The students will be given images of different locations that show before human impact on the natural environment, and how nature affects a similar location (e.g. flood).

They will begin using the ladder of inference to create some questions about habitats they will explore. The students will be asked to identify which one they are interested in inquiring about. These question will lead to their inquiry.

Later they will develop a group of questions using the Ladder of Inference based on a particular stance they are given ( no change is best for the environment, human modification is most important, natural influences should be seen as part of the natural cycle and not intervene with, natural influences should be seen as damaging natural cycle and should be stopped or modified whenever possible). 

Based on the outcome of the research of all the students in the class they will be asked to develop an additional inquiry question that will lead them to identify a problem that they can design or develop a solution for.

 Grade Level/Course Code: Grade 4 Science

Inquiry Focus: Habitat, Food Chain, Plants, Animals, Water, Impact

Strand(s) and Unit(s): Understanding Life Systems

Timeline: This inquiry will take 8 to 10 hours divided into 8 lessons.  Much of the work involves students either working in groups or researching which depending on their skills level with this task the timeline will need to be adjusted.

To accommodate different students need this inquiry could very easily be delivered through a Learning Management System.  The students could also be done as pair or groups.

 

Big Ideas: Changes to habitats (whether caused by natural or human means) can affect plants and animals and the relationships between them.

 

Overall Expectations: List the Ministry’s Overall Expectation(s) from the strand(s)/unit(s) into which the inquiry-based lesson(s) fit. If cross-curricular links are made, group them into subject areas.

1. analyze the effects of human activities on habitats and communities;

2. investigate the interdependence of plants and animals within specific habitats and communities;

3. demonstrate an understanding of habitats and communities and the relationships among the plants and animals that live in them.

Specific Expectations: List the Ministry’s Specific Expectations from the strand(s)/units(s) into which the inquiry-based lesson(s) fit. If cross-curricular links are made, group them into subject areas.

Science

1.1 analyze the positive and negative impacts of human interactions with natural habitats and communities (e.g., human dependence on natural materials), taking different perspectives into account (e.g., the perspectives of a housing developer, a family in need of housing, an ecologist), and evaluate ways of minimizing the negative impacts

1.2 identify reasons for the depletion or extinction of a plant or animal species (e.g., hunting, disease, invasive species, changes in or destruction of its habitat), evaluate the impacts on the rest of the natural community, and propose possible actions for preventing such depletions or extinctions from happening

2.3 use scientific inquiry/research skills (see page 15) to investigate ways in which plants and animals in a community depend on features of their habitat to meet important needs (e.g., beavers use water for shelter [they build their lodges so the entrance is under water], food [cattails, water lilies, and other aquatic plants], and protection [they slap their tails on the water to warn of danger])

2.6 use a variety of forms (e.g., oral, written, graphic, multimedia) to communicate with different audiences and for a variety of purposes (e.g., use presentation software to show the steps one might follow to set up and maintain a terrarium)

 

3.1 demonstrate an understanding of habitats as areas that provide plants and animals with the necessities of life (e.g., food, water, air, space, and light)

 

3.8 explain why changes in the environment have a greater impact on specialized species than on generalized species (e.g., diminishing ice cover hampers the ability of polar bears to hunt seals, their main food source, and so the polar bear population in some areas is becoming less healthy and may begin to decrease; black bear habitat has been heavily disrupted by human encroachment, but because black bears are highly adaptable omnivores that eat everything from insects to garbage generated by humans, their numbers have been increasing)

 

Key Concepts: Ladder of Inference, Creating Inquiry Questions, Drawing Conclusions, Evaluating Impact

 

Prior Skill Sets: Students should have the ability to work in small groups and share ideas.  They will also need to be able to do research on a chosen topic, use available online databases and present their findings orally, in written and multimedia presentations.

 

Prior Knowledge:

  • Students should have some that all living things have basic needs like food, air, water and shelter which can be met from the environment

  • Different living things behave differently

  • Plants and animals are important to the planet

  • Humans need to protect animal, plants and their habitats

  •  

Materials and Equipment:

  • Computer with internet access

  • Desktop publishing software (such as Office 365 or Google Suite)

  • Tablet or another device to take photos, videos, brainstorming or mind mapping

  • Other classroom consumables to support students in sharing the results of their inquiries

 

Safety:  

 

  • Students will need to be reminded that proper hand washing before and after handling animals as well as plants in the environment.

  • If plants and animals are kept in the classroom it is also important that regular cleaning and maintaining their environment.



