The purpose of this design project is:
At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:
Students should have knowledge of habitats and animal adaptations that allow animals to survive in specific habitats. Check out the National Geographic website for information and lesson ideas.
A habitat is a place where a plant or an animal lives. Not all organisms live in the same habitat. Organisms can only live in habitats to which they are well suited. Organisms have special characteristics called adaptations that enable them to obtain the resources they need for survival in their particular habitat. Each organism must meet certain needs to remain alive, and these needs are met in their particular habitat.
An animal adaptation is a feature or particular behavior that makes an organism better able to survive in a particular habitat.
LESSON 1: INTRODUCTION TO HABITATS AND POLAR BEAR ZOO EXHIBIT DESIGN
A Whole Class Project
[See Extension section for ideas regarding a zoo field trip that would ideally take place between Lesson 1 and Lesson 2. Please see Field Research Question Guide.]
LESSON 2: RESEARCH IDEAS FOR A ZOO EXHIBIT
Partnership Projects Begin
LESSON 3: CREATE A ZOO EXHIBIT
LESSON 4: PRESENTATION OF ZOO EXHIBIT
Ideally, students should take a field trip to a local zoo to study the exhibit of their selected animal. This would take place between Lesson 1 and Lesson 2. Before the field trip, student partnerships would select an animal exhibited at the zoo and do some preliminary research on the animal. During the trip, students would take field notes on their animal and its behavior, note physical features of the exhibit, take pictures, videos and draw sketches. If possible, the class may schedule a tour with a zookeeper to speak about their experience and answer questions about animal care, animal needs, animal behavior, challenges particular to the animal and/or its past or current exhibit, and exhibit maintenance. Even better, some zoos may allow a behind-the-scenes tour of certain exhibits.
This project can be executed to meet the needs of many student populations, as well as many grade levels, though it is intended primarily for 5th graders.
Suggestion for Students with Special Needs, English Language Learners, and Lower Grades
In Lesson 2: Research Preliminary Ideas for Zoo Habitat, the research can be guided as a whole class project. Students can select and vote on a single animal to research and share their findings on the animal’s needs. Instead of partnerships, groups can be formed to allow for a greater exchange of ideas. These groups can than brainstorm sketches for an animal exhibit and follow along with the procedure as described above.
Suggestion for Gifted and Talented Students and Higher Grade Levels
Students can make greater considerations about animal needs within a zoo setting. The exhibit design may include ideas about different animal areas: the public areas and the behind-the-scenes private areas. A great resource for real world zoo exhibit considerations is the Tiger Handbook from the Minnesota Zoo.
See the attached Zoo Rubric to assess student's work.
April 27, 2011 - 8:14pm
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