Summer SAVY 2019: Session 2, Day 1 – Animal Adaptations (Rising 1st/2nd)
This has been a roaring great first day! It’s always fun to have an ice breaker that involves guessing what animal is on your visor. Questions and answers were flying all around until each of us guessed our mystery animal using scientific questioning.
Then it was time for us to observe and hypothesize like a scientist as we played a game of scoot. We had to look closely at a detailed, authentic picture of an animal and try to determine what part of the animal’s body was used to help it survive; what habitat it probably lived in; what it was called; and how the animal would be impacted if one of its body parts that is an adaptation to help it survive, became damaged or removed. Our conversations were quite stimulating and thought provoking and the scientific models and notes we took in our journals were quite helpful. It was fun to then read the information on the back of the animal card and see how close we were to coming up with the facts. We even learned a new word for an adaptation, mimicry. Our observation had lead us to think the Katydid used camouflage to avoid prey, so it was interesting to learn that this was mimicry! This was a great disguise to learn about. The other animals we observed were seal, scorpion, blue footed booby, and opossum. We also learned that the opossum is the only mammal in North America with a prehensile tail!
Going to the grass area outside, gave us an opportunity to look for change, which is our universal concept this week. We found all kinds of change from seasons, leaves, buildings, birds moving their directions, human growth and more. Our overarching question this week is: How does change impact animal survival including human interaction? Our course objectives this week are: 1. explain how scientists study animals using investigation and reasoning for an intended purpose; 2. Explain how scientists and engineers can work together to solve problems that threaten animal survival.
After we took time to compare and contrast the differences and similarities between scientists and engineers, we were ready to get out feet wet with an engineering challenge. Our challenge was for groups to use the following materials, spaghetti, marshmallows (small and one large), tape and a piece of paper, to construct a tower that would support one large marshmallow at the top. The group that builds the highest free-standing tower wins the competition.
Tomorrow we will be investigating animal life cycles, what animals need to survive and thrive in their habitats, and how change is inevitable and is necessary for growth. Can’t wait to take flight with deeper learning on day 2! If you have time tonight, here is a challenge question to discuss with your student: Imagine that people had wheels instead of feet. How would people get up steep hills? How would people stop after going down steep hills? Name at least three things that would be much harder to do on wheels. Describe how a person with wheels could do those things safely.
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