Life of Animals
During the 8 lessons of the Life of Animals unit, students engage in a course of study that includes food chains, habitats and ecosystems, types and forms of skeletal movement, body coat and vertebrate animals, invertebrate animals, animal diversity, and observation and research.
Lesson 1 focuses on reproduction, recognizing the structures animals build (shelters and nests) to aid their survival. Lesson 2 addresses movement, as students examine the function of the skeleton, muscles, and joints and how each relates to movement.
The next several lessons are dedicated to expanding student knowledge about animal diversity. Students study warm-blooded animals, for example, and come to understand the need for insulated skin to maintain body temperature. Lesson 5 highlights the dependence of reptiles (alligators) and amphibians (frogs) on water, as students compare the life cycles of these two animals. In Lesson 6, students encounter social animals, specifically ants, bees, wasps, and termites. Students consider issues such as division of labor, protection, and forms of reproduction. Lesson 7 focuses on the diversity of marine mammals such as whales, dolphins, and seals. Students investigate marine animals’ geographical distribution and identify criteria for classifying them. The final lesson challenges students to reflect on the relationship between humans and animals, identifying positive as well as negative aspects of those relationships.