SSI WDF UCM Folio XSLT

Structures of Life

Next Generation

Resources by Investigation

Resources by Investigation
Investigation 1: Origin of Seeds
Students conduct a seed hunt by opening fresh fruit and locating the seeds. They describe and compare seed properties. Students examine and sort a selection of seeds—bean, pea, sunflower, and corn. They investigate the effect water has on seeds by setting up seed sprouters and observing and recording changes over a week. Students systematically find out how much water lima beans soak up in a day. Students investigate seed dispersal mechanisms of plants.
1.4
Investigation 1, Part 4: Seed Dispersal
Investigation 2: Growing Further
Students examine germinated seeds to determine similarities and differences in the way the organisms grow. They set up a hydroponic garden to observe the life cycle of a bean plant. Students go outdoors to investigate the roots and shoots of various plants. They use tools to dig up plants and compare the structures above ground to those below ground. Through direct experience and readings, students learn about plant structures and functions.
2.1
Investigation 2, Part 1: Germination and Growth
Students compare four seeds germinating in minisprouters. They identify and describe emerging plant structures such as seed coats, cotyledons, stems, leaves, and roots. Students discuss germination strategies used by different plants and how those strategies enhance the plants’ chances of survival.
2.2
Investigation 2, Part 2: Life Cycle of the Bean
Students grow seedlings hydroponically in nutrient solution and observe them throughout their life cycle. They observe and record the emergence of flowers, fruit, and new seeds. They sequence illustrations that depict different stages in the life cycle of a bean plant. Students read about the concept of life cycle in plants and animals and get additional information from a video on animal life cycles. Students compare life cycles and discuss inheritance of characteristics.
2.3
Investigation 2, Part 3: Roots and Shoots
Students go to the schoolyard to investigate the roots and shoots of various plants. They use tools to dig up plants and compare the structures above ground to those below ground. They also compare root structures of different plants and discuss inheritance of characteristics.
Investigation 3: Meet the Crayfish
Students observe and record some of the structures of a crustacean, the crayfish, and compare it to other organisms. They establish a feeding and maintenance schedule for the organisms. Students investigate crayfish behavior and map where the crayfish spend time within their habitat. Through readings, organism cards, and a video, students learn about adaptations of organisms in different environments, including different kinds of group and social behaviors. Students use a computer simulation to study variation of traits in species and explore how variation might affect survival of individuals. Students engage in an outdoor simulation activity to explore food chains.
3.2
Investigation 3, Part 2: Adaptation
Students study crayfish behavior and learn that it has survival value. They are introduced to the concept of adaptation—a structure or behavior that improves an organism’s chance of survival. Students study environments and consider the particular adaptations that allow organisms to survive. Students use a computer simulation to study variation of traits in species and how variation might affect survival of individuals.
3.3
Investigation 3, Part 3: Crayfish Territory
Students set up a long-term habitat and recording system for investigating territorial behavior in crayfish. They record and analyze the locations of individual crayfish. They consider territorial behavior as a possible adaptation that serves to improve the crayfish’s chance for survival.
3.4
Investigation 3, Part 4: Compare Crayfish to Other Animals
3.5
Investigation 3, Part 5: Food Chains
Students go outdoors to investigate food chains by assuming the roles of animals in a food chain. By changing the number in each population (grass, grasshoppers, frogs, and hawks), students try to achieve a sustainable food chain.
Investigation 3 (Alternative): Meet the Hissing Cockroach
Students observe and record some of the structures of an insect, the Madagascar hissing cockroach, and compare it to other organisms. They establish a feeding and maintenance schedule for the organisms. Students investigate hissing cockroach behavior and map where the organisms spend time within their habitat. Through readings, organism cards, and a video, students learn about adaptations of organisms in different environments, including different kinds of group and social behaviors. Students use a computer simulation to study variation of traits in species and explore how variation might affect survival of individuals. Students engage in an outdoor simulation activity to explore food chains.
4.1
Investigation 3, Part 1: Hissing Cockroach Structures
4.2
Investigation 3, Part 2: Characteristics and Adaptations
4.3
Investigation 3, Part 3: Group Behaviors
Students set up a long-term habitat and recording system for investigating behaviors of hissing cockroaches in their habitat. They record and analyze the locations of individual cockroaches each day. They consider behavior as a possible adaptation that serves to improve the cockroach’s chances for survival. Students research animals that exhibit group behaviors.
4.4
Investigation 3, Part 4: Comparing Animals
4.5
Investigation 3, Part 5: Food Chains
Students go outdoors to investigate food chains by assuming the roles of animals in a food chain. By changing the number in each population (grass, grasshoppers, frogs, and hawks), students try to achieve a sustainable food chain.
Investigation 4: Human Body
Students observe the articulated human skeletal system in action, use posters and a sense of touch to estimate and refine a count of the 206 human bones, and build skeleton puzzles from memory. Students dissect rodent bones from owl pellets and compare them to human bones. They explore joints and their role in movement focusing on opposable thumbs. Students build operational models of muscle-bone systems to see how muscles move bones. They investigate their skin by making and analyzing fingerprint patterns.
5.1
Investigation 4, Part 1: Counting Bones
Students start by observing the human body jumping rope. They count the number of bones in the skeleton, first without visual aids, then using photographs and posters to help make a more accurate count. Students assemble a model of a human skeleton from memory. They compare and discuss their models. They compare a picture of an accurate model to their own work.
5.2
Investigation 4, Part 2: Owl Pellets
Students examine owl pellets, remove the rodent bones from them, and compare the structures of rodent bones to the structures of human bones. Students reconstruct the rodent skeleton. They read about researchers finding 10,000-year-old preserved owl pellets. Through readings and media, students learn about fossils, how they are formed, and what evidence they provide about past environments.