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  1. Illinois DNR
  2. Education

Grade 1

1-LS1-1 Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow and meet their needs.
Science and Engineering Practices: Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Disciplinary Core Ideas: Structure and Function, Information Processing
Crosscutting Concepts: Structure and Function; Influence of Engineering, Technology and Science on Society and the Natural World

 
What could we do?

In order to meet this Performance Expectation, students must be aware of adaptations that plants and animals possess and why they have these adaptations. By taking the students on a field trip, you can examine plant adaptations up close. You can also observe animals, such as birds, squirrels, insects and others, in their habitats and from the signs they left behind. For example, students might see a track from a white-tailed deer. They could compare the track to their foot. How is it like their foot? How is it different? What activities could a human do if she/he had feet like those of a deer? Perhaps the students will smell the scent left by a skunk. How does this scent help the animal? How could humans use an adaptation like this to help them? Maybe you will find a turtle or a turtle’s shell. How did this structure help the turtle? How could humans be helped if they had an adaptation like this one? They may find a tree or shrub with thorns. How do the thorns help the plant? What could an adaptation like thorns do to help humans? Similar questions can be asked about other adaptations that plants and animals have. When you return to the classroom, discuss problems that humans have and use the observations that the students made during the field trip to help them discuss how they could be assisted in some manner by animal or plant adaptations. Encourage them to use field guides to find additional animal and plant adaptations, too.

Where could we go?
Illinois state parks, city parks, national wildlife refuges, forest preserve district sites, conservation district sites, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sites and other locations where animals and plants are easily observed outdoors in natural habitats


1-LS3-1 Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that young plants and animals are like, but not exactly like, their parents.
    Science and Engineering Practices: Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
              Disciplinary Core Ideas: Inheritance of Traits, Variation of Traits
              Crosscutting Concepts: Patterns Crosscutting Concepts: Patterns

 
What could we do?
Students could go for a walk in a natural area in spring to look for adult animals and their offspring. Geese and ducks make good subjects for observation, although do not try to get close to these animals or touch them. Geese and ducks are present statewide at many locations. Students can observe how the adults and offspring are similar and different. If a source of water is at the site, you might be able to find tadpoles of frogs and salamanders. The adults may be harder to find, but you can use field guides to look at pictures of adult frogs and toads. It will be difficult to determine which plant was parent to another, unless a young plant is growing from the base of the parent plant, so with plants, you may want to look for varying traits between the same species of plants: leaf shape; height; pattern of bark; flower structures and other characteristics. Students can draw conclusions from their field trip observations.

Where could we go?
Illinois state parks, city parks, national wildlife refuges, forest preserve district sites, conservation district sites, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sites and other locations where animals and plants are easily observed outdoors in natural habitats