Integrated and Interactive Science Unit on Living Things for Years F/1/2

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Summary of Integrated Science Unit on Living Things:

This unit was created as part of an integrated classroom theme. Children were immersed in the theme from the beginning of the term throughout all their Language, Maths, Science, Technology and Design and art lessons. This package includes a small sample of what was covered over the term.
  • Each week we read a different ‘focus text’ as we focused on different aspects of living things (Australian Animals/ Zoo Animals/ Minibeasts/ Plants/ Gardens etc).
  • We organised an excursion for all Foundation-Year 1 students to the Zoo where we participated in an educational experience about animal habitats and conservation before exploring the Zoo in small groups. We also organised a local wildlife rehabilitation centre to visit. They brought out a number of animals that could be found in our region for the children to engage with.
  • Our home-corner/ Role play area was set up as a scientists lab filled with lab coats, safety glasses, microscopes, a collection of leaves, bark, nuts, seeds, fur etc, blank venn diagrams and labelling pages, coloured pencils, magazines, books, soft toys (animals) etc.
  • We had a blank pin up board where children were encouraged to bring in pictures of living things from magazines etc and glue them onto the wall.
  • We provided bug catchers, nets and magnifying glasses for children to use during outdoor time. They were allowed to safely collect things they found and look at them in the home corner but all insects had to be released at the end of the day.
  • The classroom was decorated with giant blow up insects which we labelled together using flashcards, giant leaves and vines that the children created independently during activity time.
  • While this was an integrated unit, one hour per week was spent working on the science concepts. During this hour, we had the schools Science Lab booked. This was also the time we were able to go on our walks around the school and complete our experiments.

Australian Curriculum Links:

Year Foundation/1 Science:

  • Living things have basic needs, including food and water (ACSSU002)
  • Respond to questions about familiar objects and events (ACSIS014)
  • Science involves asking questions about, and describing changes in, objects and events (ACSHE021)
  • Living things have a variety of external features (ACSSU017)
  • Explore and make observations by using the senses (ACSIS011)
  • Living things live in different places where their needs are met (ACSSU211)
  • People use science in their daily lives, including when caring for their environment and living things (ACSHE022)

These are the main links of the resource. There are more if you would like to search for them at: http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/

Download the full unit below:

Science Unit – Living Things (9 Weeks) (PDF)

Assessment:

  • Observations about students current understanding about living things.
  • Work sample (Living and Non-Living things’ interactive notebook page).
  • Observations and conversations with students looking for their abilities to compare animals by external features.
  • Ongoing observations and anecdotal notes about children’s ability to carry out a scientific experiment using a given framework and students ability to record information.
  • Use a checklist to note which children are accurately able to describe a living thing by the way it looks and the way it moves.
  • Take note of whether children’s designs include the features of insects (3 body parts, 6 legs, wings etc)
  • Observations and conversations with students looking for their abilities to sort animals by their habitats.
  • Observations and conversations with students looking for their abilities to match animals with appropriate habitats.
  • Look at design process.
  • Observations and conversations with students. Look at labelling and understanding of the needs of living things.
  • Work samples

Resources:

Resources Provided in the Pack:

  • Blank KWL chart (enlarge to A3).
  • Living & Non Living Things interactive notebook page.
  • Compare and Contrast animals- Blank Venn Diagram.
  • Label It! Worksheet.
  • Feathers, Fur, Skin or Scales notebook page.
  • Experiment 1: Little Sprout House page (copy onto green card).
  • Worms Y chart (enlarge to A3 for each group).
  • Parts of a flower labels.

You will need to source:

  • Anchor Charts- these are posters you create with your class to display around the room. I like to make mine on A2 card.
  • Zoo’s Who game- Can be purchased from game stores. You can make your own version by having flashcards with animals on them and playing like celebrity heads.
  • A collection of animal coverings (eg feathers, a piece of fur etc). Many items can be found at spotlight.
  • Experiment 1: Ziplock bags, potting mix, lima beans, water, scissors, sticky tape and staples.
  • Experiment 2: Little pots (I use the tough cup cake wrappers made from card), potting mix, flower seeds and water.
  • Craft supplies- sticky tape, glue, scissors, pencils, textas, crayons, coloured card, empty boxes etc.
  • Collection of leaves, nuts, seeds, grasses, bark etc from outside (the children will collect this as part of the unit).
  • Pictures of insects cut into 5 pieces for children to put back together as a grouping activity.
  • Patty Pans, wool and sunflower seeds
  • Books: The Tiny Seed (Eric Carle), Did You Know? (Deanna Jump)

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Foundation/ Year 1 teacher in Perth, WA.

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