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“All Eyes on the Pond”
Language Arts, Science
Title – Life in a Pond
By – Karen Secules
Primary Subject – Science
Secondary Subjects – Language Arts
Grade Level – 3rd Grade
Lesson Plan Title:
Life in a Pond – a Web Enhanced Lesson
Concept / Topic To Teach:
Language Arts/Science (Pond Life)
Standards Addressed: (Pennsylvania Standards)
1.1.3-F — Understand the meaning of and use correctly new vocabulary learned in various subject areas.
1.1.3-G — Demonstrate after reading understanding and interpretation of both fiction and nonfiction text; retell or summarize the major ideas, themes or procedures of the text.
1.2.3-A —Read and understand essential content of informational texts and documents in all academic areas; make inferences from text when studying a topic (e.g., science, social studies) and draw conclusions based on text.
1.2.3-B —Use and understand a variety of media and evaluate the quality of material produced; use electronic media for research.
1.3.3-F — Read and respond to nonfiction and fiction including poetry and drama.
1.4.3-B — Write informational pieces (e.g., descriptions, letters, reports, instructions) using illustrations when relevant.
3.3.4-A — Know the similarities and differences of living things; know that some organisms have similar external characteristics (e.g., anatomical characteristics’ appendages, type of covering, body segments, and that similarities and differences are related to environmental habitat.
3.3.4-A — Know the similarities and differences of living things; describe basic needs of plants and animals.
3.7.4-E —Identify basic computer communications systems; use on-line searches to answer age appropriate questions.
3.7.4-E —Identify basic computer communications systems; apply basic electronic mail functions.
General Goal(s): In the book All Eyes on the Pond by Michael J. Rosen, students explore a freshwater habitat through the views of insects, birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, and reptiles. The story encourages the readers to appreciate the balance between pond creatures and their habitat. Students will further investigate the pond animals by working collaboratively in pairs to find information to share in a class presentation. (All Eyes on the Pond is one of the stories included in the Harcourt Brace & Company’s Signatures Reading Series for third grade.) The lesson will take three or four class periods to complete.
1. Students will be able to describe the pond as a habitat.
2. Students will be able to identify animals that live in, near, or above a pond.
3. Students will classify pond animals into the proper animal classifications.
4. Students will work in pairs to research a pond animal and share information with the class.
- Copies of the book All Eyes on the Pond by Michael J. Rosen
- Poster board
- Pencils and paper
- Computers with Internet connections available for student use
- Teacher computer and projector Anticipatory Set (Lead-In):
Begin the lesson by asking students what they know about ponds. Ask the questions: What kinds of animals live in the water? What animals live on the land around a pond? What animals fly in the air near a pond? Give students time to respond to the questions and tell of their own experiences. Show or project pictures of ponds during the discussion.
Supporting Web Information: Pictures of various ponds can be found using any search engine and typing in the word “ponds”. I use Pictures 4 Learning.
1. As directed in Harcourt Brace and Company’s Signatures Reading Series for third grade, introduce and define the story vocabulary words: blind, echoes, spy, view, peculiar, peering. Students will work in pairs to read the story or book All Eyes on the Pond by Michael J. Rosen. As they are reading, the students will look for the answers to these questions reinforcing the vocabulary that will be on a worksheet: Which animal is blind to things in front of it? Which one uses echoes to know where things are? Which one might spy things from a cattail? Which ones have a view of the pond while flying? Which ones see underwater with their peculiar eyes? Which ones might be peering through a web? After reading the story, the class will come back together as a whole to discuss the answers to the questions.
2. The teacher will discuss the classifications of animals (insects, birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, and amphibians) as a PowerPoint slide show is shown. Then each pair of students will be assigned the task of sorting the pond animals from the story into the proper classifications. The answers will then be shared and discussed as students check their work.
