Daunting Defenses – Activities

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.

INTRODUCTION
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

Daunting Defenses – Puppet Show

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 – Standards

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

Beavers and Muskrats – Background

Beavers and muskrats, both rodents with round, furry bodies, twinkling eyes, and dexterous front feet, have a certain charm that endears them to us, even though they can be a nuisance. Both animals live in wetland habitats, and, though they are only distantly related, they have many similarities in their behavior and physical adaptations. Muskrats are beneficial to other wetland animals because they keep waterways open and clear of vegetation. But beavers far outshine muskrats in their skill as engineers and in the profound effect they have on their environment. Continue reading Beavers and Muskrats – Background

Beavers and Muskrats – Activities

FOCUS: Muskrats and beavers are furry mammals that spend much of their lives in and around the water of streams, ponds, and wetlands. Both animals modify their habitat to suit their needs, and beavers in particular have a significant impact on their environment. Beavers and muskrats have many special adaptations for their largely aquatic lives.

INTRODUCTION
Objective: To begin to explore and ask questions about beavers and muskrats.

Give small groups of children several photographs of beavers and muskrats to examine and sort.

Materials an assortment of photographs of beavers and muskrats.

BEAVERS AND MUSKRATS UP CLOSE
Objective: To examine and compare beaver and muskrat skulls and pelts and to consider how their special adaptations function in their lives.

In small groups, give children a chance to hold and study different beaver and muskrat skulls and pelts. Use the Beaver Kit Study Guide questions to help children think about each part and how it relates to a beaver’s or muskrat’s life. Continue reading Beavers and Muskrats – Activities

Beavers and Muskrats – Puppet Show

The Tales of Two Rodents

 

Characters: Beaver, Blue Jay, Fox, Muskrat

Props: three or four small sticks; two wooden blocks to bang together to make loud clap, cattail prop.

Cattail prop attached to stage

Beaver  (places a stick on stage) Five, six, pick up sticks, seven, eight, lay them straight.

Blue Jay  Hold it, wait a minute, hold on right there. What are you up to, Bernie Beaver? Continue reading Beavers and Muskrats – Puppet Show

Beavers and Muskrats – Standards

BEAVERS AND MUSKRATS 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 Beavers and Muskrats – Standards

The Buzz on Bees – Background

The hum of honeybees as they flit from flower to flower from spring through fall carries the promise of summer fruits and autumn harvest. ­­­ Many flowers depend on bees and other insects to transport their pollen, and that pollen is needed to fertilize the flower’s eggs so they can mature into seeds. The relationship also benefits the bees because they depend on nectar from flowers to make honey and to mix with pollen to feed to their young. When we look at the amazing adaptations of honeybees, both physical and behavioral, we learn much about the life and work of these busy, buzzy insects.

Honeybees are social insects, living in colonies of many thousands of bees. Each colony is a single family comprised of the queen and her offspring. Working together in a highly organized way, honeybees accomplish remarkable feats of construction, navigation, decision making, defense, and honey making – far beyond what an individual insect could do on its own.  Continue reading The Buzz on Bees – Background

The Buzz on Bees – Activities

FOCUS:  Honeybees are social insects, living in colonies of many thousands of bees. Working together in a highly organized way, honeybees accomplish remarkable feats of construction, navigation, decision-making, defense, and honey making – far beyond what an individual insect could do on its own.  Many fascinating adaptations, both physical and behavioral, are important in the life and work of these busy, buzzy insects.

INTRODUCTION
Objective: To begin to explore and ask questions about bees.

Place in front of each child a dead bee (on a jar lid) to examine using a hand lens. Ask children what they notice and wonder about the bees.

Materials: dried, dead honeybees in jars with lids, one per child; magnifying lenses.

BEE ANATOMY
Objective: To examine closely and compare different types of honeybees and their cousins.

Ahead of time, contact a local beekeeper and obtain some dead bees, both workers and drones, if possible. These should be dried completely and stored in a shallow cardboard box. Before class, place bees in jar lids, one for each child. Continue reading The Buzz on Bees – Activities

The Buzz on Bees – Puppet Show

It’s a Bee’s Life

 

Characters: Nellie Girl, Henrietta Honeybee, Earth Fairy, Nellie Bee, Queen Bee, Nellie’s Mom

Nellie  Hi there, Henrietta Honeybee. You sure are busy. You’ve been to every flower in this patch.

Henrietta Honeybee  Yes, I don’t want to miss a single drop.

Nellie  You must be collecting honey!

Honeybee  Honey? Oh no, there’s no honey in these flowers.

Nellie  You mean they’re empty? Continue reading The Buzz on Bees – Puppet Show

The Buzz on Bees – Standards

THE BUZZ ON BEES 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 The Buzz on Bees – Standards