Understanding the Animal Kingdom

Students explore the relationship between living things and their environment, and how the environment can impact a species' ability to survive, while referring to the text to ask and answer questions.

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ELA

Unit 3

3rd Grade

Unit Summary


In this unit, students explore the relationship between living things and their environment and how the environment can both positively and negatively impact a species’ ability to survive. Using the Next Generation Science Standards as a guide, students will learn about different species, what they need for survival, their life cycle, and how they have adapted for survival. Then students will be challenged to create arguments that explain why some organisms are able to survive well, some survive less well, and others can’t survive at all in certain habitats. Through this unit, along with others in the sequence, students will use the scientific information they learn to think critically about the world around them. 

The Science of Living Things texts were chosen as mentor texts for this unit because the author, Bobbie Kalman, uses text features and clear language to clearly communicate complex concepts about the animal kingdom, life cycles, and animal adaptations. As readers, students will be challenged to constantly ask and answer questions about key details in the text, explicitly referring to the text to support an answer or a question. Over the course of the unit, students will also deepen their understanding of how Bobbie Kalman uses text features to not only organize information, but to help a reader learn new information and facts about a subject. Students will also work on using context clues to figure out the meaning of genre-specific vocabulary, find the main idea of a section, and explain cause and effect in relation to scientific concepts.

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Texts and Materials


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Core Materials

Supporting Materials

Assessment


These assessments accompany this unit to help gauge student understanding of key unit content and skills.

Additional progress monitoring suggestions are included throughout the unit. Essential Tasks can be found in the following lessons:

Unit Prep


Intellectual Prep

Unit Launch

To learn more about how to prepare a unit, internalize a lesson, and understand the different components of a Fishtank ELA lesson, visit our Preparing to Teach Fishtank ELA Teacher Tool.

Essential Questions

  • What is the animal kingdom? What types of animals make up the animal kingdom? 
  • Why are life cycles important? Are all animal life cycles the same? 
  • What happens to animals in an ecosystem when the environment changes? How have animals adapted to meet changes in the environment? 

Vocabulary

Text-based

adapt adaptation amphibian burrow carnivore camouflage characteristics cold-blooded defense evolution exoskeleton hatchlings invertebrate kingdom life cycle metamorphosis migrate mimicry molt nocturnal offspring omnivore organ prey reproducing reproduction skeleton support vertebrate warm-blooded

Root/Affix

-tion exo- in- re-

To see all the vocabulary for Unit 3, view our 3rd Grade Vocabulary Glossary.

Supporting All Students

In order to ensure that all students are able to access the texts and tasks in this unit, it is incredibly important to intellectually prepare to teach the unit prior to launching the unit. Use the intellectual preparation protocol and the Unit Launch to determine which support students will need. To learn more, visit the Supporting all Students teacher tool.

Content Knowledge and Connections

Lesson Map


Common Core Standards


Core Standards

3-LS1-1
3-LS3-1
3-LS3-2
3-LS4-2
3-LS4-3
3-LS4-4
L.3.1
L.3.1.h
L.3.1.i
L.3.2
L.3.2.d
RI.3.2
RI.3.3
RI.3.7
RI.3.8
SL.3.1
SL.3.1.a
SL.3.1.c
W.3.1
W.3.1.a
W.3.1.b
W.3.1.c
W.3.2
W.3.2.a
W.3.2.b
W.3.7
W.3.8

Supporting Standards

L.3.4
L.3.4.b
L.3.5
L.3.6
RF.3.3
RF.3.4
RI.3.1
RI.3.4
RI.3.5
RI.3.10
SL.3.1.b
SL.3.3
SL.3.4
SL.3.5
SL.3.6
W.3.4
W.3.5
W.3.10
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Unit 2

Exploring Ancient Civilizations: Rome

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Unit 4

Honoring Indigenous Peoples

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