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LESSON PLAN OUTLINE

JMU Elementary Education Program


A. TITLE/TYPE OF LESSON
Plants- Food Chain
B. CONTEXT OF LESSON AND UNWRAPPING OF THE STANDARD
Before doing this lesson, I conferenced with my Cooperating Teacher to see what the next science
topic to be taught will be. They are currently learning about simple machines, and the next content
area will be focusing on plants. This activity is appropriate at this time, because it will help the
students understand about plants through a hands-on activity. These students have prior knowledge
about plants so this lesson will be a further extension of that knowledge. Students have already learned
about food chains, and this activity will be a review activity to put their knowledge to use in a handson activity.
C. UNWRAPPING THE VIRGINIA STANDARDS OF LEARNING and the NEXT GENERATION
SCIENCE STANDARDS (NATIONAL STANDARDS)
SOL 3.5
Unwrapped Concept (Nouns)
Producers
Consumers
Herbivores
Omnivores
Carnivores
Decomposers
Food chain of producers
and consumers
Change in food chain of
producers and consumers
Feeding relationships in
food chain
Predators
Prey

Green plants

Unwrapped Skill (verbs)


Distinguish

Taxonomy Level (Blooms)


Blooms, Analyze, #4

Create model
Interpret
Explain

Blooms, Create, #6

Identify sequences

Blooms, Analyze, #4

Identify sequences

Blooms, Analyze, #4

Infer

Blooms, Create, #6

Blooms, Understand, #2

NGSS Standard 3 LS-1 Develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life

cycles but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death.
D. LEARNING OBJECTIVES
Understand (Big Idea) what are the Know what are the facts, rules,
broad generalizations the students
specific data the students will gain
should begin to develop? (These are
through this lesson? (These knows
typically difficult to assess in one
must be assessed in your lesson.)
lesson.)
Students should begin to develop
Students will know how plants
generalizations about plants and how contribute to food chains involving
they contribute to ecosystems.
parts such as: producers, consumers,
Students should also be able to
herbivores, omnivores, carnivores,
generalize how plants work within
and decomposers and be able to

Do what are the specific thinking


behaviors students will be able to do
through this lesson? (These will also
be assessed in your lesson.)
Students will be able to use specific
thinking behaviors such as:
distinguishing, creating models,
interpreting, explaining, identifying,
and inferring.

themselves, and what a plants life


process is.
Big Idea for just our lesson I am
beginning to understand (wont
get to whole big idea in one lesson)
I understand what a food chain is.
I understand that there is a
connection between producers and
consumers in a food chain.

distinguish between these. Students


will know how producers and
consumers contribute to food chains
and will be able to create a model of a
food chain, while also being able to
explain how a change in a food chain
would impact the rest of the chain.
Students will be able to identify
predators and preys. Students will
know about green plants specifically
and infer how they relate to food
chains.

I can create a model of a food chain


with producers and consumers.

I can describe individual


components of the food chain to
my peers.
I can get into the order of a food
chain with my peers

I know the order of a food chain


including producers and
consumers.
I know the affects of eliminating
one species from the food chain.
E. ASSESSING LEARNING
What will your students do and say, specifically, that indicate every student has achieved your
objectives? Remember every objective must be assessed for every student!

Objective
I can create a model of a food
chain with producers and
consumers.

Assessment
Students will create their own
food chain diagram

I can describe individual


components of the food chain to
my peers.

Students will describe to their


peers the element of the food
chain that is on their sticky note.

I can get into the order of a food


chain with my peers

Students get themselves into the


order of the food chain based off
of their piece of the food chain on
their sticky note.

Data Collected
I will walk around the room and
see if students need help making
their individual food chain.
If students are stuck, I will remind
them to look at the board where all
of the sticky notes are placed in
order. I will also remind them of
the process that they just went
through with their classmates of
placing themselves in the correct
order.
I will listen in on partner
conversations and help students
that are struggling to describe a
piece of the food chain to their
peer without giving away the piece
of the food chain.
I will listen to the conversations of
the class and help students recall
their prior knowledge of food
chains.

