Summer SAVY 2019: Session 2, Day 4 – Animal Adaptations (Rising 1st/2nd)
Animal Adaptations Blog. Thursday, June 20th
Reading Ivan the Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla, was a great way for us to review our debatable question from the end of the day yesterday: Should people be allowed to remove wild animals from their natural habitat? We had a chance to share more extended thoughts and opinions, and to see if anyone changed their perspective.
Moving toward our engineering activity, we thought about and wrote in our science journals our thoughts on this question: How do animals look different? This was a focus on outside body coverings, physical characteristics. We created a class chart with the headings: Feathers, Fur, Hair, Scales, Shells, and another category called, Skin to include humans and some ocean animals who appear to have skin. We then dropped in examples under each category.
Then I placed the word: appendage on the board and asked if anyone knew what it meant in relation to animals. No one was really sure, so I asked students to stand and move their bodies. As I observed where movement was occurring, I made guiding questions, and then asked again for any thoughts on what appendage means. One student said, “movement” and another said, “rotation.” We then identified the definition as body parts that are attached to the torso of the body. Making a new chart, we began categories of appendages and ways animals move including arms, legs, wings, fins, and tails. We also thought about animals which don’t have appendages. This led up to a discussion about some people being without all their appendages. From that discussion, we began analyzing what happens to the ability to survive in the wild, when animals lose or seriously damage appendages.
We learned about the story of Winter the dolphin and the engineers and scientists who worked together to help her get a prosthetic tail, and we also learned about the amazing journey that Beauty, the eagle went through to get an artificial beak (another collaboration between scientists and engineers). We even got an inside look at how biomedical engineers work to help animals who have lost or damaged appendages. Next, it was our turn! Students were given a choice of making an artificial part for either an opossum who did not have a pouch, or a turtle with only three legs. Students had to draw and label two ideas and then choose one. Materials were on the table to select what they thought they might need, and then they got to work! These young engineer/scientists were so confident and pleased with their results!
As if that wasn’t enough fun for one day, we ended our day with a visit from the Nashville Zoo! Tomorrow is Open House. The students and I are so looking forward to having you come to the classroom and see what we have been doing! The Open House is from 3:15-3:45, in our classroom. Be on the lookout for more Open House details in the parent email this evening.
See you all tomorrow!