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Unit Overview

During this unit, students assist the character Science Officer Atto from the Planet Zeta
Canis 1, to understand living and non-living things on Earth. Play the brief Message from
Atto Voki presentation (http://www.voki.com/pickup.php?
scid=11284642&height=267&width=200). This introduces Atto and his mission and what
he requires from the students.
By examining specimens and their observable features, students learn the definitions of
living and non-living things. Students also explore the life stages and lifecycle of living
things by investigating the growth of selected plants and animals in the classroom.
Students explore biological areas within their school grounds to examine factors that affect
living things; describe relationships between living things and study biodiversity. Students
gather and collate information from their investigations and then use this information to
inform Atto about the living things on Earth. Students will use their knowledge to make
recommendations to their school about how to improve biodiversity within their school
grounds.

Note: practical teaching strategies have been identified throughout the lesson plans in
*red.

Lesson Plan Organisation


Year Level: 3

Time:

10-11am

Date: 17/04/15

Key Learning Area: Science


Students Prior Knowledge:
Students will continue to develop their understanding of living and non-living things as
well as their understanding of the lifecycles of various flora and fauna.
Students are capable of communicating their prior knowledge and experiences of this
through verbal, visual and written methods of communication.
Lesson Topics:
o
o

Living and non-living things


Lifecycles

Differentiation:
In catering for the acknowledged variety of learning styles within the class, all students
are able to engage with the learning content and attain new knowledge and
understanding. This can be achieved through implementation of the following:
Audio: providing clear verbal instructions for completion of the task, repeated when
required. Reiterating procedures to students who may need more attention.
Visual: providing tangible items that are of relevance to students are meaningful for
students to build their knowledge; employed to prompt students critical thinking and
analytical thought processes.
Kinaesthetic: providing students with the opportunity to handle objects both indoors and
out.
Meaning-based strategies: tasks are linked to/inquiring into and describing occurrences
that students will have already come into contact with using students personal
experience as a springboard to interest them in academic concepts.
Provisions for students who finish early: build in further challenges where appropriate.
Provisions for students who do not finish in time: allow students to take their work home
with them, or if time permits, allow them to complete their work at another time during
the day/week.
Different Levels of Learning: inclusive of the above, cater to accordingly, whether this be
through continued one-on-one interaction or the personal use of a teachers aid.

Teachers Preparation/Organisation:
The following list must be acted upon to ensure an organised and successful lesson:
Classroom Environment:
o Sufficient desk space for students to sit comfortably without being cramped
(identifies correct seating posture as well as correct pen grip).
o Neat and tidy desks, uncluttered and equipped with the necessary stationary etc. to
complete the task.
o Overall work space designed to promote and focus upon the task at hand
written/visual stimuli such as the written examples and images displayed.
Resources/Equipment: See individual lesson plans.
Handouts: See individual lesson plans.

Australian Curriculum Content Descriptions/ Syllabus Outcomes / Indicators:


Science Understanding: Biological sciences
o ACSSU044 Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features and
can be distinguished from non-living things
Science as a Human Endeavour: Nature and development of science/use and influence
of science:
o ACSHE050 Science involves making predictions and describing patterns and
relationships
o ACSHE051 Science knowledge helps people to understand the effect of their
actions
Science Inquiry Skills:
o Questioning and predicting ACSIS053: with guidance, identify questions in
familiar contexts that can be investigated scientifically and predict what might
happen based on prior knowledge
o Planning and conducting ACSIS055: safely use appropriate materials, tools or
equipment to make and record observations, using formal measurements and
digital technologies as appropriate
o Processing and analysing data and information ACSIS057: use a range of
methods including tables and simple column graphs to represent data and to
identify patterns and trends; ACSIS215: compare results with predictions
suggesting possible reasons for findings
o Communicating ACSIS060: represent and communicate ideas and findings in a
variety of ways such as diagrams, physical representations and simple reports
Assessment:
Exemplary assessment for learning requires accurate, fair, reliable, useful, focused and
continuous assessment in order to best assess students learning requirements. To
ensure that these aspects are met, in conjunction with lesson aims and objectives
underpinned by the syllabus outcomes, a strategic approach to assessment should
include assessment for (formative), as and of (summative) learning:
o Assessment for learning will focus on students prior knowledge, understanding and
skills and how this will be used to inform my teaching seen in that classroom as pretesting at the beginning of a unit through questioning and class discussion for
example, helping students to set goals, direct and take control of their own learning.

