Illustrate that objects and people can be classified according to various shared characteristics.
Classify the students in the class according to shoe color.
Identify three major characteristics scientists use to classify animals.
Describe the differences between ectothermic and endothermic animals.
Two glass bottles and two glass jars of different sizes and shapes: one jar containing rice, one jar containing salt or sugar, one bottle containing fruit juice and one bottle containing water.
Pictures of animals (including the Komodo dragon) from animal encyclopedias listed in Suggested Books
Attmore, Stephen. Animal Encyclopedia. New York: Checkerboard Press, 1989. On front end papers of this oversized book is a chart of the various animal groups. Includes illustration and short informative paragraph on each animal.
Diagram Group. Comparisons. New York: St. Martins, 1980. Compares different animals, plants and objects in a Guinness Book of World Records style.
Few, Roger. Macmillan Animal Encyclopedia for Children. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991. Organizes animals by habitat. Illustrated with lovely color drawings.
Lerner, Carol. A Forest Year. New York: Morrow, 1987. Follows the activities of common mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects during each season in an eastern forest habitat.
Goor, Ron and Nancy. All About Feet. New York: Crowell, 1984. A photo survey of animal feet.
________, Ron and Nancy. Heads. New York: Atheneum, 1988. More comparative anatomy in irresistible black and white photos.
Hemsley, William. Fins to Wings. New York: Gloucester Press, 1992. In-depth information about how animals move..
Rauzon, Mark. Feet, Flippers, Hooves, and Hands. New York: Lothrop, 1994. Takes a look at animal's feet and hands as a way of comparing and classifying them. Very good color photos.
Schafer, Susan. Komodo Dragon. New York: Dillon Publishing, 1994.
Yount, Lisa. Too Hot, Too Cold, Just Right: How Animals Control Their Temperatures. New York: Walker, 1981. Endothermic and exothermic strategies clearly explained.
Pictures of animals can be found in magazines such as Ranger Rick and National Wildlife from the National Wildlife Federation as well as in National Geographic and the Zoobooks series of monthly booklets on wildlife.
Unit Background Information
Scientists classify animals according to shared characteristics. By looking at an animal's skeletal structure, reproduction, body covering and means of maintaining its body temperature, scientists organize the ten million species in the animal kingdom in groups to be compared and studied. Scientists who study animals are called zoologists.
Warm-blooded and cold-blooded, terms often used to describe how an animal maintains its body temperature, tend to give the false impression that a cold-blooded animal has cold blood. Better terms for identifying these two groups are endothermic and ectothermic. Endo means inside; ecto means outside. Therm means heat. Ectothermic animals, such as snakes, lizards, fish, frogs and insects, must gain heat for activity from outside their bodies. They depend on the sun to heat up their bodies and allow any activity. If the environment is cold, ectothermic animals are slow-moving and sluggish. That is why a snake must bask in the sun before it can move about to hunt for food. If the temperature gets too hot, a snake must find shade or burrow in the ground to keep its body cool or die. (See Reading Mastery 3, Lesson 57) Endothermic animals, on the other hand, make their own heat. The heat they produce inside their bodies comes from energy from food. An endothermic animal's body engine works hard to keep its body the right temperature for activity all the time. When the outside temperature is too hot, an endothermic animal can cool off by sweating or panting. The cost an endothermic animal pays for this inside body heat system is that it must eat much more often than an ectothermic animal. For example, a lion (endothermic) eats its weight in food every seven to ten days. A ten-foot-long, ectothermic reptile, the Komodo dragon, eats its weight in food every sixty days.
The animal kingdom can also be organized according to skeletal structure. Animals with backbones (spinal columns) and craniums (hard, bony cases around their brains) are in a group called vertebrates (VER-teh-brits). The name comes from vertebrae (VER-teh-bree), small bones that form the spinal column. Another name scientists use for this group is chordates. Animals without backbones, such as snails, starfish, jellyfish, insects, spiders, squid and earthworms, are called invertebrates.
