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

Science curriculum for K—5th grades.

Video thumbnail
90 sec
  • Hands-on lead students in the doing of science and engineering.
  • NGSS-aligned and Common Core make the transition to the Next Generation Science Standards and support Common Core.
  • 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

  1. Lessons
  2. Activity Prep
  3. Assessments

Mystery 1: Biodiversity, Classification, & Patterns

Animals Sorting Game

In this Mystery, students imagine they’re explorers grouping newly discovered animals by their traits—figuring out how they’re different from one another and how they’re the same.

Students first sort animal cards into groups they devise themselves, and then by the traits scientists use to identify mammals, birds, reptiles, and invertebrates. Finally, students are challenged to make decisions about animals that don’t fall neatly into any of those categories.

This activity works best when students work in pairs, so they can interact with one another. In homeschool or small-group situations, however, students can work on their own.

Step 1: Think Ahead

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

Step 2: Print Out Worksheets and Gather Supplies

Each pair of students (or each student working alone) will need:

  • a set of these 2 sheets to be cut into cards. (Print on card stock if possible.)
  • 4 blank pieces of paper

For every group of 4 students, you will need to print out one Challenge Card sheet.

Each student will also need:

  • scissors

Mystery 2: Biodiversity, Species, & Habitats

Who's Calling?

In this activity, students listen to recordings of frog calls, create words that will remind them of the sounds, and then use those words to identify frog sounds in different environments.

This activity works best when students work in groups of four, so they can interact with one another. In homeschool or small-group situations, however, students can work alone or in pairs.

Step 1: Think Ahead

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

Step 2: Print Out Worksheets

For each student print a set of two worksheets (2 pages):

  • 1 “Who’s Calling?” worksheet
  • 1 “How Many Kinds of Frogs?” worksheet

You can also print an answer key to the worksheets.

In this activity, students listen to recordings of frog calls, create words that will remind them of the sounds, and then use those words to identify frog sounds in different environments.

This activity works best when students work in groups of four, so they can interact with one another. In homeschool or small-group situations, however, students can work alone or in pairs.

Step 1: Think Ahead

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

Step 2: Print Out Worksheets

For each student print a set of two worksheets (2 pages):

  • 1 “Who’s Calling?” worksheet
  • 1 “How Many Kinds of Frogs?” worksheet

You can also print an answer key to the worksheets.

Mystery 3: Biodiversity & Engineering

Design a Bird Feeder

Each student will design a bird feeder for a specific type of bird. They will build a prototype of their bird feeder, a version that incorporates their design ideas, but may not be sturdy enough to actually put outside and use.

Step 1: Get Supplies

We encourage you to raid your recycling bin and craft box for building supplies. You can use those supplies to substitute for or supplement our list of supplies below.

Here is a list of building supplies that you can easily purchase at the store:

  • paper plates & paper cups
  • pencils/skewers
  • aluminum foil
  • tape or stickers (to be used in place of tape)
  • binder clips or clothes pins
  • pipe cleaners

In addition, students will need the following tools to share:

  • scissors
  • paper punch

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.

Step 2: Prepare Supplies

If you are using supplies that come in bulk form, consider dividing supplies for easier distribution. For instance, if you have a roll of aluminum foil, we suggest tearing off 12” squares.

Step 3: Print Worksheets and Inspiration Sheets

Print a set of My Bird Feeder Worksheets for each student.

We also created additional instructions for students who are stumped and frustrated by the task of making a bird feeder. We suggest letting students try on their own, providing these Inspiration Sheets only to those who need the help. Print as many Inspiration Sheets as you think you’ll need for your group.