 

Instructional Planning and Delivery: To work through this inquiry teachers will need to recognize that there will be a gradual release of responsibility.  At the beginning the inquiry will be guided but as the unit continues the students will take greater control of the direct.  It will be key to focus on the student's ability to answer the key questions and sharing their findings as you move forward.

 

Engage: Exploring Your Habitat (30-60 minutes)

  • To begin this unit it would idea to take students out of the classroom to the local community (or schoolyard) to try and identify some of the elements of their local environment.  This could be done through a note-taking sheet or a digital recording tool like a tablet computer.

  • Ask students to collect evidence or plants, animals, water and human activity (Use Appendix A

  • When you return to the classroom use a knowledge building circle to see what the students have discovered.

 

Lesson 1: Find Evidence and Changes (40 Minutes)

In this lesson, the students will start learning more about look for evidence and sharing their ideas using the Ladder of Inference.  

  • To begin as a class you should work with a couple of images (Mount Rushmore Appendix 1) to look for evidence and then make conclusions using the Ladder of Inference (  Use Appendix 2 and 3 to explain and work through a guided sample) Note: These images can be replaced by ones from your local community that show great human impact.

  • Then divide students into small groups

  • Each group will get a set of images (Appendix 1 c, d or e) and some paper to collect their ideas. Note: These images can also be replaced by ones from your region or cultural backgrounds of your students

Each set of images shows the same general area but has changed over time. Also in the set of images, there is evidence that the natural environment still has an effect on everything that lives in the local habitat.

  • They are to look at the images to find evidence of water, plants, animals and human activity.

  • Once they have collected their evidence each group will be asked to work through a ladder of inference one the images they explored (Appendix 3)

  • Then asked each group to develop questions using the Ladder of Inference based on one of these stances : no change is best for the environment, human modification is most important, natural influences should be seen as part of the natural cycle and not intervene with, natural influences should be seen as damaging natural cycle and should be stopped or modified whenever possible.(note: each of this stances will need to be discussed )

  • They will share their process and their conclusions from their ladders with the class.

  • Once all groups have shared remind them that they will have time to explore their questions further

 

Lesson 3: Ladder Questions (40 - 60 minutes)

  • The student will now try and do some research on the questions they asked. They can either work in small groups or individually

  • Remind them to keep track of the information they find that supports their answers on the back of their Ladder of Inference and the reference for where they found their info.

  • After let them work for about 20 minutes determine how much longer they will need to answer 1 question.  

  • Once all students or groups have an answer they will present their question, answer and a sample of the evidence they used to answer the question

 

Lesson 4: What are Habitats? (40 minutes)

  • To begin, bring the students together to brainstorm the question: What are habitats?

  • Continue this then brainstorm by asking: What different habitats might there be in the world?

  • Next, the students will have a chance to research a definition of What a habitat is?

  • They will also need to give a brief description of 3 habitats from our brainstorm,  supplied video list or their own interest.

 

Resources for Lesson #4 (40 minutes)

All these videos can be found through Learn360. This product is OSAPAC licensed so please contact your boards OSAPAC contact or Teacher Library for passwords.

Creating a shareable document with these links is the best way for the students to access these.

Note: Always review videos to make sure that they are still available for student use

Food Chains:

BBC Bitesize: What is a food chain

https://learn360.infobase.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?wID=266336&xtid=147805

Food Chain

https://learn360.infobase.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?wID=266336&xtid=74516

Different Habitats

What is a Desert Habitat?

https://learn360.infobase.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?wID=266336&xtid=147799

 

What is an Ocean Habitat?

https://learn360.infobase.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?wID=266336&xtid=147797

 

What is an Urban Habitat?

https://learn360.infobase.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?wID=266336&xtid=147803

 

What is a Polar Habitat?

https://learn360.infobase.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?wID=266336&xtid=147780

 

What is Rainforest Habitat?

https://learn360.infobase.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?wID=266336&xtid=147807

 

What is a Woodland Habitat?

https://learn360.infobase.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?wID=266336&xtid=147787

 

After the students have had time to explore the habitats ask them to come back and share what they have learned.

Also, try and come up with a definition of habitat together.

Lesson 5: Habitat Inquiry (2 hours)

  • Students will pick a habitat that is of interest to them. Once they have chosen one based on the research or evidence they had from the last they will develop research questions

  • As a groups come up with some questions that everyone should include.

  • Here is a list that should be included:

 

What animals live there?

