Australian Animal Lesson Plan

For students of 2nd to 3rd grade.

Australian Animals Lesson Plan
D.Palmer

Objective: To learn about the different types of animals in Australia, and categorize them as mammals, reptiles, and marsupials. This particular lesson will integrate language arts with science AKS objectives in a research format.

AKS Connection: Social Studies/Australia, Science-Living Things/Animals	

Materials:  Word PowerPoint program, Microsoft Word program. Technology lab computers, Australian Animal book, Smart board, LCD projector, class set of Children’s Encyclopedia software, class set of San Diego Zoo software, Koala Lou I Love You book by Mem Fox, Flickr website and animal websites. 

Extension materials: Kratt’s Creatures video, Alpha Smarts, various books, software, and videos available in the local school media center, County Intranet, and IBM computer lab for some of the follow-up learning activities.

Grouping: The students will be broken into large group, collaborative groups, and partners. Students in class will also be paired up. Teacher makes out the pair list ahead of time before the technology lesson.

Procedures: 
Warm-up activities: (In the classroom)
•	Prior to the lesson, the instructor will read a book about Australia and especially highlight the animals. Do a KWL chart (What we know. What we want to know. What we learned.) or utilize a computer template with Scan-It or a LCD projector and whiteboard.
 
•	Then have the students research and discuss in small groups the categories and characteristics of mammals, reptiles, and marsupials. Access prior knowledge with this activity. (Have them record their results on chart paper or on Writing computer software, Alpha Smarts, or Microsoft Word on computers. * Bring to their attention how marsupials are also in the mammal group. 

•	Read the book Koala Lou I Love You to the whole class. Identify the different animals in the story. Discuss characteristics.
 
 Location: In the IBM computer lab. Sign up for the Technology Support teacher (TST) in shared drive to assist with the lesson.
Anticipatory Hook: Use the website: http://unitedstreaming.com- Show the video The Australian Way of Life.
Have a class discussion about the video.

Body of Lesson:

Session One (In the computer lab)
•	Linkage to Prior Knowledge: Teacher asks the students if they have ever visited the Atlanta Zoo or any other zoo, Fernbank Science Museum, or seen programs or videos about animals or Australia.
This class activity will introduce the students to the following websites: 
http://www.kidcyber.com.au/
http://australian-animals.net/
http://wwwaustralianfauna.com
http://www.flickr.com  (Download Australian animal photos)

	Show and introduce the downloaded photos of Australian animals from the Flickr web site to the students.

	Meet with the class to discuss which partners will be responsible for recording information about which animals. Break the animals into the three categories of mammal, reptiles, and marsupials. Make a class chart and post volunteers for each animal to research.  

	Have students explore each of the websites together as a class. (Flickr won’t be available to students) Then have them break off into partners and begin researching the Australian animals. Provide clipboards, paper, and pencils. They must select 2 animals to research. Included in their information are its habitat, food, size, and a description. 

	Allow multiple visits to the IBM Lab to explore and research Australian animals. 

Session Two (In the computer lab)
•	Introduction: Explain that we will be working together on a PowerPoint Presentation on the three categories of animals in Australia: mammals, reptiles, and marsupials. Refer back to the warm up activity charts.

•	Then the partners need to collaborate to decide what to write in a 3-4 sentences to describe each animal’s habitat, food sources, prey, etc., Have available the research charts or notes they did as warm up activities, and animal or Australia books available if the teacher feels they may still need them as a resource. Have students type the research portion of this assignment into Microsoft Word. Have students save work on CD’s for next session.
 
•	Together design a class PowerPoint on Australian Animals. Display from the LCD Projector to a screen. Have the students set it up into the 3 main categories of animals. Cut and paste their research into the slides. Using downloaded Australian animals’ photographs from Flickr, import them into the presentation.
 
•	Timeframe: 3-4 weeks or longer if needed.

Closure: (Back in the classroom) Ask the children to write down on an index card three new facts they learned about Australian animals and rotate their cards and share with each other their information. 
Assessments:

•	Have students share the PowerPoint project in class. Grade their section on a rubric from the website- http://landmarkproject.com
 
•	Use one of the elementary game websites. Use the Jeopardy Game to access learning. Provide remediation if needed.

•	Provide an Australia study guide. A test will be given at the end of the unit. Refer to the educational game websites.

Extensions: 
•	Have small groups write a story about one Australian animal in Children’s Writing and Publishing software.

•	Have the class pair up with another class either in second grade, first, or kindergarten and do a puppet show or some type of creative presentation. Have a student record it on the digital video camera.
 
•	Have students make a travel brochure to advertise the unique animals in Australia. 

•	Go to the computer lab and use the Children's Encyclopedia in pairs. Click into the Australia section.
 
•	Read The Magic Tree House chapter book Dingoes Down Under to the whole class. 

•	Construct with legos an Australian animal.

•	Establish pen pals with students in a class in Australia and E-mail them on a regular basis. Scan pictures of the class to send. Create stationary on Microsoft Word.

•	Do a small group activity having one student pretend to be an Australian Zookeeper and other students in the group have to formulate questions to ask the zookeeper about certain Australian animals. Record on a digital movie projector and broadcast it on the school news show. Showcase it to parents during curriculum night or parent conference days.

•	Use Alpha Smarts and have students write stories or letters to their pen pals in Australia.