Assessment as learning will focus on students input in building their own knowledge
and understanding during a unit of work where they monitor their own progress,
using self-assessment and teacher feedback to reflect on their learning, consolidate
their learning and work towards their learning by asking questions and practicing
skills seen in the classroom by keeping anecdotal records and work samples.
Assessment of learning will focus on determining what students have achieved/the
knowledge and skills they have gained, assisting myself in providing evidence of
student learning to assess student achievement against learning goals and standards
seen in the classroom as testing at the conclusion of a lesson or unit of work,
through teacher observation and questioning, work samples, tests, open ended tasks,
quizzes, presentations and meaningful self-assessment.

Lesson Evaluation:
There are multitudes of questions which one can use to self-reflect and self-asses the
success of a lesson. These can include, and are not limited to the following examples:
1. Were the learning objectives met?
Have the aims and objectives set by the syllabus been addressed? How can this
be assessed?
Were the lesson objectives met?
2. Did quality learning take place?
Did quality learning take place from a students perspective?
Ask the students? Did they enjoy it? What was their favourite part?
Who did/did not achieve outcomes? Why?
Any misunderstandings or gaps in learning? How can this be managed?
3. Did quality teaching take place?
Did quality teaching occur?
Were students various needs met ensuring that they were continually engaged?
Were teacher instructions simple or detailed enough?
Were logical and explicit links made between prior learning and the current
lessons content?
Was allocated timing and sequencing of the lesson followed?
Was teacher questioning, discussion and student engagement of detailed quality?
Were quality resources, handout and learning aides provided to further learning
and understanding? Was the presentation and layout of sources and handouts
easily understood?
Were a variety of appropriate teaching strategies implemented?
Was the way in which content was focused upon appropriate to the content and
skills matched to the level of learning and lesson topic?
Was the lesson organised in all aspects? Were unforeseen circumstances catered
for?
Where the appropriate questions asked?
Who was doing most of the talking? Who was doing most of the thinking? Is this
how things should be?
What use did you make of student responses to questions?
What kind of questions did you ask most frequently - open or closed?
Did you ask questions that demand higher-order thinking??
Did you prompt students to further responses?
Did you ask students to build on each other's answers?
Were you acknowledging student responses in a positive manner?
4. Classroom management
Was the classroom controlled/managed correctly?
Were unforeseen circumstances and exceptions catered for? (including, student
behaviour and school schedule as well as timing and sequencing)
5. Differentiation
What follow-up learning is needed for particular students?
Were quality provisions made for learner diversity? How?
6. Key points to improve
Was apparent differentiation catered for/managed within the lesson?
Were individual students needs met?
What will constitute future lessons? What will be the instructional focus for future
lessons?
What aspects of my teaching could be improved?
How can the current lessons objectives be incorporated as way of review?
Which avenues could be pursued to encourage motivation?

Lesson Plan Living or Non-living?


Lesson Sequence 1
Time:

(attach all relevant teaching resources)

Motivation/ Introduction:

Resources:

Explain to students that a coded message was received


by the government from outer space and that the
governments top scientists were able to decode it yet
need our help so they have passed the challenge onto
us! *speak slowly, calmly and clearly (demonstrating
awareness of ones own intonation), and provide
students with enough time to formulate their responses,
whether in speaking or in writing.

Coded message
document

Play the brief Message from Atto Voki presentation


(http://www.voki.com/pickup.php?
scid=11284642&height=267&width=200). This
introduces Atto and his mission and what he requires
from the students.
Explain to students that they must assist Officer Atto
from the Planet Zeta Canis 1, so that he can understand
living and non-living things on Earth *add vocabulary to
the word wall/vocabulary bank; *have both English and
Italian vocabulary so that the student(s) can make
necessary inferences and connections; *use Google
translator/other translation programs to translate each
word/phrase where necessary, displaying the Italian
translation.

Voki Avatar

Word Wall have


both English and
Italian words
prepared prior in the
vocabulary bank
Google Translator

Learning Sequence (Content to be covered/


Learning Experiences) & Key Questions:
1. Show students the specimens that Atto has already
collected and sent to Earth. (Provide a few samples
of small living things, eg plant, snail and non-living
things, eg rock, household items.) Explain that as
Atto has only just landed on Earth, he doesnt know
anything about these specimens *have student(s)
complete question and answer exercises may be
written or verbal asking what they think each item
is; *employ various visual aids including pictures and
diagrams, gestures, virtual demonstrations (as
provided by ICT elements) and other non-verbal cues
to make both language and content more accessible
to students. The students objective is to examine
the specimens and explain/draw diagrams that show
their features *speak slowly, calmly and clearly
(demonstrating awareness of ones own intonation),
and provide students with enough time to formulate
their responses, whether in speaking or in writing.

