In this module, students, explore the big ideas that all living things in the natural world have needs in order to survive and grow and that, through observation, we can discern patterns in the ways that living things meet their needs. Through a close study of trees and the living things that depend on them, students take on the roles of researcher and scientist to make observations of the natural world. From those observations, they determine patterns that explain how living things live and grow.
In Unit 1, students learn what makes something living or nonliving, about different types of living things, and the common needs of all living things. They develop this understanding through research reading of the text What’s Alive. Students also plan and conduct investigations (during module lessons and Labs) such as closely viewing various living things, caring for seedlings and observing what happens over time, and recording their observations in a Living Things research notebook.
In Unit 2, students focus on the needs of animals as living things and how trees help to meet those needs. Through a close study of the text Be a Friend to Trees, students engage in whole group and small group research on how trees provide food for animals.
In Unit 3, students build on their understanding of the needs of living things and further develop their research skills by researching a specific tree in small groups. During their small group research, students learns about the tree, its needs, and how it supports other living things’ need for food. This learning culminates in a series of Science Talks designed for them to share their research findings. They then use their learning to create an informational tree collage, which includes a collage, informative writing, and an animal puppet. They revise their writing and collage and practice presenting their work in preparation for sharing it with families and friends at the end of module celebration. This performance task centers on CCSS ELA W.K.2, W.K.5, W.K.8 and the NGSS Standard K-LS1-1.
Module 3 also lays the foundation for the work in Module 4. In Module 3, students build deep knowledge about the scientific topic of living things, and trees, specifically. In Module 4, students then apply this knowledge in order to make a meaningful contribution to their community. Module 4 focuses on “contribute to a better world,” and teaches 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.
Since Module 4 content is based on Module 3, save students' Module 3 work so they can refer to it during Module 4 as needed.