Open-and-go lessons that inspire kids to love science.

Science curriculum for K—5th grades.

90 sec
  • Hands-on lead students in the doing of science and engineering.
  • Standards-aligned science lessons Cover core standards in 1-2 hours of science per week.
  • Less prep, more learning prep in minutes not hours. Captivate your students with short videos and discussion questions.

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Animal Adventures

Animal Biodiversity

1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade

NGSS Standards covered: K-2-ETS1-3 , K-2-ETS1-1 , K-2-ETS1-2 , 2-LS4-1
In this unit, students begin to develop an understanding of the world's animal biodiversity. They explore animal classification and the traits that define each group. Students then turn their focus to habitats and how the surrounding environment affects what organisms live in a particular environment. Less
  1. Lessons
  2. Activity Prep
  3. Assessments

Lesson 1: Biodiversity & Classification

Animals Sorting Game

In this lesson, students examine how scientists organize animals into groups based on their characteristics. In the activity, Animals Sorting Game, students study animal traits and use these traits to sort animal cards into mammals, birds, reptiles, and invertebrates. Students are then challenged to make decisions about animals that don’t fall neatly into any of those categories.

Number of students:
Animal Cards printout
Print on card stock if possible.
Print 15 copies
Challenge Cards printout Print 8 copies
Blank Paper (8.5 x 11")
60 sheets
Scissors
30 pairs
Prep Instructions

We suggest students work in pairs. Homeschool students can work on their own.

When you set up your classroom, note that students will need to alternate between doing their work and watching two short videos that are part of the activity.

Prepare Challenge Cards

Each pair of students will need a set of Challenge Cards. Each copy of this printout has two sets of cards, so we recommend you cut these in half prior to class for easy distribution to pairs of students.

Lesson 2: Biodiversity, Habitats, & Species

Who's Calling?

This lesson is a case study in biodiversity using the frogs of North America. In the activity, Who's Calling?, students learn to identify frogs by their unique calls and investigate which of two locations has a greater variety of frogs. After listening to recordings of frog calls, students create words that will remind them of the sounds, and then use those words to identify frog sounds in different environments.

Number of students:
Who's Calling & Types of Frogs worksheet 30 copies
Who's Calling & Types of Frogs Answer Key teacher-only resource 1 copy
Prep Instructions

We suggest students work in groups of four. Homeschool students can work on their own.

Before you begin, let students know they’ll be listening to the sounds of nature as they do this activity.

Lesson 3: Biodiversity & Engineering

Design a Bird Feeder

In this lesson, students investigate which kinds of birds are likely to visit a bird feeder based on what they eat. In the activity, Design a Bird Feeder, students first draw their own bird feeder design to attract a specific type of bird. Then they build a prototype of their bird feeder using available materials.

Number of students:
Bird Feeder Inspiration worksheet 8 copies
My Bird Feeder worksheet 30 copies
Paper Hole Punch
A useful supply for making bird feeders, but if you don't have one, that's okay!
Details
1 paper punch
Scissors
30 pairs
Aluminum Foil
15 feet
Dot Stickers
We prefer stickers because they are easier to distribute in a classroom. Tape will also work.
Details
240 stickers
Paper Cups (8 oz)
30 cups
Paper Plates
30 plates
Pipe Cleaners
60 pipe cleaners
Skewers
Sharpened pencils will also work.
Details
30 skewers
Small Binder Clips (3/4")
Clothespins will also work.
Details
30 clips
Prep Instructions

Each student will create their own bird feeder, but we suggest students work in pairs to share ideas. Homeschool students can work on their own.

Plan Your Time

Part 1 (designing a bird feeder) takes 15 to 20 minutes. Part 2 (building the prototype) can take up to 30 minutes.

You may want to divide this lesson into two sessions, stopping after Part 1 and continuing with Part 2 at a later point. If you plan to do the activity in two sessions, building the bird feeder begins at Step 7.

Check the Recycling Bin

We encourage you to raid your recycling bin for building supplies. You can use materials you find there to substitute or supplement our list of supplies.

Prepare Aluminum Foil and Dot Stickers

Tear aluminum foil into 6” squares so that you have enough for each student.

We suggest providing each student with 8 dot stickers. You can divide these up before class for easier distribution.

Buy Some Bird Seed (Optional)

If you would like to add bird seed to students’ prototype feeders, you'll need to buy a bag. Be warned: spilled bird seed can be messy. Student prototype bird feeders may not be sturdy enough to actually put outside and use.


Engineering Teacher Tip

We created the Bird Feeder Inspiration printout for students who may be stumped or frustrated by the task of making a bird feeder. We suggest letting students first try to come up with ideas on their own, providing these Inspiration printouts only to those who need extra guidance.