For Teachers

Letter to Educators

Introduction

 
Background

Why Study Rare Breeds?

ALBC Conservation Priorty List

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Units

~ K-2 Overview

Kindergarden

~ 3-5 Overview

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Resources

Slideshow

PDFs
Farm Visits

 

Fourth Grade Unit: EXPLAIN

Explain: FIELD TRIP, OBSERVATION OF BODY STRUCTURE, FORM AND FUNCTION.

KEY CONCEPTS

• Structure and Function in Living Systems
• Diversity and Adaptations of organisms

What is an adaptation: behavior, body structure. Specific animal adaptations
• Genetic diversity and human selection
• Form and Function
• Habitats

 

CRITICAL SKILLS

• Describe observed events.
• Develop questions on scientific topics
• Collect data for investigations.
• Compare observations of individual and group results.

 

SUMMARY

At the farm, students will observe farm animals in their habitat and try to form some guesses about specific adaptations of the animals. They will record specific structures they see and try to determine function based on observations or asking questions. They complete a form for each specific trait they observe. Once back in the classroom, students research their ideas and write up their findings.

 

MATERIALS NEEDED

AnTraits.pdf (One copy for teacher reference. Also used in Kindergarten Unit for teacher reference of Similarities and Differences). FormNFunc.pdf. copied on front and back.

 

DIRECTIONS

1. Before going to the farm, talk to students about the unique opportunity they will have to do original field research at the farm. They will be making observations and recording their ideas about specific adaptations of the animals. This is the sort of work done by field biologists, zookeepers and anyone involved in animal studies. You never know when one of them might make a new discovery!

2. At the farm, distribute clipboards and copies of FormNFunc.pdf. Give each student two copies. Point out that they are double sided, and therefore each person has enough to complete four observations. Encourage them to write their names on them immediately.

3. Students can certainly ask for more copies as they complete them.

4. Students observe different domestic species and record their ideas about the specific structures on the animals and their functions.

5. Direct students to look for body structures that assist in growth, survival and reproduction. Use AnTraits.pdf as a guide for asking leading questions. Delve further as students are able to handle.

a. For example: study the tails of different species – what functions do they serve?

b. Remember, survival of offspring is an important step in successful reproduction. What adaptations of these animals help their babies survive?

c. What features of the animals seem suited to the region where they live? What seems unsuited? Are there long-haired breeds in a hot climate or vise versa? Would another breed fare better here?

d. Are there any changes over time occurring in the herd?

e. Is the farmer selecting for specific traits in any of the breeds?

f. Are there aspects of the farm management that encourage specific traits over others to develop? For example, do they cull sick or weak offspring, or do they keep them in the herd?

6. Collect student observation sheets.

 

RESOURCES

http://www. ansi. okstate. edu/breeds/

 

 

Navigating the Unit

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4th - 5 E Summary
4th - Engage
4th - Explore
4th - Explain
4th - Expand
4th - Evaluate
4th - Supplement

Noah's Ark Today is property of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.
Copyright 2006.

American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, PO Box 477, Pittsboro, NC 27312