Plants and animals need defenses to keep from being eaten. Nearly all animals have predators of one kind or another, and eluding capture usually means running away, hiding, or both. But when avoidance fails and the predator gets too near, most animals still have an effective last line of defense. Plants need defenses too, for protection from the many animals that feed upon them. Plants can’t run away or hide, but they have evolved a diverse armory of useful adaptations for fending off herbivores. Continue reading Daunting Defenses – Background
FOCUS: Plants and animals have traits that help them avoid being eaten. Defenses like sharp spines, noxious odors, hard shells, and poisons are common in both plant and animal worlds. These last lines of defense help animals to fend off attackers at close quarters. Defensive adaptations help plants protect essential parts needed to produce and ripen seeds for the next generation.
Objective: To begin to explore and ask questions about defenses.
Give small groups of children a variety of items that are examples of natural defenses, and ask what they notice and wonder about them.
Materials: Defenses Set, magnifying lenses.
PUZZLING OUT PATTERNS
Objective: To use observations to describe patterns of similarities in plant and animal defenses.
In small groups at tables, have children work together to assemble Defense Puzzles that compare plant and animal defenses. Continue reading Daunting Defenses – Activities
The Rascally Bandit Strikes Again
Characters: Rocky Raccoon, Patty Porcupine, Toby Turtle, Emmy Eft, Wally Worm, Renee Raspberry, Benjy Bear.
Raccoon Here is the Rascally Bandit, prowling in the dark, striking fear in the hearts of all defenseless creatures! And here comes some prey. Maybe he can catch it!
Patty Porcupine Hello, Rocky Raccoon.
Raccoon Oh, it’s you Patty Porcupine. Don’t worry. I won’t eat you.
Porcupine Eat me? I guess not. With these quills, I’d be a prickly mouthful! Continue reading Daunting Defenses – Puppet Show
DAUNTING DEFENSES ALIGNMENT WITH
NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS
The activities in this unit help children understand the basic concepts in the Disciplinary Core Ideas listed here. You can use the following list as a guide for lesson planning. These Disciplinary Core Ideas are taken from Grade Band Endpoints in A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Additionally, our activities give children opportunities to engage in many of the Science and Engineering Practices and reflect on the Crosscutting Concepts as identified in the Next Generation Science Standards. Continue reading Daunting Defenses – Standards