F. MATERIALS NEEDED
I will be responsible for bringing all the materials
Materials include sticky notes and markers.
G. MISCONCEPTIONS or ALTERNATIVE CONCEPTIONS
Students may have certain misconceptions about food chains, automatically thinking that all bigger
animals are above smaller animals in the food chain. It is important to teach students the true in depth
reasons why certain animals are higher up in the food chain than other animals. It is important for
students to truly understand what an animals eats, rather than just inferring their placement in the food
chain based off their outside appearance. If students get stuck on this misconception I will ask them to
list what they know a certain animals eats, in an effort to help them understand what truly places an
animal where it is in the food chain. This misconception can arise in this activity, because we are
including herbivores and omnivores in the food chain. It is possible for students to assume that an
animal is higher up in the food chain based off of its size, when it is actually an herbivore, making it
lower in the food chain. I can categorize the sticky notes I give to the students by color for herbivores,
omnivores, predators and prey, but not tell them what the colors mean. Some students may identify the
pattern, and if they do not, and they are having trouble organizing their food chain, I will point out the
color pattern to them. I will encourage students to think aloud and help their peers if they need it. If
students are unable to automatically identify what an animal eats, in order to help them identify where
the animal is placed in the food chain, I can have them visualize where this animal lives and what food
sources would be available in their habitat. I can also ask the students to visualize if an animal is
primarily a predator or a prey, based off of their living habits. It is important to have students not
simply recite what they learned in class, but to really apply that information to the real world so they
truly understand and can relate to what they are learning. Children also may bring prior knowledge
about food chains and animals to the classroom that could lead them to misconceptions about the order
of the food chain and the specific parts of the food chain. Students need to experience things first-hand
to be able to understand that their misconceptions are incorrect. It takes more than simply telling a
student that they are wrong, if they already have an idea implanted in their brain; they need evidence
and proof to change their misconception.
H. PROCEDURE
The class will play a game of heads up where each student is given a role, (an animal or plant) on a
sticky note that is in the food chain that they will place on their forehead. Students have to help their
classmates decide where they belong in the food chain and create the food chain, and get themselves in
the correct order. From this activity they will create a model/layered piece of paper to take home so
they fully understand the food chain. This model can be used as their study guide for a test they will
have on this unit. I will introduce the lesson by quickly debriefing their previous knowledge on food
chains including producers and consumers, herbivores and omnivores, and predators and prey.
I will write down all of the components of the food chain on sticky notes, organizing them by colors into
herbivores, omnivores, producers, consumers, predators and prey. I will not tell the students about the color
categories, until later in the lesson if they need help identifying where they belong in the food chain.
I will then explain the activity that they will be doing. I will tell the class that they will each be getting a
plant or animal that is in the food chain. I will tell them that I will be giving them their plant or animal or a
sticky note that I will place on their forehead. I will instruct them not to look at their own sticky note, and that
they must work together to describe a classmates plant or animal to them. I will then tell them that they must
work together as a class to get themselves into the correct order of a food chain. I will allow about ten minutes
for the students to get themselves into what they think is the correct order. If students are taking longer than
ten minutes to get themselves into order I will stop them and begin to ask them questions to help them get into
the correct order, at this time I would also allow students to look at their own sticky note.
If the students decide they are in the correct order without my help, we will go over the order and see if
anyone can identify any errors or placements they disagree with.
We will discuss errors as a class and correct them if there are any.
I will then place the sticky notes on the white board in order and have the students go back to their seats
where they will create their interactive study guide.

A. DIFFERENTIATION
Learning Disabilities

Interest

Readiness

Content

Process

Product

I will give a survey with


pictures to see what
plants and animals
students are familiar and
confident with,
especially plants and
animals that they have
come across in their own
life. I will incorporate
these pictures and words
into the activity so
students can feel
confident in their ability
to complete the task.

Use pictures,
especially of familiar
plants and animals,
instead of words
when giving students
their sticky notes for
which object they are
representing in the
food chain.

Create a model of the


food chain using
mainly pictures (less
words), especially
pictures of plants and
animals that they are
familiar with and have
had experience with
in their life.

I will tier this activity to


get students with
learning disabilities by
giving them plants and
animals that they are
familiar with and have
had experience with in
their life.

Tiered products:
Students with learning
disabilities can
continue to work with
Students with learning partners to create only
disabilities may
diagrams with
choose to work with
pictures of plants and
one or two other
animals that they are
people in the
familiar with and have
classroom to help get had experience with
into the correct order
in their life. They can
of the food chain, as
be assisted when
well as completing
adding the word
their final assessment associated with the
of creating their own
picture so they begin
final food chain.
to become familiar
with the written name
of the plant or animal
that they are already
familiar with.

English Language Learners

Content

Process

Product

Interest

Readiness

Severe Disabilities

I will give a survey with


pictures to see what
plants and animals
students are familiar
with. Once the students
identify several plants
and animals that they are
familiar with and feel
knowledgeable on, I will
incorporate these
animals into the lesson
via pictures, words in
their native language,
and in English.
I will tier the activity to
get ELL students more
familiar with English. I
will start by using
strictly pictures of plants
and animals they are
familiar with, to pictures
they are familiar with
accompanied by English
words, followed by
American plants and
animals with English
words. I will also
accompany these
pictures with labels in
students native
languages.

Use pictures instead


of words when giving
students their sticky
notes for which object
they are representing
in the food chain.

Create a model of the


food chain using
mainly pictures (less
words), especially
pictures of plants and
animals that they are
familiar with.

Two ELL students


will be paired with
one native English
speaker, to help
describe the role of
the animal or plant
they are given.

Tiered products: ELL


students create
diagrams with only
plants and animals
they are familiar with,
plants and animals
they are familiar with
accompanied by
English words, or
pictures of
American plants
and animals
accompanied by
English words.

Interest

Readiness

I will give each student a


survey using pictures of
plants and animals that
students can see at
home, outside of the
school building, and/or
inside the school
building. I will ask the
students if they know
what the plants and
animals are called, if
they do not know, I will
tell them what they are
called. For the last part
of the survey I will ask
which plants and
animals the students
want to learn more
about.

I will tier this activity to


get students with severe
learning disabilities by
giving them images of
plants and animals that I
know they have seen in
their life.

I will use pictures


when giving students
their sticky note of the
object that they are
representing in the
food chain. I will also
tell the student what is
on their sticky note.
Students may also
partner up with other
students to help each
other get into the
correct order of the
food chain. I will also
assist students into
getting into the
correct order,
mentioning their
object several times.

I will work one-onone with students to


help move students
into the correct order
of the food chain.
Students can also
work with their
classmates to help get
the class into the
correct order.

Students will cut and


paste pictures and
words that I give them
into the correct order
of the food chain. The
correct order of the
food chain will be left
on the board after we
have completed the
correct order as a
class.

Tiered products:
I will give students
images of the plants
and animals we
identified at the
beginning of this
activity, and that we
have been working
with throughout the
activity. These images
will also come with a
label, and students
will be required to cut
and paste the images
into the correct order
that will be on the
board after the class
has completed the
activity.

B. WHAT COULD GO WRONG WITH THIS LESSON AND WHAT WILL YOU DO ABOUT IT?
The students could not remember information from their previous lessons on food chains.
Students could have poor communication skills, resulting in not helping each other, or
screaming chaos in the classroom.
Students could be shy and not communicate well with others
Students could not follow the directions to not look at their sticky note, which would eliminate
the act of teaching peers.
If students do not remember their food chain information, I will guide them with simple
examples of animals in the food chain.

I will explain the directions extremely clearly, to avoid chaos when students are forming their
food chain. I could even turn it into a silent activity where students have to use their best nonverbal communication skills to get themselves into the right order.