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Instructional Focus Document
Grade 1 Science
TITLE : Unit 08: Investigating Physical Characteristics of Organisms SUGGESTED DURATION : 12 days

Unit Overview

During this Unit

This unit bundles student expectations that address structures and processes of organisms that help them survive in their environment. Students demonstrate safe and healthy practices as outlined in the Texas Education Agency-approved safety standards while engaging in simple descriptive investigations. They investigate how the external characteristics of an animal are related to where it lives, how it moves, and what it eats. Additionally, students identify and compare the parts of plants. Furthermore, students communicate and discuss their observations and record data in their notebooks. Students consider environmentally appropriate and responsible practices with resources during investigations.

 

Streamlining Note

There are no revisions to TEKS 1.10A or 1.10B. However, there may be revisions to process standards associated with this unit. See the Science TEKS Streamlining Side by Side Grade 1 (link in System Resources below).

 

Prior Content Connections

  • Kindergarten
    • K.10A – Sort plants and animals into groups based on physical characteristics such as color, size, body covering, or leaf shape.
    • K.10B – Identify basic parts of plants and animals.


After this Unit

In Grade 2, students will observe, record, and compare how the physical characteristics and behaviors of animals help them meet their basic needs and observe, record, and compare how the physical characteristics of plants help them meet their basic needs.

 

STAAR Note

The student expectations in this unit are foundational to Grade 5 Scientific Investigation and Reasoning skills, and Supporting and Readiness Standards that may be assessed on the Grade 5 Science STAAR.

 

According to Research

All students, especially those who live in circumstances that limit their interaction with nature, must have the opportunity to observe a variety of animals in the classroom, on the school grounds, in the neighborhood, at home, in parks, streams and gardens, and at the zoo. But observing is not enough. The students should have reasons for their observations- reasons that prompt them to do something with the information they collect even if it is to simply answer their own questions about how organisms live or care for their young.

Students should investigate the habitats of many different kinds of local plants and animals, including weeds, aquatic plants, insects, worms, and amphibians, and some of the ways in which animals depend on plants and on each other.

 

“By the end of the 2nd grade, students should know that:

  • Some animals and plants are alike in the way they look and in the things they do, and others are very different from one another. 5A/P1
  • Different plants and animals have external features that help them thrive in different kinds of places. 5F/P1”

American Association for the Advancement of Science. (2009). Benchmarks on-line. Retrieved from http://www.project2061.org/publications/bsl/online/bolintro.htm.


Scientists investigate the natural world in order to understand and explain its systems.

  • Why is it important to know about and understand the natural world?
  • How are the components (parts), processes, and patterns of systems connected?

 

Scientific investigation is an orderly process to ensure that scientific claims are trustworthy.

  • How do scientists make and support their claims?
  • What processes help scientists investigate their claim?

 

Data is collected and organized in an orderly manner and analyzed by looking for patterns and relationships in order to develop reasonable explanations and make predictions.

  • What are some ways data can be organized?
  • How can data be used to make reasonable explanations?
  • How do patterns help us understand the natural world?

 

Scientists analyze, assess, and review each other’s work using processes of scientific investigations and build on one another’s ideas through new investigations.

  • How can we know what to believe about a scientific claim?
  • Why is it important to know and understand how things work and why things happen?
Unit Understandings
and Questions
Overarching Concepts
and Unit Concepts
Performance Assessment(s)

Plants have structures (parts) with specific functions (jobs) that help them survive within their environments.

  • What are some plant parts (structures) that help them survive within their environment?
  • How does each part (structure) of a plant help the plant survive? What are their functions (jobs)?
  • In what ways are parts (structures) of different plants alike?
  • In what ways are parts (structures) of different plants different?

Systems

  • Organisms

 

Classifications

  • Plants

 

Properties

  • Physical characteristics

 

Models

  • Plants
Assessment information provided within the TEKS Resource System are examples that may, or may not, be used by your child’s teacher. In accordance with section 26.006 (2) of the Texas Education Code, "A parent is entitled to review each test administered to the parent’s child after the test is administered." For more information regarding assessments administered to your child, please visit with your child’s teacher.

Animals have external characteristics that help them survive within their environment.

  • In what ways do the external characteristics of animals help them survive in their environment?

