Summer SAVY 2019: Session 2, Day 3 – Animal Adaptations (Rising 1st/2nd)
Presenting our Habitat partner assignments that we finished yesterday to the class this morning was so informative and full of critical thinking! Partners shared why each specific habitat was important to the animals that naturally live there, and how they depend on everything in the habitat to meet survival needs. Then, when we shared events or actions that could cause changes in a habitat, we told the group how we evaluated the effects that could result from those changes that would decrease and threaten animal survival. One pattern we noticed was that every group mentioned in their presentation that people are the cause of many of the habitat changes that can threaten the ability of animals to survive and thrive. Another pattern in the presentations was that we all analyzed how the effects are like dominoes in that, as one student said, “If there is a sickness, all the animals could get it because they depend on each other.” We identified food webs too.
Now it was time for our Adaptation Challenge! We broke up into two teams. The objective was to create a new animal that had at least one adaptation, a new kind of habitat to support survival of the new animal, and its food requirements and needs to thrive. The materials were, a sheet of newspaper, scissors, tape and innovative teamwork! The teams had to present to Miss Ashanti and me as prospective buyers for a new and unique exhibit for the Nashville Zoo. Their job was to persuade. The kicker though was that 2/3 of the construction of the challenge had to be accomplished in silence with only eye or hand communication. Phase One was: 5 minutes of silence to create an animal body part with only the newspaper. Phase Two: 15 minutes of silence and silent communication to try to make a new animal using the body parts from all team members (only eye or hand communication) using the tape. Phase Three: 15 minutes to talk as a group to figure out what you made, habitat, food, name of species, and anything else you wanted to tell the prospective buyers. Phase Four: Present to zoo keepers. Phase Five: Zoo keeper announcement of the winner. In the end, one animal will be pitched as a new exhibit at the Nashville and the other, because it is too large for the Nashville, will be pitched for the Wild Animal Park in San Diego, CA.
Back to more critical thinking! We read excerpts from Hurricane Katrina, The Two Bobbies, Wildfires, and Nefertiti and discussed the implications and consequences of change that is either manmade or natural. We created a chart to help us analyze our information to form our discussion.
Finally, we posed a debatable question that we discussed in a circle format, like a Socratic Seminar. Our debatable question was: Should humans be allowed to intentionally remove wild animals from their natural environments (such as zoos, or other captive situations), and what are the implications and consequences of these actions? We had a fabulous discussion! Please be sure and ask your child about this and maybe you can continue this or expand upon this at home tonight if you have time! Tomorrow, visitors from the Nashville Zoo will be coming to us in the classroom!