Supporting Web Information:
Video clips of animal classifications can be found at Public Television 19 inc. located at: http://www.mkn.org/Handbook/splash_assets/html/A/AnimalClassification/animal_classification.html
3. Student pairs will then be asked to choose a pond animal and find more information about it to share with the class. Students should find a drawing/diagram of the animal, general information about its population and habitat, how it moves, and what it eats. They should also find information on its life cycle. Students should record their findings on the information that they discover and the web sites they explore. Students may use traditional sources of information as well as the Internet. They may also choose to use email to “Ask the Experts” at http://www.sciam.com/askexpert_directory.cfm or “Ask Dr. Science” at http://www.drscience.com for more information.
Supporting Web Information:
Infoplease.com at: http://www.infoplease.com
EnchantedLearning.com at: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/biomes/pond/pondlife.shtml
Animal Info at: http://www.animalinfo.org
Canterbury Environmental Education Centre’s Exploring Pond Habitats
Plan For Independent Practice:
Students will write an animal report and draw a picture/diagram of the animal with the information they have found. They will share their learned knowledge with the class in a class presentation.
Closure (Reflect Anticipatory Set):
After each animal report is presented to the class, the class will review what each animal eats and the importance of animal population balance in a pond habitat. The students may try doing a “Virtual Pond” simulation by entering numbers of pond animals to see if the creatures would still be healthy and thriving in 18 weeks. Also as a fun culminating activity, students may create their own individual ponds by using “Create a Pond”, a virtual pond activity on the computer.
Assessment Based On Objectives:
The presentations will be assessed by the following rubric that was originally created on the Teach-nology web site at: http://www.teach-nology.com/web_tools/rubrics.
- Name: _____________________________
- Date: _____________________________
- Title of Work: ____________________
Life in a Pond Presentation
Organization and Delivery
Audience cannot understand presentation because there is no sequence of information. Student mumbles, incorrectly pronounces terms, and speaks too quietly to be heard.
Audience has difficulty following presentation because student jumps around. Student incorrectly pronounces terms and at times does not speak loud enough to be heard.
Student presents information in logical sequence which audience can follow. Student speaks clearly and pronounces most words correctly.
Student presents information in logical, interesting sequence which audience can follow. Student uses a clear voice and correctly pronounces all terms.
Student does not have grasp of information; student cannot answer questions about subject.
Student is uncomfortable with information and is able to answer only basic questions.
Student is at ease with content, but fails to elaborate.
Student demonstrates full knowledge (more than required) with explanations and elaboration.
Visuals and Mechanics
Student used no visuals.
Student used visuals that were incomplete and did little to support the presentation. Visuals had three or more misspellings and/or grammatical errors.
Student used visuals that were complete and suppported the presentation. Visuals had no more that two misspellings and/or grammatical errors.
Student used detailed visuals and explained how they supported the presentation. Visuals had no misspellings or grammatical errors.
Information was gathered from only one non-electronic or electronic source only.
Information was gathered from limited electronic and non-electronic sources.
Information was gathered from multiple electronic and non-electronic sources.
Information was gathered from multiple electronic and non-electronic sources and cited properly.
Students in the group did not work together, share information, or help each other.
Students in the group occasionally worked together, shared information, and helped each other.
Students in the group worked together, shared information, and helped each other.
Students in the group continually worked well together, shared information, and helped each other.
Total —-> ____
Adaptations (For Students With Learning Disabilities):
Students with learning disabilities may work in a group of three instead of two.
Extensions (For Gifted Students):
Further extensions of the lesson would include the investigation and naming of the various food chains within the pond habitat. Students could also investigate healthy pond ecology and build a classroom pond in a large aquarium.
Possible Connections To Other Subjects:
Language Arts –
- Other stories about animals
- Other animals that would be included in a pond habitat (microscopic)
- Plant life included in a pond habitat
- A study of different habitats – forest, desert, ocean, etc.
- A study of the different animals that fit in a specific animal classification
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