Systems

  • Organisms

 

Classifications

  • Animals

 

Properties

  • External characteristics
Assessment information provided within the TEKS Resource System are examples that may, or may not, be used by your child’s teacher. In accordance with section 26.006 (2) of the Texas Education Code, "A parent is entitled to review each test administered to the parent’s child after the test is administered." For more information regarding assessments administered to your child, please visit with your child’s teacher.

MISCONCEPTIONS / UNDERDEVELOPED CONCEPTS

Misconceptions:

  • Students may think that people, birds, fish, insects, worms, etc. are not animals, rather than understanding that animals include categories such as amphibians, birds, fish, insects, mammals, and reptiles.
  • When discussing animals, students may describe animals or groups of animals in terms of “all” or “none”, such as all animals have fur.

Unit Vocabulary

Key Content Vocabulary:

  • Appendage – a limb or other body part attached to the body of an animal
  • Body covering – the material on the outside of an animal, such as feathers, fur / hair, scales, shells, skin, or exoskeleton
  • Botanist – a scientist who studies plants
  • External characteristic – a specific, visible feature on the outside of an organism
  • Function – what something is used for; purpose
  • Part – a portion of an organism
  • Structure – a body part that does a certain “job” for an organism

 

Related Vocabulary:

  • Animal
  • Body
  • Color
  • Flower
  • Fruit
  • Large
  • Leaf shape
  • Leaf, leaves
  • Leaves
  • Lives
  • Movement
  • Nutrients
  • Part
  • Plant
  • Roots
  • Rough
  • Sharp
  • Shelter
  • Short
  • Size
  • Small
  • Smooth
  • Stem
  • Survival
  • Tall
  • Thick
  • Thin
Unit Assessment Items System Resources Other Resources

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Unit Assessment Items that have been published by your district may be accessed through Search All Components in the District Resources tab. Assessment items may also be found using the Assessment Center if your district has granted access to that tool.

System Resources may be accessed through Search All Components in the District Resources Tab.

State:

Texas Education Agency – Texas Safety Standards

http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=5483 (look under Documents)

 

Texas Gateway for Online Resources by TEA – Interactive Science Glossary

https://www.texasgateway.org/resource/interactive-science-glossary

 

Texas Parks and Wildlife Educator Resources:

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/learning/


TAUGHT DIRECTLY TEKS

TEKS intended to be explicitly taught in this unit.

TEKS/SE Legend:

  • Knowledge and Skills Statements (TEKS) identified by TEA are in italicized, bolded, black text.
  • Student Expectations (TEKS) identified by TEA are in bolded, black text.
  • Portions of the Student Expectations (TEKS) that are not included in this unit but are taught in previous or future units are indicated by a strike-through.

Specificity Legend:

  • Supporting information / clarifications (specificity) written by TEKS Resource System are in blue text.
  • Unit-specific clarifications are in italicized, blue text.
  • Information from Texas Education Agency (TEA), Texas College and Career Readiness Standards (TxCCRS), and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Project 2061 is labeled.
  • A Partial Specificity label indicates that a portion of the specificity not aligned to this unit has been removed.
TEKS# SE# TEKS SPECIFICITY
1.1 Scientific investigation and reasoning. The student conducts classroom and outdoor investigations following home and school safety procedures and uses environmentally appropriate and responsible practices. The student is expected to:
1.1A Identify, discuss, and demonstrate safe and healthy practices as outlined in Texas Education Agency-approved safety standards during classroom and outdoor investigations, including wearing safety goggles or chemical splash goggles, as appropriate, washing hands, and using materials appropriately.

Identify, Discuss, Demonstrate

SAFE PRACTICES

Including, but not limited to:

  • Wearing safety goggles or chemical splash goggles, as appropriate
  • Washing hands
  • Using materials appropriately
  • Follow classroom and outdoor safety guidelines, as outlined in Texas Education Agency-approved safety standards
  • Handle organisms appropriately

Note(s):

1.2 Scientific investigation and reasoning. The student develops abilities to ask questions and seek answers in classroom and outdoor investigations. The student is expected to:
1.2A

Ask questions about organisms, objects, and events observed in the natural world.

Ask

QUESTIONS ABOUT OBSERVATIONS IN THE NATURAL WORLD

Including, but not limited to:

  • Organisms
    • Plants
    • Animals
1.2B Plan and conduct simple descriptive investigations.

