade level

Beginning to understand the concept or standard: relies on teacher support

Developing skills concept or standard with varied performance, needs continued practice and some support from the teacher

Demonstrates secure, consistent understanding of the concept or standard without teacher support; works independently and consistently

Exemplary performance of skills well beyond grade level, insightful responses

Teachers:

Questions could be used as self-reflection or in professional development sessions.

  • What do I need to know and understand about the standard?
  • What makes something living or alive? or What is the difference between living and non-living? How do I know? What characteristics make it living or nonliving?  How can you relate this so children will understand the difference?
  • What is the difference between a plant and an animal? How do I know?
  • What do my students need to know and understand about the standard?
  • What are the misconceptions that children have about living and nonliving things and how will make sure they are corrected? ( Make sure teacher understands the misconceptions that the children have for self understanding and how to correct them) - If so where can you find the information?

Teacher should provide multiple hands on activities with as many different items of both living and nonliving things that move. Together group items over and over again using the definition of living and giving reasons or proof of why the item is living or nonliving Then have children sort items into living and nonliving and give reasons or proof.

How will I know when they do understand and what will I do if they do not understand? What will I do if they already understand this concept?

Ask yourself 3 questions: What do my students already know about this standard( Did I use a preassessment?)What will I do if my students do not know the information? What will I do if my students already know and understand the information?

How did I use inquiry in my lessons?( See Minnesota Standard 0.1.1.2.1 - Scientific Inquiry...)

What worked well and what should I change?

Administrators: If observing a lesson on this standard what might they expect to see.

Teacher should act as a guide. The teacher should be asking many questions; answering a question with a question guiding the student to find the answer to his/her own questions.

The science teacher must have the content knowledge and the pedagogical content knowledge necessary to deliver their instruction effectively and in an engaging way. A good science teacher uses a variety of methods to effectively deliver the content to various population groups. Some researchers have found that pedagogical content knowledge and organizational skill in the planning and development of the lessons are qualities that good teachers have. (Tytler, R. and Waldrip, B. (2004). International Journal of Science Education. 26 (2), 171‐194.) The objective should be clearly stated, the level of questioning should be at all levels.

Student science achievement and student interest in science subjects and careers will improve if teachers consistently use research-based instructional practices, materials, and assessments so that each student:

  • Reveals preconceptions, initial reasoning, and beliefs;
  • Is intellectually engaged;
  • Uses evidence to generate explanations;
  • Communicates and critiques their scientific ideas and the ideas of others;
  • Makes sense of the learning experience and draws appropriate understandings;
  • Makes connections between new and existing scientific concepts by understanding and organizing facts and information in new ways; and
  • Reflects on how personal understanding has changed over time and recognizes cognitive processes that lead to changes. Observation Protocol

To observe inquiry in lesson students should should be able to form a question, make a plan, do the investigation, record and report, reflect, revisit, and plan again, if needed.

Differentiation

Struggling Learners 

Struggling and At-Risk: Many strategies and suggestions for special education or ELL students could be used for struggling or at risk students. The pre-teaching of the vocabulary or content using visuals or hands on experiences prior to the whole class lesson helps the students stay focused on the lesson and students find they will be able to share information. 

English Language Learners 

Like special education students, some ELL students need to have vocabulary and concepts taught in small groups before whole group content lessons are taught. The use of pictures with vocabulary and content is very helpful.  Research shows it is helpful to have vocabulary or content taught in the students first language before having it taught in English.  Here are a few other helpful tips.

  • Students should work in groups when possible to solve problems or conduct experiments. Provide many hands-on experiences as ELL students learn best by doing and seeing lessons.
  • Show ELL students at all proficiency levels a sample of a completed project or assignment
  • Have students compile notebooks or science journals
  • Have students prepare collections of science objects, such as sticks and leaves.
  • Use "hands-on" experiential activities that do not rely on academic language for understanding
  • Prepare large charts that summarize the steps involved in experiments.

Ideas from: ELL resource

Extending the Learning 

Gifted /Talented:

Gifted and Talented Modules for E-learning Leading Teachers: E-learning modules for Gifted and Talented (G&T) leading teachers provide opportunities to reflect on G&T issues and approaches to addressing them, to practise strategies which have been found to be effective and to develop action plans for your own context. The modules also provide links to a range of resources and exemplification. Module 1: Teaching and learning, is part of the gap task between face-to-face training provided by LAs.

Other modules cover identification, leadership, good practice, working with parents and carers, transfer and transition, learners with particular needs, learning beyond the classroom, career development, Early Years Foundation Stage, Key Stages 1 and 2, primary science, English, mathematics, secondary science, music, PE and sport and EAL.

Primary Science Module :This module will examine using a high degree of challenge to benefit all pupils, including the gifted; how to increase challenge and encourage higher order thinking through discussion, scientific enquiry and focused recording as well as how to map classroom outcomes to the Institutional Quality Standards (IQS) and Classroom Quality Standards (CQS).                                       

If students already show that they know and understand this concept they should be able to do a small independent or partner study.

The student can choose to do a study comparing/contrasting a living thing and nonliving thing or two living things that are different:  plant/animal.  Using a Venn Diagram tell what makes a plant and animal alike and different.

They could invent a new animal or plant by using what they learned or know about plants and animals.  They could illustrate the animal/plant, write a description of the animal and what each of the parts are used for. 

Multi-Cultural 

Pictures, photos, objects used in the lessons should encompass a wide variety of items from around the world.  For example if you are using or showing various plants, animals, or people find those that are from around the world.  Use  of books that show a wide variety of pictures of people, animals, habitats, plants etc from all over the world.

Find the nearest Multicultural Center for lots of information about cultures around the world.  Here are a few websites of multicultural centers.

Northwest Suburban Multicultural Center

St. Paul Public Schools Multicultural Center

Special Education 

There are many different kinds of special education students.  Depending on the students special education needs some need pre-teaching of the vocabulary or content prior to the whole class lesson, preferably using visuals.  This helps the students stay focused on the lesson and students find they will be able to share information. 

Parents/Admin

Parents 

The Family Page extends this learning to the community by inviting parents and students to classify living and nonliving things at home.

Living and Non-living