 

What plants live there?

 

How do the plants and animals interact with each other?

 

How has the local environment caused the plants and animals to adapt to this environment?

 

Have humans had any effects on this habitat?

 

If so what might we do to reverse these effects?

 

What could we add to this habitat to support either the local plants or animals to better survive?

 

  • Once the list of questions is created (minimum 7) have the students begin their research.

Lesson 7:  Presenting their Habitat (2 hours)

  • Review with students that they need to present the results of their research.

  • It needs to include the answers to all the questions the class decided. Based on this research they need to develop an additional inquiry question that will lead them to identify a problem that they can design or develop a solution for.

  • The information can be presented on poster, slideshow, essay or website

  • Develop success criteria with the students

 

Lesson 8: Final Sharing (60 Minutes)

  • Once the students have finished collecting their ideas based on the criteria you created, have them share their work with the whole class

  • This can be a whole class, in small groups or as an in-class display where half the class sets up for people to come and see their work while that other half visits.




 

Works Cited:

Bbc.co.uk. (2018). [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/staticarchive/992fe77079e0d3d6dac7e7a4101202898b6b1112.jpg [Accessed 13 Jul. 2018].

Bcmag.ca. (2018). [online] Available at: https://www.bcmag.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/52447_max.jpg [Accessed 12 Jul. 2018].


 

Blogto.com. (2018). A Visual History of the Toronto Island. [online] Available at: https://www.blogto.com/upload/2011/07/2011719-Island-tents-1929-s0372_ss0070_it0318.jpg [Accessed 12 Jul. 2018].

 

Chinadaily.com.cn. (2018). [online] Available at: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/img/attachement/jpg/site1/20150116/001aa018f8021622afbe05.jpg [Accessed 12 Jul. 2018].

 

Imgur. (2018). Deforestation in Amazon Rainforest, Brazil. [online] Available at: https://imgur.com/gallery/622J52c [Accessed 12 Jul. 2018].


 

Goo.gl. (2018). Image: History in Pictures - The Japanese Occupation. [online] Available at: https://goo.gl/images/3aWJzY [Accessed 12 Jul. 2018].

 

I2.wp.com. (2018). [online] Available at: https://i2.wp.com/frametoframe.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/lagoon-skating-rink-wards-island-toronto.jpg [Accessed 12 Jul. 2018].


 

Smallstreets.org. (2018). Toronto. [online] Available at: http://smallstreets.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/toronto_island1-500.png [Accessed 12 Jul. 2018]

 

The Globe and Mail. (2018). Winter weather warning prompts delays, cancellations on busiest travelling weekend. [online] Available at: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/severe-weather-warning-prompts-delays-cancellations-on-busiest-travelling-weekend/article16068012/ [Accessed 12 Jul. 2018].

 

Toronto.citynews.ca. (2018). [online] Available at: https://toronto.citynews.ca/wp-content/blogs.dir/sites/10/2017/05/19/0519islandflooding2.jpg [Accessed 12 Jul. 2018].

 

Vancouver-historical-society.ca. (2018). [online] Available at: http://www.vancouver-historical-society.ca/images/VPL/3035.jpg [Accessed 12 Jul. 2018].


 

Watts, J. (2018). Brazilian court blocks abolition of vast Amazon reserve. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/30/brazilian-court-blocks-abolition-of-vast-amazon-reserve#img-1 [Accessed 12 Jul. 2018].




 

Related Background Resources and/or Links:

 

BBC Bitesize: What is a food chain

https://learn360.infobase.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?wID=266336&xtid=147805

Food Chain

https://learn360.infobase.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?wID=266336&xtid=74516

Different Habitats

What is a Desert Habitat?

https://learn360.infobase.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?wID=266336&xtid=147799

 

What is an Ocean Habitat?

https://learn360.infobase.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?wID=266336&xtid=147797

 

What is an Urban Habitat?

https://learn360.infobase.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?wID=266336&xtid=147803

 

What is a Polar Habitat?

https://learn360.infobase.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?wID=266336&xtid=147780

 

What is Rainforest Habitat?

https://learn360.infobase.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?wID=266336&xtid=147807

 

What is a Woodland Habitat?

https://learn360.infobase.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?wID=266336&xtid=147787

 

Assessment Opportunities:

  • During the different stages of the inquiry, there are many opportunities to assess the students' knowledge as well as their ability to investigate, think, communicate and apply their skills.

  • Start by using the blank Observation Page to collect anecdotal notes about the students as they begin this inquiry.

