Constructing Explanations and Arguments: Inheritance, Variation, and Frog Ponds: Unit 1 | EL Education Curriculum

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LS G3:M2:U1

Constructing Explanations and Arguments: Inheritance, Variation, and Frog Ponds: Unit 1

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NGSS Standards

NGSS Standard 3-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

3-LS1-1. Develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death.

LS1.B: Growth and Development of Organisms

NGSS Standard 3-LS3-1 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits

3-LS3-1. Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and that variation of these traits exists in a group of similar organisms.

LS3.A: Inheritance of Traits

LS3.B: Variation of Traits

NGSS Standard 3-LS3-2 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits

3-LS3-2. Use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment.

LS3.A: Inheritance of Traits

LS3.B: Variation of Traits

NGSS Standard 3-LS4-3 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

3-LS4-3. Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.

LS4.C: Adaptation

NGSS Standard 3-LS4-4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

3-LS4-4. Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change.

LS2.C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience

LS4.D: Biodiversity and Humans

NGSS Standard 3-LS4-2 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

3-LS4-2. Use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing.

LS4.B: Natural Selection

Optional: Community, Experts, Fieldwork, Service, and Extensions

Community:

  • If you have a number of English Language Learners speaking the same native language, invite family members to come in and talk about the original student investigations and/or the designed frog pond.
  • If you have students who have lived or have family members who have lived near a wetlands area or pond, invite them to give a first-hand account of the characteristics of these habitats.
  • After students have completed their frog pond design, invite them to share them with the local school board or PTA.
  • Team up with another grade level and share your discoveries.
  • Join a citizen science group, like FrogWatch USA.

Experts:

  • Invite a biologist or botanist to come in to talk with the students about aquatic plants and animals.
  • Invite a local herpetologist to come in to talk with the students about frogs and other amphibians.
  • Invite an engineer to come in and talk with students about designing structures and spaces.
  • Invite a local dog breeder to bring in a litter of puppies for students to see the variety of traits in offspring.
  • Contact your state’s Fish and Wildlife Department to learn about the health of amphibians in your area.

Fieldwork:

  • Visit a local pond to observe a pond habitat and the organisms that live there.
  • Visit a local zoo, nature center, aquarium, or botanical garden to observe aquatic plants and animals.
  • Go on virtual fieldtrips by visiting online resources that are available through zoos, nature centers, aquariums, and botanical gardens.

Service:

  • Invite students to volunteer at an amphibian crossing. Contact local wildlife advocacy groups for more information.
  • Invite students to volunteer to clean up a local wetlands area.
  • Invite students to organize a Save the Frogs Day where they can educate the public on issues affecting frogs.

Extension Opportunities for students seeking more challenge:

  • In each lesson sequence, there are optional extensions. Unit 1, Lesson Sequence 3, in particular, has many options for extensions.
  • Unit 2 includes the opportunity for students to present their idea for a frog pond to an authentic audience. Arrange for students to present their frog pond design and argument to an audience that may be able to implement their plan (e.g., the school board, park and recreation board, or neighborhood association).
  • For schools with the necessary technology, Unit 2, Lesson Sequence 5 could include a 3D model of the frog pond.

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