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NGSS Informational Texts for Kindergarten: Why Do I Live Here?

 Posted by on December 10, 2020  Science Resources  Comments Off on NGSS Informational Texts for Kindergarten: Why Do I Live Here?
Dec 102020
 

Why do deer live in places with trees?

The kindergarten performance expectation K-ESS3-1 asks students to: “Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants and animals (including humans) and the places they live.”  In our kindergarten informational text for this performance expectation, Why Do I Live Here? by Sarah Wassner Flynn, students learn why a forest is the perfect habitat for deer.  You can access the text here:

https://texts.starrmatica.com/sample-texts

After students read the text, you might interest them in exploring the relationship between other animals and their habitats.  In this online activity, students can choose an animal and then try to build a habitat suitable for that animal by changing different components of the habitat including vegetation, biome and precipitation.

https://www.switchzoo.com/games/habitatgame.htm

Students will have fun reading about the imaginary animal of their choice and then drawing the perfect habitat to meet its food and shelter needs.

https://pbskids.org/fetch/games/habitats/drawing.html

This simple matching activity could be enhanced by a class discussion about why each habitat is best suited for that animal.  You could further the discussion by having students imagine what habitats would be the worst suited for each animal and asking them to explain why.

https://www.scholastic.com/magicschoolbus/games/habitat/index.html

For an offline alternative, you can have your students complete the activity linked below.  As an extra challenge, ask them to explain why the animal they drew will survive best in their chosen habitat.

https://www.education.com/worksheet/article/my-animal-habitat/

Why Do I Live Here? is found in, StarrMatica Texts: Science Your Way, a collection of informational texts written specifically to address every K-5 NGSS Performance Expectation.  All texts in the collection begin with a phenomenon photo and are written at six different Lexile levels, so all students can read the same content at their reading level.  You can find out more about StarrMatica Texts:  Science Your Way here: http://www.starrmatica.com

Phenomenon for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) – 3-LS4-4

 Posted by on December 8, 2020  Phenomenon Ideas  Comments Off on Phenomenon for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) – 3-LS4-4
Dec 082020
 

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.

If you are teaching the Next Generation Science Standards and are looking for phenomena ideas, you’ve come to the right place! I like to think about phenomena as lesson starters. They are photos or videos showing an observable event in the universe and are used to get kids thinking, asking questions, and discussing their prior knowledge. For more information about using phenomena, there is a handy printable guide and video here:
https://www.nextgenscience.org/resources/phenomena

And now, on to our environmental phenomenon!

The red dots show the locations of lionfish in 1995 and 2015.  What do you notice as you compare the two maps?  What do you think caused this change to happen?

Lionfish are native to the warm, tropical waters of the South Pacific and Indian Oceans. Today, many of them can be found off the coast of Florida and nearby in the Caribbean Sea. They were first brought to Florida as an aquarium fish years ago. People thought they looked interesting and wanted to watch them in their fish tanks.  The story goes that a hurricane came through and tipped over aquariums with lionfish. They made their way into the ocean near Florida. Now that the lionfish are in a new environment, they’re causing trouble.                                                                           

Why? First, lionfish are considered to be an invasive species. They are not native to the habitat near the U.S. and in the Caribbean Sea where they now live. The problem with lionfish is they have no natural predators in this new habitat.  In their native habitat, sharks, cornetfish, groupers, large eels, frogfish, and scorpionfish eat lionfish.  In their new habitat, nothing does! Just one female lionfish can also spawn, or lay, up to two million eggs every year. These two factors mean there are now millions of lionfish in places where there used to be none!

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This excerpt is from the text: The Problem With Lionfish by Sarah Wassner Flynn.  The Problem With Lionfish is found in, StarrMatica Texts:  Science Your Way, a collection of informational texts written specifically to address every K-5 NGSS Performance Expectation.  All texts in the collection are written at six different Lexile levels, so all students can read the same content at their reading level.  You can find out more about StarrMatica Texts: Science Your Way here: http://www.starrmatica.com