  • Then move on to assess their Thinking and Application skills using Rubric Strips 1 and 2

  • For their Knowledge and Communication skills use the blank Observation Page based on the knowledge you determine they will demonstrate based on your success criteria














 

Observation Page

 

Rubric Strip 1

 

Rubric Strip 2

 

Future Opportunities / Extensions:

  • Based on the final questions the students developed from their research they can be direct to develop or create a solution to the problem they see

  • The class could also go on to pick a habitat they believe the can recreate in the classroom and build it so they can observe it.

  • Add some additional inquiry questions like How about the energy cycle associated with the habitat? What is the role of the sun to drive ecology and ecological processes? What are the connections to the water cycle, life cycle/ energy cycle, and rock cycles?

  • Consider partnerships for this inquiry with outside organizations such as University of Guelph School of Agriculture or Horticulture or Toronto and Region Conservation Authority



 

 

Student Support Resources:

 

Appendix A




 





 

Appendix 1 A

What Changed?

 

https://www.nationalparkstraveler.org/sites/default/files/styles/panopoly_image_half/public/legacy_files/storyphotos/Mount-rushmore-before-carvi.jpg?itok=TGkGpqET

























 




















 

Appendix 1 B

(Goo.gl, 2018)

https://goo.gl/images/3aWJzY



 

Goo.gl. (2018). Image: History in Pictures - The Japanese Occupation. [online] Available at: https://goo.gl/images/3aWJzY [Accessed 12 Jul. 2018].

 



 

(Chinadaily.com.cn, 2018)

 

Chinadaily.com.cn. (2018). [online] Available at: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/img/attachement/jpg/site1/20150116/001aa018f8021622afbe05.jpg [Accessed 12 Jul. 2018].














 

Appendix 1 C

 

(Imgur, 2018)

Imgur. (2018). Deforestation in Amazon Rainforest, Brazil. [online] Available at: https://imgur.com/gallery/622J52c [Accessed 12 Jul. 2018].

 

 

(Watts, 2018)

Watts, J. (2018). Brazilian court blocks abolition of vast Amazon reserve. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/30/brazilian-court-blocks-abolition-of-vast-amazon-reserve#img-1 [Accessed 12 Jul. 2018].








 

 

(Bbc.co.uk, 2018)

 

Bbc.co.uk. (2018). [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/staticarchive/992fe77079e0d3d6dac7e7a4101202898b6b1112.jpg [Accessed 13 Jul. 2018].
























 

Appendix 1 D

 

(Blogto.com, 2018)

Blogto.com. (2018). A Visual History of the Toronto Island. [online] Available at: https://www.blogto.com/upload/2011/07/2011719-Island-tents-1929-s0372_ss0070_it0318.jpg [Accessed 12 Jul. 2018].





 

(Smallstreets.org, 2018)

 

Smallstreets.org. (2018). Toronto. [online] Available at: http://smallstreets.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/toronto_island1-500.png [Accessed 12 Jul. 2018].










 

 

I2.wp.com. (2018). [online] Available at: https://i2.wp.com/frametoframe.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/lagoon-skating-rink-wards-island-toronto.jpg [Accessed 12 Jul. 2018].















 

 

(Toronto.citynews.ca, 2018)

Toronto.citynews.ca. (2018). [online] Available at: https://toronto.citynews.ca/wp-content/blogs.dir/sites/10/2017/05/19/0519islandflooding2.jpg [Accessed 12 Jul. 2018].























 

Appendix 1 E

 





 

(Vancouver-historical-society.ca, 2018)

Vancouver-historical-society.ca. (2018). [online] Available at: http://www.vancouver-historical-society.ca/images/VPL/3035.jpg [Accessed 12 Jul. 2018].

 

(Bcmag.ca, 2018)


 

Bcmag.ca. (2018). [online] Available at: https://www.bcmag.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/52447_max.jpg [Accessed 12 Jul. 2018].







 

(The Globe and Mail, 2018)

 

The Globe and Mail. (2018). Winter weather warning prompts delays, cancellations on busiest travelling weekend. [online] Available at: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/severe-weather-warning-prompts-delays-cancellations-on-busiest-travelling-weekend/article16068012/ [Accessed 12 Jul. 2018].

 

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/severe-weather-warning-prompts-delays-cancellations-on-busiest-travelling-weekend/article16068012/














 

Appendix 2





 

Appendix 2

Name: Date:

Appendix 4


READ MORE