Plants
Snails
Rocks
Household items
Question and answer
exercise
Visual aids pictures
and diagrams
Smartboard
ICT elements

This will help Atto to understand the difference


between living and non-living things.
2. Inform students that they are to think about whether
the specimen they examined is either a living or nonliving thing. *breakdown complex tasks using simple
directions and provide guidance by modelling where
possible.
Teacher note: This will assist in determining
students prior knowledge of the concept of living
and non-living. To demonstrate this, have students
move to the side of the room corresponding with
living or non-living.

Whiteboard
Whiteboard markers

1. Model the drawing of a scientific diagram. Explain


the following features of a scientific diagram to the
students:
o Scientific diagrams are drawn in order to identify
features of specimens. These features include
colour, shape and texture.
o Measurements can be taken to indicate the
accurate size of the specimen.
o Diagrams are labelled and descriptions are given
to adequately explain what is being seen.
o Scientific descriptions use factual language not
expressive or creative language to describe
things. For example, a flower may be described
as a yellow flower with rounded petals, not a
pretty flower with lovely petals.
*model for student(s) what they are expected to
do or produce, especially for new skills or
activities, by explaining and demonstrating the
learning actions, sharing your thinking processes
aloud, and showing good teacher and student
work samples.

Notebooks (Science
Journals)

2. Allocate each student a notebook to use as a science


journal. Have students copy the modelled example of
a scientific diagram into their science journal. Inform
students that they will make scientific diagrams of
each of the specimens.

Camera/ iPad

3. Divide students into groups using the following


random group generator *so that the student(s) has
a visual and written representation of who they are
working with in a group as well as exposing them to
fellow classmates names and spellings
(http://www.transum.org/software/RandomStudents/)
and distribute the specimens and magnifying glasses
to each group. Ask students to choose a specimen to
draw and to complete their drawing *breakdown task
by using simple directions and provide guidance by
modelling where possible. Have students share their
diagrams and justify their categorisation of their
specimen as living or non-living *peer modelling
(students could take photographs of each specimen

Pencils
Group Generator
Program
Internet access
Specimens
Magnifying glasses

Question and answer


exercise

Word Wall

to keep as a digital record for Atto).


4. Ask the students the following questions:
o Is your specimen a living or non-living thing?
Why?
o What features did your specimen have that made
you categorise it as living or non-living?
*have student(s) complete question and answer
exercises may be written or verbal; *encourage
conversation/discussion/dialogue between peers
5. Record students beginning ideas about living and
non-living things on a word wall *check for
understanding regularly check that students are
understanding the lesson. After an explanation or
lesson, a teacher could say, "Please put thumbs up,
thumbs down, or sideways to let me know if this is
clear, and it's perfectly fine if you don't understand
or are unsure -- I just need to know." This last phrase
is essential if you want students to respond honestly.
Teachers can also have students quickly answer on a
Post-It note that they place on their desks. The
teacher can then quickly circulate to check
responses; *add vocabulary to the word
wall/vocabulary bank; *have both English and Italian
vocabulary so that the student(s) can make
necessary inferences and connections.
Lesson Closure:
Explain to the students that in order to assist Atto
further, they are going to investigate living things by
growing some plants and looking after an animal in a
habitat. They will photograph and/or video these
investigations, as well as provide their own reports to
Atto to keep as a record.
Ask students to make suggestions about which type of
living thing might best be suited to life on another
planet *encourage conversation/discussion/dialogue
between peers. Inform students that during the next
lesson they will investigate living and non-living things
in the school grounds.
*approach EAD/L student(s) individually after the
conclusion of the lesson to check for understanding.

Camera/iPad

Lesson Plan Investigating Living Things


Lesson Sequence 2
Time:

(attach all relevant teaching resources)

Motivation/ Introduction:

Resources:

Explain to students that, in order to help Atto


understand living things on Earth, they are going to
study the biodiversity of their schoolyard and explain it
to Atto for his report *speak slowly, calmly and clearly
(demonstrating awareness of ones own intonation), and
provide students with enough time to formulate their
responses, whether in speaking or in writing.
Define the terms biodiversity and habitat. Place these
definitions on the word wall for future reference:
o Biodiversity the variety of plant and animal life
in the world or in a particular habitat
o Habitat the natural home or environment of an
animal or plant, or other organism
*add vocabulary to the word wall/vocabulary bank;
*have both English and Italian vocabulary so that the
student(s) can make necessary inferences and
connections; *use Google translator/other translation
programs to translate each word/phrase where
necessary, displaying the Italian translation.

