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Main Curriculum Tie:
Background For Teachers:
Eighteen different kinds of amphibians can be found in Utah. There are eight toads, nine frogs (two of which are not native), and only one salamander. Amphibians exhibit a wealth of amazing adaptations that help them survive, including many protective and warning colors, poisonous secretions to avoid being eaten, many types of feet for various means of travel such as climbing, swimming and even gliding, and natural anti-freeze in their blood to keep them from freezing.
Frogs and toads are not exactly the same. Frogs have bulging eyes, webbed feet, and powerful hind legs useful for jumping great distances. Toads are more at home on land, however, they return to the water to lay their eggs. Toads have shorter hind legs than frogs and move in short hops. Because escape from predators is difficult, toads have poison glands on both sides of their necks. If an animal bites a toad, the animal may get sick from the poison.
This activity is further work in the classification of Utah animals, specifically amphibians. Studying them provides practice in classifying animals in Utah by physical characteristics. The word “dichotomy” means “division into two.” A dichotomous key reduces the task of identifying something into a series of questions that are based on physical features. Each set of questions eliminates others, eventually leading to the name of the mystery item.
Fourth graders do not need to know specific animals, but a general knowledge of them is helpful. Some of the more common species in Utah are:
Intended Learning Outcomes:
Try singing it as a round. Discuss what the song is about and define classification and identifying animal groups with dichotomous keys.
Adams, D., & Hamm, M. (1998). Literacy in Science, Technology and the Language Arts: An Interdisciplinary Inquiry. Connecticut: Bergin and Garvey, p.10.
This text deals with science and mathematics inquiry processes as tools that enable students to gather and discover data for themselves through the process of scientific inquiry. As information is observed and identified, recording it becomes an integral part of the process and leads to integration in language arts.
Lemlech, J.K. (June 2001). Curriculum and Instructional Methods for the Elementary and Middle School. New Jersey, Prentice Hall.
This text covers how children learn, delivery of instruction, implementing curriculum and professional growth. It explores the “how’ and “what” in preparing instruction. There is emphasis on interdisciplinary use of journals, cooperative learning, and a variety of other strategies to teach in all subjects.
The science journal is “a practice manual, a workbook that allows students to wrestle with ideas in a manner that is comfortable and productive for them as individuals. Journals created in this manner allow teachers to see how a student thinks and where to aim instruction to assist individual and class development.”
Martin, D. (2000). Elementary Science Methods: A Constructivist Approach. California: Wadsworth Thomson Learning, pp 79, 83.
This text is for college students preparing to teach elementary science using the constructivist theory to learn methodology for teaching inquiry and other science processes. It is also an introduction to National Science Standards and how to identify developmentally appropriate science material for grades. The text identifies learning styles and how to adapt science instruction to meet the needs of all students.
Text remarks concerning teaching classification (emphasis added):
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