In this module, students build their literacy skills as they engage in an in-depth study of birds’ bodies. The module focuses on big ideas derived from the Next Generation Science Standards: Animals have physical features that help them survive; animals behave in ways that help them survive (1.LS1.A. Disciplinary Core Idea).
In Unit 1, students listen to the texts Just Ducks by Nicola Davies and Birds (Scholastic Discover More) by Penelope Arlon and Tory Gordon-Harris as they answer the unit guiding question, “What makes a bird a bird?” As students build background knowledge about birds through the texts, they participate in a cycle of reading, talking, and representing (through scientific drawing, writing, role-play, music, and movement).
During Unit 2, students participate in both whole group and small group research to learn more about the form and function of key bird parts: beaks and feathers. Students research using two key anchor texts: Feathers, Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart and Beaks! by Sneed B. Collard III. This cycle of research is anchored by the unit guiding question, “How do birds use their body parts to survive?” Students also continue to refine the scientific drawing skills established in Unit 1. For the Unit 2 Assessment, students show their learning by writing an informational paragraph that describes how beaks or feathers help birds survive (W.1.2, W.1.7).
In Unit 3, students participate in another research cycle to learn about how a specific bird’s key parts help them to survive in their habitat. Students’ class and small group research is anchored by the National Geographic Kids text Little Kids First Big Book of Birds by Catherine D. Hughes. For the Unit 3 Assessment, students participate in a Science Talk focused on the question: “How do specific birds use their body parts to survive?” For the performance task, students create Expert Bird Riddle cards and Expert Bird Scientific Drawing cards for a riddle matching game using facts from their research (W.1.5, W.1.7, L.1.1.f, L.1.1.g, L.1.2.b, L.1.2.e).
Module 3 also lays the foundation for the work in Module 4. In Module 3, students build deep knowledge about the scientific topic of birds. In Module 4, students will apply this knowledge in order to make a meaningful contribution to their community. Module 4 will focus on “contribute to a better world” and teach students specific habits of character (e.g., applying their learning and using their strengths to help others grow) that will help them make a difference in the world around them. Refer to the Module 4 Overview for more information. Because Module 4 content is based on Module 3, save students’ Module 3 work so they can refer to it during Module 4 as needed.