Plan, Conduct

INVESTIGATIONS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Simple descriptive

Note(s):

  • TEA:
    • Descriptive investigations involve collecting qualitative and/or quantitative data to draw conclusions about a natural or man-made system (e.g., rock formation, animal behavior, cloud, bicycle, electrical circuit). A descriptive investigation includes a question, but no hypothesis. Observations are recorded, but no comparisons are made and no variables are manipulated. Descriptive investigations (Texas Education Agency. (2007-2011). Laboratory and Field Investigations –FAQ, August 2010. Retrieved from http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=5483)
1.2C Collect data and make observations using simple tools.

Collect

DATA

Including, but not limited to:

  • Use tools appropriately

Make

OBSERVATIONS USING SIMPLE TOOLS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Possible examples may include:
    • Hand lenses
    • Non-standard measurement tools
      • Paper clips
      • Clothespins
      • Plastic counters
      • Interlocking cubes
      • Teddy bear counters
1.2D Record and organize data using pictures, numbers, and words.

Record, Organize

DATA

Including, but not limited to:

  • Pictures
  • Graphs
    • Picture graphs
    • Real-object graphs
    • Bar graphs
  • Numbers
  • Words
1.2E Communicate observations and provide reasons for explanations using student-generated data from simple descriptive investigations.

Communicate

OBSERVATIONS

Provide

REASONS FOR EXPLANATIONS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Student-generated data from simple descriptive investigations

Note(s):

  • TEA:
    • Descriptive investigations involve collecting qualitative and/or quantitative data to draw conclusions about a natural or man-made system (e.g., rock formation, animal behavior, cloud, bicycle, electrical circuit). A descriptive investigation includes a question, but no hypothesis. Observations are recorded, but no comparisons are made and no variables are manipulated. Descriptive investigations (Texas Education Agency. (2007-2011). Laboratory and Field Investigations –FAQ, August 2010. Retrieved from http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=5483)
1.3 Scientific investigation and reasoning. The student knows that information and critical thinking are used in scientific problem solving. The student is expected to:
1.3C Describe what scientists do.

Describe

WHAT SCIENTISTS DO

Including, but not limited to:

  • Skills used by scientists are similar to those used in the classroom
    • Observing
    • Questioning
    • Measuring
    • Classifying
    • Predicting
    • Investigating
    • Communicating
  • Possible examples of scientists may include:
    • Rachel Carson (marine biologist, conservationist)
1.4 Scientific investigation and reasoning. The student uses age-appropriate tools and models to investigate the natural world. The student is expected to:
1.4A

Collect, record, and compare information using tools, including computers, hand lenses, primary balances, cups, bowls, magnets, collecting nets, notebooks, and safety goggles or chemical splash goggles, as appropriate; timing devices; non-standard measuring items; weather instruments such as demonstration thermometers and wind socks; and materials to support observations of habitats of organisms such as aquariums and terrariums.

Collect, Record, Compare

INFORMATION USING TOOLS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Computers
  • Hand lenses
  • Collecting nets
  • Notebooks
  • Materials to support observations of habitats of organisms
    • Aquariums
    • Terrariums
1.4B

Measure and compare organisms and objects using non-standard units.

Measure, Compare

ORGANISMS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Use non-standard units
    • Paper clips
    • Clothespins
  • Measure length and weight of organisms using non-standard units
  • Describe the relationship between the type of unit and the type of measurement needed (e.g., cup or bowl for measuring capacity)
  • Make comparisons using non-standard units
    • Organisms
1.10 Organisms and environments. The student knows that organisms resemble their parents and have structures and processes that help them survive within their environments. The student is expected to:
1.10A Investigate how the external characteristics of an animal are related to where it lives, how it moves, and what it eats.

Investigate

HOW EXTERNAL CHARACTERISTICS OF AN ANIMAL ARE RELATED TO ITS ENVIRONMENT

Including, but not limited to:

  • External characteristics / relationship to environment
    • Structures
      • Long beak of a bird helps it reach nectar in a flower (what it eats)
    • Body coverings
      • Thick fur of a bear helps protect it from the cold (where it lives)
    • Appendages
      • Webbed feet of a duck provide movement and balance in the water (how it moves)
1.10B Identify and compare the parts of plants.

