Activities and Lesson Plans

Cover - Conserving Critters

Related 4th Grade TEKS

Math

13 A, B: Probability and statistics. The student solves problems by collecting, organizing, displaying, and interpreting sets of data. The student is expected to: (A) use concrete objects or pictures to make generalizations about determining all possible combinations of a given set of data or of objects in a problem situation; and (B) interpret bar graphs.

16 A,B: Underlying processes and mathematical tools. The student uses logical reasoning. The student is expected to: (A) make generalizations from patterns or sets of examples and nonexamples; and (B) justify why an answer is reasonable and explain the solution process.

Language Arts

19: Writing/Persuasive Texts. Students write persuasive texts to influence the attitudes or actions of a specific audience on specific issues. Students are expected to write persuasive essays for appropriate audiences that establish a position and use supporting details.

15 A,B,C,D,E: Writing/Writing Process. Students use elements of the writing process (planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing) to compose text. Students are expected to:(A) plan a first draft by selecting a genre appropriate for conveying the intended meaning to an audience and generating ideas through a range of strategies (e.g., brainstorming, graphic organizers, logs, journals); (B) develop drafts by categorizing ideas and organizing them into paragraphs; (C) revise drafts for coherence, organization, use of simple and compound sentences, and audience; (D) edit drafts for grammar, mechanics, and spelling using a teacher-developed rubric; and (E) revise final draft in response to feedback from peers and teacher and publish written work for a specific audience.

Science

4 A: Scientific investigation and reasoning. The student knows how to use a variety of tools, materials, equipment, and models to conduct science inquiry. The student is expected to: (A) collect, record, and analyze information using tools, including calculators, microscopes, cameras, computers, hand lenses, metric rulers, Celsius thermometers, mirrors, spring scales, pan balances, triple beam balances, graduated cylinders, beakers, hot plates, meter sticks, compasses, magnets, collecting nets, and notebooks; timing devices, including clocks and stopwatches; and materials to support observation of habitats of organisms such as terrariums and aquariums.

9 B: Organisms and environments. The student knows and understands that living organisms within an ecosystem interact with one another and with their environment. The student is expected to: (B) describe the flow of energy through food webs, beginning with the Sun, and predict how changes in the ecosystem affect the food web such as a fire in a forest.

10 A,B,C: Organisms and environments. The student knows that organisms undergo similar life processes and have structures that help them survive within their environment. The student is expected to: (A) explore how adaptations enable organisms to survive in their environment such as comparing birds' beaks and leaves on plants; (B) demonstrate that some likenesses between parents and offspring are inherited, passed from generation to generation such as eye color in humans or shapes of leaves in plants. Other likenesses are learned such as table manners or reading a book and seals balancing balls on their noses; and (C) explore, illustrate, and compare life cycles in living organisms such as butterflies, beetles, radishes, or lima beans.

Social Studies

9 A,B,C: Geography. The student understands how people adapt to and modify their environment. The student is expected to: (A) describe ways people have adapted to and modified their environment in Texas, past and present; (B) identify reasons why people have adapted to and modified their environment in Texas, past and present, such as the use of natural resources to meet basic needs; and (C) analyze the consequences of human modification of the environment in Texas, past and present.

18 A: Citizenship. The student understands the importance of voluntary individual participation in the democratic process. The student is expected to: (A) explain how individuals can participate voluntarily in civic affairs at state and local levels.

Discussion Questions

  1. What does "conservation" mean? Why do we do conservation?
  2. What is "habitat?" Why is it important to conserve habitat?
  3. Share some of the coolest things you learned about these Texas conservation success stories!
  4. Which animals were affected by DDT? What is DDT? What effect did it have?
  5. Compare and contrast the Texas conservationists. How are they the same? How are they different?
  6. What could you do now to help with conservation in Texas? Discuss.
  7. CHALLENGE QUESTION: As our human population grows, how can we make sure there's always enough habitat on Earth for both wildlife and humans? Share what you think.

Habitat Hunt

Learn about wildlife ecology and habitat and choose your area of focus: science, geography, art, English, math, or social studies. You can even do these activities by visiting your local park! Check them out at: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/learning/resources/activities/habhunt.phtml

Video – Whoo Hoo for Whoopers!

Learn about whooping cranes – the successes they’ve had and the dangers they face in this 3-minute video brought to you by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeNfRdpfZVU.

A Pizza Supreme Activity!

Here's a slice of biodiversity, literally! Whenever a plant or animal goes extinct a gap gets made in the food web. That would be like the cheese or sauce getting left off your pizza! Would it still be pizza?
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/learning/resources/activities/coastal/biodiversity.phtml

Web of Danger

When a species becomes endangered a whole lot more is at stake than just THEIR lives! The whole food web to which they belong may be in trouble. Learn more at: http://pbskids.org/eekoworld/index.html?load=plants_animals. Then pick an animal featured in this month’s lesson and draw a diagram showing how it might fit into the food web.

As Told by a Spider

Here's the story of the web of life as told by an ordinary garden spider: http://www.kidsplanet.org/wol/index.html . The story helps you understand how important wildlife conservation is to all living things. Afterwards, pretend you’re one of the other characters in the spider’s story and retell the story from your point of view. Make sure to write a draft, edit it, proof read, and then write a final, spider-approved perfect copy!

EXTENSIONS:

Rare Species' Activity Packets

Check out these activity packets brought to you by Texas Parks and Wildlife. They provide extensions to this month’s lesson by including animals that we didn’t feature. This gives you chances for exploration (and fun!) on your own.
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/learning/resources/publications/youth_pubs.phtml#rare

Bald Eagle Video

This great video, brought to you by Texas Parks and Wildlife, "Texas Eagles on the Move," tells the conservation success story of the Bald Eagle in Texas. Go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RtMHcq6KVs.

Video – Saving the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle

This uplifting video brought to you by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department outlines the conservation history of the Kemp's Ridley’s sea turtle. It features Dr. Donna Shaver and her dog Ridley. Don't miss it!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afgsYchpD_Q.


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