Word Wall
Google Translator

Learning Sequence (Content to be covered/


Learning Experiences) & Key Questions:
1. Ask students to make suggestions about what they
think makes a thing living or non-living *encourage
conversation/discussion/ dialogue between peers.
Brainstorm the 7 characteristics that identify living
things:
o Move
o Grow
o Eat
o Reproduce
o Breathing or respiration
o Excretion getting rid of waste
o Sensitivity can detect changes in surroundings
(senses)
Record and group similar responses adding to the
word wall.
*employ various visual aids including pictures and
diagrams, gestures, virtual demonstrations (as provided
by ICT elements) and other non-verbal cues to make
both language and content more accessible to students.
2. Inform students that they are now going to examine
two different areas in the school grounds in order to
identify the living and non-living things within those

Whiteboard
Whiteboard markers

Word Wall
Visual aids

Living Thing Audit

areas *ensures real-life relevance of the task/is


meaningful for students. Teacher note: Where
possible, choose a barren, worn or disturbed area
and a green or garden area with plants and other
vegetation.
3. Move students to
the two identified
areas in the
schoolyard to
conduct the
activity.
Distribute the
worksheet Living
Thing Audit and
have students
identify living
and non-living things in each area.
*model for students what they are expected to do or
produce, especially for new skills or activities, by
explaining and demonstrating the learning actions,
sharing your thinking processes aloud, and showing
good teacher and student work samples.

Table worksheet

Camera/ ipad

4. Photograph samples of living and non-living things to


give to Atto for his report *engaging ICT element
enabling students to record their understanding.
5. In class, compare the living things in each area and
discuss the similarities and differences between the
areas *encourage conversation/discussion/dialogue
between peers. Ask students to make suggestions
about why there are differences between the
numbers or types of living things found in each area.
Have students work together to group the living
things into categories in their science journals
*employ visual demonstration; *check for
understanding regularly check that students are
understanding the lesson. After an explanation or
lesson, a teacher could say, "Please put thumbs up,
thumbs down, or sideways to let me know if this is
clear, and it's perfectly fine if you don't understand
or are unsure -- I just need to know." This last phrase
is essential if you want students to respond honestly.
Teachers can also have students quickly answer on a
Post-It note that they place on their desks. The
teacher can then quickly circulate to check
responses.
6. Have students discuss different habitats that they
are familiar with and to suggest what living and nonliving things are found in those areas, eg their
backyard, the beach, the bush *encourage
conversation/discussion/dialogue between peers.

Visual Demonstration

Scootle Account
Scootle Learning
Object

Lesson Closure:
Carry out the learning object Garden Detective: Explore
An Australian
Garden (http://www.scootle.edu.au/ec/viewing-/L1118/in
dex.html) to assist in illustrating the diversity of living
things that can be found in a habitat *ensure real-life
relevance of each task/meaningful for students.
*approach EAD/L student(s) individually after the
conclusion of the lesson to check for understanding.

Lesson Plan Life Stages and Lifecycles


Lesson Sequence 3
Time:

(attach all relevant teaching resources)

Motivation/ Introduction:

Resources:

Ask students to make suggestions about how they have


grown since they were born **speak slowly, calmly and
clearly (demonstrating awareness of ones own
intonation), and provide students with enough time to
formulate their responses, whether in speaking or in
writing; *have all students bring in photos of
themselves/ their parents to identify each stage (where
applicable) to provide students with a meaningful
experience, ensuring real life relevance.
Show students the images of the human stages of
development baby, toddler, child, teenager, adult and
old age/senior citizen. Have students label each stage.
*add vocabulary to the word wall/vocabulary bank;
*have both English and Italian vocabulary so that the
student can make the necessary inferences and
connections.

Ask students to make suggestions about how babies


grow and change over time. Record students
vocabulary on a vocabulary wall *use Google
translator/other translation programs to translate each
word/phrase where necessary, displaying the Italian
translation.
Explain that humans move through growth changes that
are identified as life stages *employ various visual aids
including symbols and diagrams have large arrows
placed between the images alluding to the moving onto
of each stage. Have students examine the two
photographs of themselves and discuss how they have
grown and changed over time and then to record their
ideas in their science journals *encourage
conversation/discussion/dialogue between peers; *have
student(s) complete question and answer exercises
may be written or verbal.
Ask students to make suggestions about the later
stages of growth of a human adolescent, adult and old
age/senior citizen.

