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Tiffany Pan Rationale for Topics Work Toward Enduring Understandings Oviparous Animal Eggs A.

How is your topic central to one or more disciplines? Teaching elementary students about oviparous eggs will help introduce the difference between mammals and amphibians. The definition of oviparous (interestingly, all of my peers and mentors who Ive told about this unit didnt know what oviparous meant and needed a reminder of what it referred to) is simply referring to animals that lay eggs and hatch them after a period of time. This unit is usually taught in either kindergarten or first grade because it is necessary for students to begin developing an understanding of the physical world around them as well as the characteristics of animals according to the National Science Education Standards. Studying this topic will help students develop skills in asking questions to clarify the meaning in a text, understanding that scientific investigations involve asking and answering questions according to the PDE SAS, and distinguishing information provided in pictures and text in nonfiction texts according to the Common Core. Even though first grade teachers are not mandated to teach a unit on oviparous animals and eggs in Philadelphia, I find it important to use this unit as a means of deepening students understanding of life cycles (a PD SAS standard) and developing their inquiry skills (prediction, observation, inference, classification, and recording and analyzing results). Since students tend to be interested in the viviparous animals as they physically look more cute and cuddly to a first grader, teaching them explicitly about oviparous animals will help them understand the other half of the animal kingdom. According to my classroom mentor, this unit supplements knowledge on

Pan 2 life cycles and serves the main purpose of preparing students to learn about chicks specifically and their life cycles when the chicks come into the classroom two weeks after my unit. Students will be exercising autonomy to do their egg drop and eggshell experiments. In the First Six Weeks of School, developing autonomy is one of the main criteria addressed in the book. My students usually do not get to do their own science experimentation in science class (they do experiments in groups of 4) but giving them a chance to create their own buffer will help them develop a greater sense of autonomy. Students will also be projecting their thinking into the future when they do their personal timelines. Since they are only 6, I will have them envision what they would want to be doing as an adult and include that as the last picture in their timeline. This is supported by Denton and Krietes (2000) idea that it is important for students to think about and share what they hope to accomplish in the beginning of the school year. Even though I am teaching this unit near the middle-end of the year, I think it is important to have students think about their future since none of the lessons they have had so far really force them to think beyond themselves as first graders. The schema building activity I will be doing with the students is a type of brainstorming that Denton and Kriete (2000) also support. As the two weeks progress, students may go up to the schema chart and change the pictures of the animals from being on the oviparous or non-oviparous side based on what they learned from the read alouds and other lessons. B. Why would your topic be interesting? a. To your students?

Pan 3 A good number my students have a high interest in animals. They have just finished writing their endangered animal nonfiction books in writing workshop. They were required to do research on their animal using graphic organizers and highlighting. Oviparous eggs would be another chance for my students to learn about different animals (especially the echidna and platypus, both which are monotremes, mammals that lay eggs, that live in Australia). They have done an egg experiment during a dental lesson. My students also enjoy doing experiments and teaching them about something tangible such as eggs provides me the opportunity to do more egg experiments with them. b. To you as a teacher? I honestly never thought that this was a unit younger grade teachers taught until I looked it up online. The topic didnt seem applicable to me initially but after looking into the resources provided about oviparous eggs, I realized that its actually quite fascinating to look at the life cycle of oviparous animals. The egg hatching process for these animals differs among them even though the concept is the same: the mother protects and incubates the eggs by hiding them underneath or if there is only one egg, they may carry it on their body in a pouch. This is a unit that I never learned myself as an elementary student and Im glad that I got the chance to explore something that I didnt know about before. C. How is this topic accessible to students? a. In terms of developmental appropriateness? As mentioned earlier, the interest in animals is generally high for first grade students according to my classroom mentor. These students are mentally ready to make observations,

