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Grade 2

2-LS2-2 Develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.
              Science and Engineering Practices: Developing and Using Models
              Disciplinary Core Ideas: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems: Developing Possible Solutions
              Crosscutting Concepts: Structure and Function

What could we do?
Students cannot be expected to effectively meet this Performance Expectation if they have not observed the interactions in nature. A field trip in the spring or fall could focus on pollinator species. Students could visit a natural area where flowers are in bloom and station themselves so that they can observe the pollinating insects that visit the flowers. It is best to select an area with a variety of species in bloom to be sure to include some species that require insect pollination because some flowers are wind-pollinated and others are self-pollinated, and those species will not attract insects. Students should be close enough to observe the activity of the insects but should not disturb the pollinators. A field trip in the fall could allow a visit to a prairie, wetland and/or woodland to look at how plant seeds are designed for dispersal. Which types of seeds are most likely to be dispersed by animals? Why? You will probably find seeds that stick to animals, seeds/fruits that are eaten by animals and seeds that are taken away from the parent plant and buried by animals. Students can discuss the traits and then develop a model for what they feel is the best method for plants to be pollinated by animals and for seeds to be dispersed by animals. 
 
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
 

 

2-LS4-1 Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.
              Science and Engineering Practices: Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
              Disciplinary Core Ideas: Biodiversity and Humans
 
What could we do?
Visit a natural area where a variety of habitats are found or make more than one trip to visit habitat types in different locations. Try to include woodland, wetland, prairie and urban habitats. Ask the students to make a list of the types of organisms that they see as they walk through the habitat. Their observations may be enhanced by a period of sitting or standing quietly for a few minutes in each habitat. They can be descriptive about what they are seeing, or you may want to provide them with a checklist with categories (mammal, bird, insect, tree, shrub, etc.) knowing that you will need to discuss the category definitions in advance. When you have finished the observations, conduct a discussion of the data. Where did they find the most types of living things? What were they? Were certain types of living things found in all habitats? Were some organisms only present in specific habitats? What could be wrong with a survey such as the one that they just conducted? What could make this survey better?
 
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
 
2-ESS1-1 Use information from several sources to provide evidence that earth events can occur quickly or slowly.
              Science and Engineering Practices: Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
              Disciplinary Core Ideas: The History of Planet Earth
              Crosscutting Concepts: Stability and Change
 
What could we do?
Visit a natural area that has rock cliffs or other geological features. Look for eroded rock particles at the base of the cliff. You may be able to see layers of colors in the rock/soil as well. They reflect the changes over time in the geology of the area. You may find fossils representing evidence of life that once lived here. If earthquakes have caused rocks to move quickly as they slip along each other at a fault line, there may be evidence above ground. A park naturalist or local geologist may be able to help you identify such features. Caves and sinkholes can demonstrate the slow processes of geology, too.
 
Where could we go?
Many of Illinois’ state parks include geological features that can be used to help support the teaching of this performance objective.
 
2-ESS2-2 Develop a model to represent the shapes and kinds of land and bodies of water in an area.
 Science and Engineering Practices: Developing and Using Models
              Disciplinary Core Ideas: Plate Tectonics and Large-scale System Interactions
              Crosscutting Concepts: Patterns Crosscutting Concepts: Patterns
 
What could we do?
Go on a field trip to a state park or other natural area. Drive through the area and then take a walk for a closer look at the features of the land and water. Have the students observe and record (photographs, sketches) the different types of features that they see. Host a discussion about what they have seen. Upon return to the classroom, the students will have a better idea of the features that exist so that they can develop their model successfully.
 
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