The vertebrate group is broken down into five classes: mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians. Each class has its own characteristics. Mammals and birds are endothermic. Fish, reptiles and amphibians are ectothermic.
Show the students the four bottles and jars and ask: How are these objects alike? (They are all made of glass. They are all containers-- jars or bottles.) Ask: How are these objects different from each other? (They each contain something different. They are different shapes and sizes.) Show the students the two bottles. Ask the students to compare these objects and say how they are alike and how they are different from each other. (Accept all reasonable answers.) If not already stated by the students, point out that the bottles are alike in that they are both bottles and they both contain liquids. They are different in that they contain liquids of different colors and are different sizes and shapes. Ask a student to come up and smell the contents of each bottle and report whether they are different or the same in smell (different). Show the students the two jars. Ask: How are these like each other and how are they different? (Accept all reasonable answers.) Point out, if not already stated, that they are alike in that they are both jars and both contain something white. They are different in that they are different sizes and shapes and the white substances inside are different. Tell the students that they have been comparing things and putting them in groups according to likenesses in size, shape, color and smell. Comparing and organizing things in groups is called classifying and is something scientists do when they look at plants and animals.
Have all the students stand up and have two students come to the front. Tell the two their assignment is to classify the students in the class--organize them by likenesses--according to shoe color. Help the class cooperate with the classifiers. When the students have assembled in groups of brown shoes, black shoes, white shoes, gray shoes, etc., point out that the classifiers have grouped them according to the color of their shoes. Ask the students to look around at the other students in their group. Are some of them taller or shorter than others in the group? Are some of them boys and some girls? Do some of them like peanut butter and others do not? Tell the students that they can be organized into other groups according to many other characteristics they share--by height, by boy/girl, by whether they like peanut butter or not, or by where they live or how old they are. Have the students return to their seats.
Tell the students that in the month ahead, they will be studying ways to classify animals according to the characteristics the animals share. By classifying animals, scientists and young scientists like themselves, can compare and study how animals are alike and how they are different. Ask the students to brainstorm with you and write the names of six animals across the board. Remind the students that people belong to the animal kingdom, too. Show the students pictures of the animals they have named from animal encyclopedias listed in Suggested Books or from magazines. On the board beneath each animal's name, have the students help you list characteristics of that animal--what each looks like, where it lives, what it eats and how it behaves. For example, under lion might be listed meat eater (remind the students that in first grade they learned that a meat eater is called a carnivore), four legs, lives in Africa, brown and tan, hairy mane and tail. Have the students compare the lists and see what shared characteristics they can find among the listed animals. Group these animals at the bottom of the board under their shared characteristics. For example, the students might include lion, wolf and snake under carnivores or goldfish and snake under scaly. Write the word move on the board. Ask: Which animals belong on this list? (all of them) Ask: Do all animals move? (yes)
Point out to the students that they have been classifying animals according to what they look like, what they eat, where they live and how they behave. Write these four ways of classifying on the board. Tell the students that one characteristic scientists use to classify animals is whether they make their own body heat inside their bodies or not. Animals that need to get body heat from their surroundings are ectothermic. Write this word on the board and underline ecto. Tell the students that ecto means outside and therm means heat--outside heat. Tell the students that ectothermic animals are sometimes called cold-blooded. Animals such as snakes, alligators, fish and frogs are ectothermic. They need to get heat from their surroundings to be active. When the air or water around them is cold, ectothermic animals are slow-moving and sluggish. Ask: Has anyone seen a snake sunning itself on a warm rock? (Accept all answers.) Ask: Why do you think a snake does that? (to get body heat from the warm rock) Tell the students that the snake needs to warm up its body before it can move about to hunt for food. Alligators warm up their bodies by floating on the surface of the water in the sunshine or crawling up on a warm beach.