Pan 4 compare and contrast different animal eggs and distinguish which animals are oviparous and which are not. I have seen teachers teach this unit to kindergarteners online so my first graders (a handful of them are above grade level and even gifted in specific subject areas) should have no trouble grasping the concept of oviparous. They learn hard vocabulary adjectives as well as nonfiction terms from read alouds on a daily basis so learning about oviparous and the animals in the category should be accessible to them just from seeing how quickly and well they learn new ideas and skills. According to Piaget, six to seven year old students are in the Intuitive Though sub-stage of the preoperational stage, which means they tend to propose the questions of why and how come. Since my unit is heavily science-based, this will be a good opportunity for my students to exercise their skill in asking questions about these animal eggs. At this developmental point, they are also able to understand and represent objects that are not in front of them (I have witnessed this when they draw pictures for writing workshop). They will need to use this skill during this unit since I am unable to bring in a live animal to show how an egg is hatched but I will use videos and photos to supplement their understanding visually. There are a couple of students who are 7 to 8 years old, which means they are entering into the concrete operational stage. This is when students should be able to draw inferences from observations to make a generalization. My students have already begun practicing this skill of inferring in the past two months through read alouds discussions and individual reading of nonfiction texts. I think my students are in the process of developing this skill and my unit will further deepen it by providing multiple activities that will require them to make inferences and generalizations.

Pan 5 According to Vygotsky, it is important to identify childrens zone of proximal development (ZPD) in order to accommodate their various learning styles and paces. My unit will give most, if not all the students a chance to demonstrate their strengths as well as improve their weaker spots. Since the unit integrates science and literacy mostly as well as a supplementary curriculum for math and social studies, students will be able to use different types of learning styles (visual, verbal, kinesthetic, writing, etc) to acquire the content material presented in my unit. Many of the lessons I have planned require students to see a cause and effect relationship (i.e. when I simulate the hatching of an egg, the eggshell and egg drop experiment). Overall, the unit is very tactile and visual (egg walk, schema building chart), which will accommodate my diverse learners (ELL and visual learners). b. In terms of resources available? My teacher has most of the books I need to teach this unit and I have borrowed an egg collection from Nancylee (ostrich, white chicken egg, brown chicken egg, duck, emu). I am also printing out google images of animal eggs (blue robin, platypus, echidna, spider, etc) to add to the Egg Walk as well as pictures of other animals for the schema sorting activity I will be doing on the first day of the unit. I can also easily and inexpensively purchase plastic eggs for the math lessons as well as a dozen of eggs that I can suck out egg yolk from for the egg experiments at a grocery store. Since this is already an established unit, there are teacher blogs that I can refer to in helping me design graphic organizers and worksheets that complement my lessons. D. How does this topic provide opportunities for multiple connections?

Pan 6 My students had a unit on polar animals earlier and one of the animals my teacher focused on was penguins. The students know about how the father Emperor penguins help hatch the egg while the mother hunts for food for the baby chick. I also brought in hatching spider eggs that were kindly given to me by my Penn mentor to show to the students a month ago. My students will be able to use these prior experiences of learning about animals that lay eggs to understand the other oviparous animals I introduce. They will be able to transfer their knowledge of penguins laying eggs to other birds laying eggs as well since a penguin is a bird. Last month, the students extensively spent time reading nonfiction texts, doing research for their endangered animal nonfiction book, learning and applying nonfiction text features (headings, bold print, labels, diagrams, etc.), highlighting and categorizing facts on post-its. My students have much experience learning about animals, identifying which facts are important, and knowing how to record these facts in an organized manner. This unit is heavily science and literacy-based but I plan on expanding it into math and social studies as well. I plan on using plastic eggs to hide math story problems (each table will have a couple that students can cycle through) that students will do after they finish their individual work during math workshop. I also plan on hiding fake coins inside the eggs so that students can practice counting change and knowing money value. For social studies, I plan on showing egg designs on the computer (i.e. ostrich egg art) and discussing the many ways people use eggs (in addition to the various ways people eat it, how they use it in their daily lives, how they use it for holidays such as Easter here in America). I will also mention the event of DDT being banned because of its hazardous effect to the hatching of bird eggs as well as how birds try to fight other birds away from stealing their eggs.

Pan 7 Teaching students about oviparous eggs provides opportunities for them to compare life cycles with the animals they have already learned about and become more aware of these animals and their environments. This will provide them a backdrop in how egg hatching works and prepare them to receive and take care of the chick eggs two weeks later from the farm.

Pan 8 References Berk, L.E. & Winsler, A. (1995). Scaffolding Childrens Learning: Vygotsky and Early Childhood Education. Vol. 7, p. 40-47. Naeyc Research Into Practice Series. Denton & Kriete (2000). The First Six Weeks of School. USA: Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc. p. 45, 93. Pulaski, M. (1980). Understanding Piaget: An Introduction to Childrens Cognitive Development. New York: Harper Row. p. 13-27.