A Science Unit for Second Grade
By Heidi Lucas
The purpose of this unit is so that students have an understanding of the life cycle of a butterfly and that living things have needs that must be met.
Students will perform different hands-on activities to show their knowledge of the butterfly and the importance of the life cycle of living things. The activities will include using a digital camera to take pictures of the stages of a butterfly and use word processing to describe these stages. They will then put this into a slide show to share with the class and on the school website. Students will also use a video camera to display their knowledge of the different parts of a butterfly and caterpillar and why these parts are essential for the insect’s survival. In addition, they will keep a continuous journal of the stages describing what they see while drawing detailed pictures of what they are observing.
Essential Question: 1. What are the four stages in the life cycle of a butterfly?
1. Students identify the sequence of the stages in the development of a butterfly by taking pictures of each stage of the caterpillar they are observing with a digital camera, adding text to each stage and then sequencing them into a slide show using power point. The students will then share their presentations on the school website.
2. Students discover how many days are required for each stage of the butterfly’s development by printing and filling out a teacher made chart to track their data.
Essential Question: 2. What are the different parts of a caterpillar and why are they needed?
3. Students identify the caterpillar parts and associate parts with names by printing a worksheet form a teacher directed website, filling it out and checking it with partner.
4. Students learn that each part performs useful and essential functions by reading about the anatomy of a caterpillar with a partner from a teacher directed website. One student will then describe each part from an enlarged caterpillar diagram acting as a “college professor” while being video taped by the other student. (Roles will switch when describing the butterfly anatomy). Presentations will be shared with class when everyone is finished.
Essential Question: 3. What needs must be met for a butterfly to complete its life cycle process?
5. Students are assigned a caterpillar and learn the procedures which assure the success of their animal through day to day operations and observations of their caterpillar. Students will keep a journal writing and drawing detailed descriptions and pictures.
6. Students learn that all living things have basic needs and that growth is directly related to eating good foods by providing the caterpillar with food, air (air holes in container) and a suitable place in the classroom for their caterpillar (i.e. not on a window sill).
Essential Question: 4. What are the different parts of a butterfly and why are they needed?
7. Students identify the butterfly parts and associate parts with names by printing a worksheet form a teacher directed website and filling it out.
8. Students learn that each part performs useful and essential functions by reading about the anatomy of a butterfly with a partner from a teacher directed website. One student will then describe each part from an enlarged butterfly diagram acting as a “college professor” while being video taped by the other student. (Roles will switch when describing the caterpillar anatomy). ). Presentations will be shared with class when everyone is finished.
Life Science Standards
1. Recognize that plants and animals have life cycles, and that life cycles vary for different living things.
2. Recognize that people and other animals interact with the environment through their senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste.
3. Identify the ways in which an organism’s habitat provides for its basic needs (plants require air, water, nutrients, and light; animals require food, water, air, and shelter).
4. Recognize that animals (including humans) and plants are living things that grow, reproduce, and need food, air, and water.
1. Use input devices (e.g., mouse, keyboard, remote control) and output devices (e.g., monitor, printer) to successfully operate computers, VCRs, audiotapes, and other technologies.
2. Demonstrate positive social and ethical behaviors when using technology.
3. Practice responsible use of technology systems and software.
4. Create developmentally appropriate multimedia products with support from teachers, family members, or student partners.
5. Work cooperatively and collaboratively with peers, family members, and others when using technology in the classroom.
6. Use technology resources (e.g., puzzles, logical thinking programs, writing tools, digital cameras, drawing tools) for problem solving, communication, and illustration of thoughts, ideas, and stories.
Microsoft Word, Netscape, Power Point
Computer, keyboard, monitor, mouse, digital camera, floppy disc, video camera, video tape, T.V.
Teacher Directed Web Sites and Work Sheets:
Label the Caterpillar Diagram,
Label the Butterfly,
Chart: Painted Lady butterfly life cycle,
Enchanted Learning.com (2002). Available: http://enchantedlearning.com/ [July, 2002].
Frazel, Midge (2001). Monarch Butterfly Thematic Resource Unit, Available: http://www.midgefrazel.net/monarchtheme.html [July, 2002].
ISTE, International Society for Technology in Education, National Educational Technology Standards for Students - Concerning Curriculum and Technology, Available: http://cnets.iste.org/index2.html (July, 2002)
Massachusetts Department of Education (May 2001). Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, Available: http://www.doe.mass.edu/frameworks/current.html [July, 2002].
Heidi Lucas, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
While creating this unit I have learned to be creative with technology and how to properly develop a unit and lesson around the standards through the backwards design model.