Identify, Compare

PARTS OF PLANTS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Parts of plants
    • Roots
    • Stems
    • Leaves
    • Flowers
    • Fruit 
The English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS), as required by 19 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 74, Subchapter A, §74.4, outline English language proficiency level descriptors and student expectations for English language learners (ELLs). School districts are required to implement ELPS as an integral part of each subject in the required curriculum.

School districts shall provide instruction in the knowledge and skills of the foundation and enrichment curriculum in a manner that is linguistically accommodated commensurate with the student’s levels of English language proficiency to ensure that the student learns the knowledge and skills in the required curriculum.


School districts shall provide content-based instruction including the cross-curricular second language acquisition essential knowledge and skills in subsection (c) of the ELPS in a manner that is linguistically accommodated to help the student acquire English language proficiency.

http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter074/ch074a.html#74.4 


Choose appropriate ELPS to support instruction.

ELPS# Subsection C: Cross-curricular second language acquisition essential knowledge and skills.
Click here to collapse or expand this section.
ELPS.c.1 The ELL uses language learning strategies to develop an awareness of his or her own learning processes in all content areas. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across the foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.1A use prior knowledge and experiences to understand meanings in English
ELPS.c.1B monitor oral and written language production and employ self-corrective techniques or other resources
ELPS.c.1C use strategic learning techniques such as concept mapping, drawing, memorizing, comparing, contrasting, and reviewing to acquire basic and grade-level vocabulary
ELPS.c.1D speak using learning strategies such as requesting assistance, employing non-verbal cues, and using synonyms and circumlocution (conveying ideas by defining or describing when exact English words are not known)
ELPS.c.1E internalize new basic and academic language by using and reusing it in meaningful ways in speaking and writing activities that build concept and language attainment
ELPS.c.1F use accessible language and learn new and essential language in the process
ELPS.c.1G demonstrate an increasing ability to distinguish between formal and informal English and an increasing knowledge of when to use each one commensurate with grade-level learning expectations
ELPS.c.1H develop and expand repertoire of learning strategies such as reasoning inductively or deductively, looking for patterns in language, and analyzing sayings and expressions commensurate with grade-level learning expectations.
ELPS.c.2 The ELL listens to a variety of speakers including teachers, peers, and electronic media to gain an increasing level of comprehension of newly acquired language in all content areas. ELLs may be at the beginning, intermediate, advanced, or advanced high stage of English language acquisition in listening. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across the foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.2A distinguish sounds and intonation patterns of English with increasing ease
ELPS.c.2B recognize elements of the English sound system in newly acquired vocabulary such as long and short vowels, silent letters, and consonant clusters
ELPS.c.2C learn new language structures, expressions, and basic and academic vocabulary heard during classroom instruction and interactions
ELPS.c.2D monitor understanding of spoken language during classroom instruction and interactions and seek clarification as needed
ELPS.c.2E use visual, contextual, and linguistic support to enhance and confirm understanding of increasingly complex and elaborated spoken language
ELPS.c.2F listen to and derive meaning from a variety of media such as audio tape, video, DVD, and CD ROM to build and reinforce concept and language attainment
ELPS.c.2G understand the general meaning, main points, and important details of spoken language ranging from situations in which topics, language, and contexts are familiar to unfamiliar
ELPS.c.2H understand implicit ideas and information in increasingly complex spoken language commensurate with grade-level learning expectations
ELPS.c.2I demonstrate listening comprehension of increasingly complex spoken English by following directions, retelling or summarizing spoken messages, responding to questions and requests, collaborating with peers, and taking notes commensurate with content and grade-level needs.
ELPS.c.3 The ELL speaks in a variety of modes for a variety of purposes with an awareness of different language registers (formal/informal) using vocabulary with increasing fluency and accuracy in language arts and all content areas. ELLs may be at the beginning, intermediate, advanced, or advanced high stage of English language acquisition in speaking. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across the foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.3A practice producing sounds of newly acquired vocabulary such as long and short vowels, silent letters, and consonant clusters to pronounce English words in a manner that is increasingly comprehensible
ELPS.c.3B expand and internalize initial English vocabulary by learning and using high-frequency English words necessary for identifying and describing people, places, and objects, by retelling simple stories and basic information represented or supported by pictures, and by learning and using routine language needed for classroom communication
