Environment and Life
During the 8 lessons of the Environment and Life unit, students will study organism adaptation, relationships between organisms in the environment, ways in which humans impact the environment, and how light, water, and temperature affect organisms and the environment.
In Lesson 1 students begin to build on what they understand about the environment. The lesson compares and contrasts characteristics of different environments as students recognize that an environment consists of all living and nonliving things in a specific area. Next, students focus specifically on the living things in an environment as students learn how adaptations enable certain species to survive. Students investigate the webbed feet of aquatic birds and the ears of deer as adaptations that enable the species to survive in the environment in which it lives.
Lesson 3 begins a study into a look at our impact on the environment. Students explore two products: bread and aluminum cans. Then they examine how each is produced. Environmental impact takes center stage as students begin to recognize that raw materials from the environment are the origin of many products we use. The theme of the next lesson is “reduce, reuse, and recycle.” Students continue reflecting on their own environmental impact and separate typical classroom trash, classifying waste as recyclable and not recyclable.
Temperature is the focus in Lesson 5 in which students revisit the concept of adaptation in a study about how animals survive in the extreme cold. An activity that simulates animal blubber provides a springboard for discussion about animal adaptations. The next two lessons highlight the need of water for all living things. Students investigate how organisms get water and observe how the environmental factor of water influences the growth of plants.
In the final lesson, students learn how important light is to the environment and how some animals adapt to an environment without light. Then students observe how the abse