When nature interacts, what happens to the harmony, or balance, among the species?
DAY 1–2 - PLAN 1
DAY 3–5 - SEED 1
DAY 6–7 - PLAN 2
DAY 8–12 - SEED 2
DAY 13–17 - PLAN 3
DAY 18–20 - SEED 3
DAY 21–25 - SEED 4
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6 Weeks - "Unit at a Glance" Organizer
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"The scientific mind does not so much provide the answers as ask the right questions."
Claude Levis Strauss
The lesson models in this unit feature best practices using informational texts and literary texts to address Common Core State Standards and will assist students in the process of close reading and critical analysis of text. Included are examples of text dependent questions and sample responses to guide instruction. Students will engage with technology and practice effective listening and speaking skills in collaborative groups to identify key ideas to build deeper meaning.
In connection with a Life Science, Environmental Science and Environmental Literacy standards, students will read, evaluate, and integrate multiple sources of information including multimedia to demonstrate their understanding of how nature interacts. For this unit model, several articles from The National Geographic Kids Almanac 2013 as well as texts on environmental activists Wangari Maathai and Jacques Cousteau serve as the anchor texts. Students will have to integrate and connect information learned from these texts with videos on the Calvert Cliffs Tiger Beetle, a narrated version of the parable The Flight of the Hummingbird, and an informational video on coral reefs. Throughout this unit, students will have multiple opportunities to conduct short and extended research tasks as they research African Wild Dogs, endangered species, and environmental conservationists and activists. Teachers may select to use this instructional sequence with alternate informational texts tied to life science and environmental literacy topics aligned to curriculum in their district.
To ensure integration and to explicitly connect CCSS ELA, Science, and Environmental Literacy standards, weave the following guiding questions into discussions as students interact with various texts and concepts.
The unit begins with a guided exploration of The National Geographic Kids Almanac 2013, followed by guided close readings, discussion, modeled note taking, routine writing, investigation, research, and presentation. As students progress through the texts and media sources, they will categorize the positive and negative impact humans have had on selected animal populations and the environment. Students will also investigate how nature itself can affect animal populations and the environment. The next phase of the unit will focus on an investigation of the environmental efforts of Wangari Maathai and Jacques Cousteau. Students will broaden this investigation by independently researching other environmental activists and their efforts to conserve and protect the natural environment.
The unit should last approximately 5 weeks following the suggested sequence below.
Universal Design Principles and Strategies for English Language Learners
Other media sources:
*IMPORTANT NOTE: Consider the need for Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) and/or for captioned/described video when selecting texts, novels, video and/or other media for this unit. See "Sources for Accessible Media" for suggestions at http://marylandlearninglinks.org.