In Unit 3, students continue to hone their research skills by combining their understanding of the needs of all living things with information about specific trees and the animals that depend on those trees. Students engage in focused research as they become experts on one tree. They describe the tree and learn about the needs of the tree, as well as what foods the tree provides to different animals. Students engage in a variety of small group and whole group experiences, research, and discussions as they work to answer the unit guiding question, "What patterns can we observe in how living things meet their needs?" In the first part of the unit, students continue to build their skills as researchers through whole group shared research to answer the research questions, "What do trees need to live and grow?" and "What do trees provide to help other living things live and grow?" with the text "Sugar Maple." After completing the whole group research about the sugar maple, students engage in small group research about a new tree using the same questions.
For the Unit 3 Assessment, students participate in a series of three Science Talks to demonstrate progress toward SL.K.1a and SL.K.1b. Each discussion addresses a different research question from the unit. Students' research culminates in the performance task: an informational tree collage that is a mixed media piece of art with descriptive writing.
As mentioned in the Module 3 Overview, the knowledge that students build in Module 3 lays the foundation for its application in Module 4. So even though this unit includes a final performance task, the end of Module 3 is more like the end of Act I of a two-act play. Continue to reinforce for students that they will go deeper with this topic in the subsequent module.