Ask: Are people ectothermic animals? (no) How do you know? (People do not have to lie in the sunshine the way snakes or alligators do to be active.) Tell the students that people make their own body heat. So do mice, birds, cats, dogs, squirrels, monkeys and many other animals. Animals that make their own body heat are called endothermic animals. Write this word on the board and underline endo. Ask: If endo means inside, what does endothermic mean? (inside heat) Tell the students that another name for endothermic is warm-blooded. Endothermic animals make body heat with the fuel from the food they eat. Their bodies change the food energy into heat energy to keep their bodies warm. They can be active anytime, even when it is cold. To keep their body at the right temperature for action, endothermic animals need to refuel often. They need to eat much more often than ectotherms. Some snakes eat only once a week or once a month.
If you have one from Suggested Books, show the students a picture of a Komodo dragon, the largest lizard in the world. Tell the students that when this ten-foot-long lizard has a meal, it eats a whole goat but it only eats every two months. Ask: How often do people eat? (every day) Tell the students that more than half of what they eat goes toward keeping their bodies warm. Ask: How often do you think birds eat? (many times a day) Tell the students that endothermic animals such as people and birds, lions and mice need to eat more often than ectothermic animals so they can keep their bodies at the right temperature for action.
Find out more about alligators or Komodo dragons. Try to discover what they eat and how they catch their food.
Create a zoo. Make a map of the zoo showing the different areas and how the animals might be grouped by likenesses.
Devise ways to classify a collection of objects.
For each group of five students: a collection of objects (large wooden beads of different shapes, colors and sizes, a collection of seashells or rocks, a box of vari-colored, differently-shaped pasta, a package of 15-bean soup mix, etc.), an egg carton and a marker
Divide the class into teams of five and tell the students that the game they are going to play is called the Classifying Game. The idea of the game is to find a way to organize their objects according to a likeness, a shared characteristic. Tell them to write the shared characteristic or likeness on the inside top of the egg carton and use the egg compartments for sorting into groups. Distribute a collection of objects, an egg carton and marker to each group. When the students have finished classifying, have a member of each group bring its egg carton to the front of the room and report what likeness was used for organizing. List on the board the shared characteristics used to classify.
Third Grade - Science - Lesson 2 - Classification of Animals
Identify backbones in illustrations of human and animal skeletons.
Compare characteristics of vertebrates and invertebrates.
Classify animals in an aquarium and place them on an animal kingdom chart.
String of large wooden beads as a model of vertebrae
Transparencies of vertebrates and invertebrates (see attached)
Turkey or chicken neck bones, optional (see Teacher Notes for preparation suggestions)
Picture of human backbone and fish backbone from the book Skeleton, optional (see Suggested Books)
Animal Kingdom sheet for each child (see attached)
Aquarium with a few goldfish and six or seven snails (see Teacher Notes for suggestions on setup)
Doris, Ellen. Invertebrate Zoology: Animals Without Backbones. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1993. This book, co-published with the Children's School of Science in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, is for the advanced reader but contains photos of children taking part in invertebrate research.
Fichter, George. Starfish, Seashells, and Crabs. New York: Golden Book, 1993. Especially good sections on sea snails and how they move and on hermit crabs.
Gowell, Elizabeth. Sea Jellies: Rainbows in the Sea. New York: Franklin Watts, 1993. This book from the New England Aquarium has stunning color photos of all types of jellyfish from moon jellies to man-of-wars and in-depth information on jellyfish life cycles and means of locomotion.
Johnson, Jimmy. Skeletons: An Inside Look at Animals. New York: Reader's Digest, 1994. Includes illustrations of eighteen skeletons of animals with comparisons to the human skeleton.
Landau, Elaine. Interesting Invertebrates: A Look at Animals Without Backbones. New York: Franklin Watts, 1991. Good color photos and chapters on starfish, sponges, earthworms and sea urchins among others.
Loewer, Peter. The Inside-Outside Stomach: An Introduction to Animals Without Backbones. New York: Atheneum, 1990. Outlines ways invertebrates are able to protect their soft bodies. The title refers to the eating habits of starfish.
Ross, Michael Elsohn. Snailology. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda, 1996. Includes many activities for the study of snails: snail races, snail sketching, snail movement, even "snail kissing."