Images of the human


stages of
development
Word Wall

Word Wall
Google Translator
Visual Aids
Two photographs of
students brought in
by themselves

Learning Sequence (Content to be covered/

Google Translator

Learning Experiences) & Key Questions:


Discuss students ideas about the term lifecycle.
Define the meaning of the term cycle by explaining
that when scientists talk about cycles, they are talking
about sequences of events that repeat themselves *use
Google translator/other translation programs to
translate each word/phrase where necessary, displaying
the Italian translation. Inform students that a lifecycle
defines the life stages of a living thing and that as a
class, they are going to further investigate lifecycles of
plants and animals *teach with various visual aids
including pictures and diagrams, gestures, virtual
demonstrations (as provided by ICT elements) and other
non-verbal cues to make both language and content
more accessible to students.
1. Lifecycles of plants growing a tomato plant
a. Make observations of the plant growing stations
(plants pre-grown/bought at each size) to
determine the stages of development that have
occurred so far. Have students identify the
stages they have observed. Record these using
scientific diagrams, photographs or video *give
simple verbal and written instructions where
necessary, accompanied by visual cues.
b. Explain to students the terms relating to stages
of development of plants such as seed, seedling
and mature plant that may develop flowers or
fruit *check for understanding regularly check
that students are understanding the lesson. After
an explanation or lesson, a teacher could say,
"Please put thumbs up, thumbs down, or
sideways to let me know if this is clear, and it's
perfectly fine if you don't understand or are
unsure -- I just need to know." This last phrase is
essential if you want students to respond
honestly. Teachers can also have students
quickly answer on a Post-It note that they place
on their desks. The teacher can then quickly
circulate to check responses.
c. Watch the video Time Lapse of a Tomato Plant
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LICDb8nM5rs ) and have students point out the life
stages of the plant whilst viewing, pausing the
video and making notes as you go.
*model for students what they are expected to do or
produce, especially for new skills or activities, by
explaining and demonstrating the learning actions,
sharing your thinking processes aloud, and showing

Visual Aid

Tomato Plant: pregrown and bought at


each size
Scientific diagrams
drawn with pencils
Camera/ iPad

YouTube Video: Time


Lapse of a Tomato
Plant

YouTube Video:
Monarch Butterfly
Life Cycle
Dual-Language fill-inthe-blanks

good teacher and student work samples.

Cloze Passage

2. Lifecycles of animals
a. Watch the video Monarch Butterfly Life Cycle
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?
t=178&v=wH8EE03wvNM). Explain the life stages
of a butterfly as egg, larvae (caterpillar), pupae
(chrysalis) and adult whilst viewing the video
*check for understanding as detailed above;
*have student(s) fill out a dual-language fill-inthe-blanks/cloze passage and/or similar handout
accompanied by pictures.

Scootle Learning
Object

Visual Aids
Virtual
Demonstrations
Smart Board

b. Navigate through the learning object Lifecycles:


Butterflies
(https://www.scootle.edu.au/ec/viewing/L1358/ind
ex.html). Explain the term metamorphosis as
the transformation or change of character,
appearance and function of a living thing, such as
when the caterpillar pupates into the butterfly
*teach with various visual aids including pictures
and diagrams, gestures, virtual demonstrations
(as provided by ICT elements) and other nonverbal cues to make both language and content
more accessible to students.
c. Organise students into groups and have them act
out each stage *have student(s) role play to
demonstrate their understanding;*group EAD/L
students appropriately with others who will
support them.
*model for students what they are expected to do or
produce, especially for new skills or activities, by
explaining and demonstrating the learning actions,
sharing your thinking processes aloud, and showing
good teacher and student work samples.
Teacher note: As an alternate activity, have students
choose an animal and research its lifecycle. Ask
students to share the lifecycle of the animal with the
rest of the class, perhaps by way of report,
demonstration etc.
Lesson Closure:
Explain to students that each living thing has its own
lifecycle and that most lifecycles follow a similar
pattern. Navigate through the learning object Part of a
Pattern:
(http://www.scootle.edu.au/ec/viewing/L1472/index.html
). Demonstrate the concept of patterns across life
stages by re-viewing and discussing the students
photographs.
*approach EAD/L student(s) individually after the

Scootle Learning
Object

conclusion of the lesson to check for understanding.