When I heard the initials NGSS, I used to cringe. So many updates and changes that I could hardly keep up. Then, I was introduced to Bozeman Science…and WHAT a difference that has made. I have to begin by accepting that teaching science is not a strength of mine, but I have no choice and therefore I rather make it somewhat bearable. I know that my ‘insecurity’ for teaching science comes from the fact that I feel I DO not know the material that well (as with reading, writing, or math). I read, keep reading, continue reading and yet still have questions about ‘that’ topic.
Students who demonstrate understanding can construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction. [Clarification Statement: Examples of structures could include thorns, stems, roots, colored petals, heart, stomach, lung, brain, and skin.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to macroscopic structures within plant and animal systems.]
And…there you have it. Clear and simple. A word of caution, he does not tell you how to teach it, but rather offers great insight as to what the concept is. Below is a breakdown on how we taught structure and function in 5 days (or less):
- Introduced our guiding questions: What is structure? What is function? What is anatomy? What is physiology?
- We began the small unit by reading** in parts the book Animal Senses: How Animals See, Hear, Taste, Smell and Feel (Animal Behavior) by Pamela Hickman
Animal Senses by Hickman
- Students had been working in pairs studying a specific tribe in California – we asked them to choose an animal and a plant from their assigned tribe to study
- We taught that animals have both structure and function (anatomy and physiology). We showed them some pictures (feathers, eyes, thorns, fur, hands, paws, etc) and they had to tell us if what we were showing them was either structure or function. We charted their responses on a T-chart
- Gave students a copy of a handout. They had to record info about the animal they chose (we had books and computers available for students to use)
- **There are quite a few books on this topic. It would be great if you have them available for your students to read and explore. For example: Animal Touch (Animals and Their Senses) by Hall, or Kingfisher Readers L2: Amazing Animal Senses by Llewellyn
- Continued reading some more of the book and then presenting a teaching questions: How does an animal or plant process the information it receives?
- Showed a video of a bear sensing a predator and running away
- Directed them to listen for the following guidelines:
“We want you to think about it, talk about it, and build us a model that shows how the information goes from the outside, to the inside, and then back out again. Remember the video of the baby bear. We saw the bear rolling around, then it stopped, and then it started running. The bear received information because it stopped and then started running for its life. We want you to show us with a model of how that information is processed in the plant or animal.”
- Continued reading some more of the book and showed them the Bozeman video on Structure and Function (up to the part where he then starts talking about structure and fuctuon a the middle school level)
- Had a small class discussion about processing information (clarified any misconceptions)
- Students draw their models before starting on an actual model. We checked their drawings and gave them the ok to proceed
- Students worked on their model. On the last day, students were able to tour the room and see each others models. Below are some images of the projects.
|How the eye from an Acorn Woodpecker sees food. The info goes to the brain and the brain sends a signal for the bird to react|
|A fish seeing a predator. The eyes sending information to the brain.|
|A sample of 3 classroom projects on structure and function|