ELPS.c.3C speak using a variety of grammatical structures, sentence lengths, sentence types, and connecting words with increasing accuracy and ease as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.3D speak using grade-level content area vocabulary in context to internalize new English words and build academic language proficiency
ELPS.c.3E share information in cooperative learning interactions
ELPS.c.3F ask and give information ranging from using a very limited bank of high-frequency, high-need, concrete vocabulary, including key words and expressions needed for basic communication in academic and social contexts, to using abstract and content-based vocabulary during extended speaking assignments
ELPS.c.3G express opinions, ideas, and feelings ranging from communicating single words and short phrases to participating in extended discussions on a variety of social and grade-appropriate academic topics
ELPS.c.3H narrate, describe, and explain with increasing specificity and detail as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.3I adapt spoken language appropriately for formal and informal purposes
ELPS.c.3J respond orally to information presented in a wide variety of print, electronic, audio, and visual media to build and reinforce concept and language attainment.
ELPS.c.4 The ELL reads a variety of texts for a variety of purposes with an increasing level of comprehension in all content areas. ELLs may be at the beginning, intermediate, advanced, or advanced high stage of English language acquisition in reading. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across the foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. For Kindergarten and Grade 1, certain of these student expectations apply to text read aloud for students not yet at the stage of decoding written text. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.4A learn relationships between sounds and letters of the English language and decode (sound out) words using a combination of skills such as recognizing sound-letter relationships and identifying cognates, affixes, roots, and base words
ELPS.c.4B recognize directionality of English reading such as left to right and top to bottom
ELPS.c.4C develop basic sight vocabulary, derive meaning of environmental print, and comprehend English vocabulary and language structures used routinely in written classroom materials
ELPS.c.4D use prereading supports such as graphic organizers, illustrations, and pretaught topic-related vocabulary and other prereading activities to enhance comprehension of written text
ELPS.c.4E read linguistically accommodated content area material with a decreasing need for linguistic accommodations as more English is learned
ELPS.c.4F use visual and contextual support and support from peers and teachers to read grade-appropriate content area text, enhance and confirm understanding, and develop vocabulary, grasp of language structures, and background knowledge needed to comprehend increasingly challenging language
ELPS.c.4G demonstrate comprehension of increasingly complex English by participating in shared reading, retelling or summarizing material, responding to questions, and taking notes commensurate with content area and grade level needs
ELPS.c.4H read silently with increasing ease and comprehension for longer periods
ELPS.c.4I demonstrate English comprehension and expand reading skills by employing basic reading skills such as demonstrating understanding of supporting ideas and details in text and graphic sources, summarizing text, and distinguishing main ideas from details commensurate with content area needs
ELPS.c.4J demonstrate English comprehension and expand reading skills by employing inferential skills such as predicting, making connections between ideas, drawing inferences and conclusions from text and graphic sources, and finding supporting text evidence commensurate with content area needs
ELPS.c.4K demonstrate English comprehension and expand reading skills by employing analytical skills such as evaluating written information and performing critical analyses commensurate with content area and grade-level needs.
ELPS.c.5 The ELL writes in a variety of forms with increasing accuracy to effectively address a specific purpose and audience in all content areas. ELLs may be at the beginning, intermediate, advanced, or advanced high stage of English language acquisition in writing. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. For Kindergarten and Grade 1, certain of these student expectations do not apply until the student has reached the stage of generating original written text using a standard writing system. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.5A learn relationships between sounds and letters of the English language to represent sounds when writing in English
ELPS.c.5B write using newly acquired basic vocabulary and content-based grade-level vocabulary
ELPS.c.5C spell familiar English words with increasing accuracy, and employ English spelling patterns and rules with increasing accuracy as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.5D edit writing for standard grammar and usage, including subject-verb agreement, pronoun agreement, and appropriate verb tenses commensurate with grade-level expectations as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.5E employ increasingly complex grammatical structures in content area writing commensurate with grade-level expectations, such as:
ELPS.c.5F write using a variety of grade-appropriate sentence lengths, patterns, and connecting words to combine phrases, clauses, and sentences in increasingly accurate ways as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.5G narrate, describe, and explain with increasing specificity and detail to fulfill content area writing needs as more English is acquired.
Last Updated 04/08/2019
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