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        Life Science for Grade 4 with Wild Kratts

        This unit outlines video, interactive, and document resources to teach Life Science for Grade 4, targeted to address concepts outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards. Using multiple resources from the hit KIDS series Wild Kratts, as well as content drawn from SciGirls and IdahoPTV, this catered unit is perfect for bringing exciting, engaging media into fourth grade science classrooms.

        Lesson Summary

        Objective: This unit outlines video, interactive, and document resources to teach Life Science for Grade 4, targeted to address concepts outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards.

        Learning Objectives

        Standards Covered: This unit covers all NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas for Grade 4 Life Science: Structure, Function, and Information Processing

        4-PS4-2.  Develop a model to describe that light reflecting from objects and entering the eye allows objects to be seen.
        4-LS1-1.  Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
        4-LS1-2.  Use a model to describe that animals receive different types of information through their senses, process the information in their brain, and respond to the information in different ways. 

        Suggested Flow: Resources from the Wild Kratts series, as well as from other various supporting PBS brands and stations, will be pulled together in small, recommended media bundles. 

        Each module of content will link together related video, interactive, and print media to address one or multiple NGSS concept areas. Modules will contain links to resources directly within PBS LearningMedia, as well as short outlines of the duration of media clips and activities.

        Lesson Outlines

        1. Night Primates and Eye Adaptations

        These three segments from an episode of Wild Kratts introduce adaptations that primates like the slow loris use to live nocturnally, including their characteristically large eyes. The Kratts discover that their own eyes, by acclimating to the dark and expanding their pupils, can act as similar assets by letting in more light.

        Topics covered:

        • How the eye gathers light (4-PS4-2)
        • Animal structures and adaptations with various functions (4-LS1-1)
        • Animal senses and information processing (4-LS1-2)

         

                              • Night Primates (Video 1:33) Wild Kratts

        In this clip, get introduced to Chris and Martin Kratt and their featured animal: the slow loris. They point out how the loris has evolved large eyes to adapt to low-light environments, and talk about how our pupils dilate to let in more light.

          • Techno Googly-Eyes (Video 2:52) Wild Kratts

        The Kratt brothers test out new night goggles that emulate night-vision adaptations: wide-open irises and extra-sensitive cones. But soon they realize the risks of traveling out at night without the right adaptations… or equipment.

          • Night Wandering (Video 2:13) Wild Kratts

        Lost out at night, the Kratts remember to use their senses to find their way in the dark. After their pupils dilate it’s much easier to see; plus using their other senses helps out as well.

        Extensions:

        • Eyes (Video 2:44) This resource from IdahoPTV takes a more in-depth look at eye biology, and the role that the pupil, iris, lens, and retina play in allowing us to see.

         

        2. Discovering Animal Senses

        This unit looks closely at three examples of unique animal senses: electro-reception, heat-vision, and echolocation. Optional extensions allow further investigation into activities or more video to branch out from these concepts.

        Topics covered:

        • Animal structures and adaptations with various functions (4-LS1-1)
        • Animal senses and information processing (4-LS1-2)

         

                              Discovering Senses (Video 1:36) Wild Kratts

        The Kratts team discovers the platypus’ sixth sense that it uses to detect faint electrical signals underwater: “electro-reception.”

          Snake Super Sense (Video 2:28) Wild Kratts

        This Kratts video investigates the Diamondback rattlesnake’s ability to detect ambient heat.

          Deep Diver (Video 1:54) Wild Kratts

        The Kratts explore the adaptations of sperm whales, including their use of sonar and echolocation as a sensory behavior.

        Extensions:

        • Platypus Super Sense Discovered! (Video 1:45) This clip precedes the Discovering Senses excerpt above. It does not offer any clarification of the platypus electro-reception sense, but sets up the storyline from the episode. Use this to drum up interest in the Kratts characters as an introduction into the lesson.
        • Discovering Senses Lesson Plan (Activity 2+ days) This lesson plan offers four short activities that encourage students to test critically their senses of taste, touch, smell, and sound. The age range is targeted towards grades K-3 but many can be adapted to a fourth-grade level.
        • Creatures of the Night (Full Episode 27:44) This full program from Kratts Creatures focuses on nocturnal animals and their various adaptations, utilizing different types of senses to navigate without light. Offer this downloadable content to parents for an extension outside of the classroom.

         

        3. Animal Adaptations: Scent Behavior and Communication

        These resources look specifically at animal behaviors and adaptations involving scents. Scent is a form of communication for many members of the animal kingdom, and while we can use our sense of smell it’s often difficult to really understand how animals have adapted their own into a much more powerful tool.

        Topics covered:

        • Animal structures and adaptations with various functions (4-LS1-1)
        • Animal senses and information processing (4-LS1-2)

         

                              GPS: Animal Scent (Acitivies, 2-3 hours) SciGirls

        With these activities, guide your class through the way many animals use scent as an important sense for identification and communication.

          GPS Animal Scent (Video 6:22) SciGirls

        This video accompanies the above lesson plan. By taking similar experiments to a zoo, your students will be able to see different examples of how various animals react to scent and territoriality.

          A Smelly Disaster! (Video 2:12) Wild Kratts

        This clip shows that it’s not just animals that have adapted to use scent, but insects as well.

        Extensions:

        • Sensing Sickness (Video 3:09) This video from Nature shows wolves on the hunt for Buffalo, using very sophisticated scent tracking to pinpoint the weakest of the herd. 
        • Smell (Video 0:38) In this short clip from IdahoPTV, learn how our nose and brain are able to detect the chemical signals behind scents.

         

        Click these links to find more resources from Wild Kratts and SciGirls.

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