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Lesson Title: Shapes and Food Chains
May 11, 2012

Unit: Life Science - Life Out There

Grade Levels: 4-6

Connection To Curriculum: Science

Teacher Prep Time: 1 hour

Lesson Time Needed: 3 hours

Complexity Basic

Keywords: relationship between food, body shape, muscles, bones and skeleton

Materials:

Activity 1
Water
Snack-size plastic zip-top bag (1 per team)
Food coloring
Clear container with straight sides that holds at least 1 liter of water or a glass aquarium in a central location
Paper towels
Copy of The Shape of Things Activity Sheet (1 per team)
Activity 2 (each group)
Sealable plastic wrap
10 straws
Clay
Scissors
15 paper clips
2 sheets cardstock
Tape
Ruler
Copy of From the Outside In Activity Sheet
Activity 3 (for each team)
Animal labels set
Chain game cards
Food chain key (page 51)
Scissors
Wadded ball of paper
 

Description
Students explore why plants and animals may need support systems and discover that plants are the main source of energy in the food chain. Both of these concepts may then be applied to understanding how life may form on other planets.

Objectives
Students will:
• Compare and contrast the behavior of a water-filled plastic bag, both outside and inside of a container of water.
• Understand the differences between environments with gravity and environments with reduced gravity.
• Design and build an exoskeleton or an endoskeleton for an animal of their own invention.
• Identify plants as the main source of energy in the food chain.


Front Page of Shapes and Food Chains

Lesson Guide
Shapes and Food Chains Lesson
[101KB PDF file]

 

 

Lesson Activities and Sequence

  1. Weighty Questions, pages 1–4
    Muscles and Bones: Activities Guide for Teachers, National Space Biomedical Research Institute
    In this activity, the students will compare and contrast the behavior of a water-filled plastic bag, both outside and inside a container of water.
    Keywords: muscles and bones

  2. Supporting Structures, pages 5–7
    Muscles and Bones: Activities Guide for Teachers, National Space Biomedical Research Institute
    In this activity, the students build upon the knowledge gained from the first activity to create an internal or external skeleton designed to support an animal of their invention.
    Keywords: skeleton

  3. Chain Games, pages 47–50
    The Case of Zany Animal Antics: 2004–2005 NASA SCI Files™ Series
    Students explore the operation of a basic food chain from the sun, to plants, to animals. To understand the complexity of life and where it may exist, the food chain should be examined. The teacher should relate the skeletal structure to protection.
    Keywords: complexity of life, food chain

National Standards:

National Science Education Standards, NSTA
Science as Inquiry
• Understanding of scientific concepts.
• Skills necessary to become independent inquirers about the natural world.
• The dispositions to use the skills, abilities and attitudes associated with science.
Life Science
• Characteristics of organisms.
• Organisms and environments.
• Structure and function in living systems.
• Diversity and adaptations of organisms.
Earth and Space Science
• Structure of the earth system.
• Properties of earth materials.
Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
• Personal health.
• Types of resources.
• Changes in environments.
• Populations, resources and environments
• Risks and benefits.


 

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Page Last Updated: July 28th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator