ERIC Number: EJ1035483
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Feb
Reference Count: 4
Close Encounters of the Amphibious Kind
Lee, Tammy D.; Lubischer, Jane L.
Science and Children, v51 n6 p50-55 Feb 2014
In this article, Tammy D. Lee and Jane L. Lubischer describe a classroom lesson designed to explore how animals use sound to communicate and how this communication affects their survival. Lee and Lubischer wanted to bring an awareness of how science is happening in students' own backyards. They developed a half-day 5E lesson integrating two of the disciplinary core ideas from the "Next Generation Science Standards" ("NGSS)": physical science (Wave Properties, grade 1) (PS4.A) and (Social Interactions and Group Behavior, grade 3) life science (LS2.D). They integrated these two disciplinary core ideas to demonstrate how science disciplines work together within the natural world. The first-grade disciplinary core idea (PS4.A) of how sound is created and travels was chosen to establish this physical science conceptual foundation for the first-grade students as well as to assess the prior knowledge of the third-grade students in terms of sound creation. With this foundation established, they then wanted to extend the concept of sound creation of vibrating human-made materials to how animals create sounds using vibrating materials within their bodies. Finally, Lee and Lubischer wanted to build upon this physical science concept of creation of sound to understanding the purpose of this creation of sound (LS2.D). In the real world, science disciplines do not exist in isolation (NRC 2012). The integration of science concepts was demonstrated by exploring how animals use sound to communicate messages (life science), with students using vibrating materials (physical science) to mimic these animal calls (sounds). Using the theme of sound, students asked questions (Connections to Nature of Science) about how frogs make sounds and how they use sounds to communicate. Students also had an opportunity to plan and carry out an investigation (Science and Engineering Practices) in a non-laboratory environment, just as many scientists (e.g., Earth scientists, ethologists, ecologists) collect data within a natural setting. Finally, within this lesson, students used evidence to construct an argument based on their own interpretation of collected data. This was done through a game that explored whether frogs benefit from living in a community by exploring how frog calls help frogs locate mates.
Descriptors: Science Education, Physical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Interdisciplinary Approach, Elementary School Students, Prior Learning, Data Collection, Persuasive Discourse, Acoustics, Animal Behavior, Zoology, Animals
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Grade 3
Authoring Institution: N/A