Steve Parker. Skeleton. New York: Knopf, 1988. Outstanding photos of various animal skeletons. Full-page photograph of human spine shows how vertebrae fit together.
Stidworthy, John. Simple Animals. New York: Facts on File, 1990. Text is advanced but includes color photos of a wide range of invertebrates with informative captions.
Waters, John. A Jellyfish Is Not a Fish. New York: Crowell, 1979.
This lesson on comparative anatomy introduces some information that will be built upon in November's lesson on the human skeletal system. Material is mentioned in Vertebrates,
Level 3 Openers.
It is suggested that children keep folders for classifying chart (see attached), worksheets on the characteristics of the various animal classes and animal reports that they write.
To prepare chicken or turkey bones for this lesson and later lesson on birds: Boil neck and wing bones until all meat falls away. Lay on a paper towel until thoroughly dry. Store in a ziplock bag.
Aquarium setup: Pour at least an inch of aquarium gravel on the bottom of the fish tank. Allow tap water to sit overnight in a container before adding it to the fish tank. Goldfish and snails are available at pet stores, large discount stores with pet sections and at some garden centers that carry pond equipment. Purchasing a small floating plant will add oxygen to the water. Pet stores and pet sections of supermarkets carry flake fish food. Snails eat the algae that forms on the glass of the aquarium and help keep the tank clean. They reproduce by laying eggs, which look like clear jelly bubbles, on the glass.
Review with the students the difference between endothermic and ectothermic animals. Remind them that one way to classify animals, to group them by likenesses, is to look at how they warm their bodies--from inside or outside. Tell the students that another way to classify an animal is to look at its bones, its skeleton. The most important part of the skeleton to look at is the backbone. Ask: Do people have backbones? (yes) Ask the students to put their fingers on the backs of their necks. Ask: What do you feel? (bumps) Do the bumps go down your back? (yes) Show the students the picture of the human skeleton on the vertebrates transparency and ask a student to come up and point out the backbone. Ask: Do these other animals have backbones, too? (yes) Have students come up and point out the backbones on the other animals.
Ask one of the students to touch his or her knees and then stand upright. Ask: Do our backbones bend? (yes) Demonstrate by twisting left and right at the waist. Ask: If bone is hard, how do you think the backbone bends? (Accept all answers.) Show the students the string of large wooden beads. Tell them that the backbone is made up of many bones called vertebrae (VER-teh-bree) lined up and connected like beads on a string. Demonstrate the flexibility of the string. Write vertebrae on the board and have the students repeat it. If you have them, show the students vertebrae of a chicken or turkey. Point out the hole in the center through which a string of nerves called the spinal cord passes on its way to the animal's brain. If you have it, show the students the closeup of a human backbone and vertebrae on pages 38-39 and the human spine illustration on the title page from Skeleton (the Eyewitness series book listed in Suggested Books) so they can see how vertebrae fit together.
Show the students the transparency of animals with backbones again. Tell the students that animals with backbones are called vertebrates. Write this word on the board. Point out that the name comes from the name of the small bones in backbones. Vertebrates are one group of animals in the animal kingdom. Ask: Are humans vertebrates? (yes) Why? (We have backbones.)
Point out that all of the animals with backbones have skeletons on the insides of their bodies. Ask: Can you think of any animals that have skeletons on the outsides of their bodies, that have exoskeletons? Remind the students that last year they may have studied some that have exoskeletons. (insects) Ask: Are there other animals that have exoskeletons? (crabs,lobsters, spiders, scorpions) Ask: Do you think there are animals with no hard skeletons at all? (Accept all answers.) Ask: What would you be like if you had no skeleton? (Accept all answers.)
Show the students the transparency of invertebrates. Ask: Do you think any of these animals have backbones? (no) Tell the students that some of the animals without backbones have soft bodies. Point out the earthworm, slug, squid and jellyfish. Ask the students if they are familiar with slugs. Tell them that other animals without backbones have soft bodies but hard shells to protect them. Ask a student to come up and point out the animals with protective shells (snail, crab and clam). Tell the students that this other group of animals in the animal kingdom is called invertebrates because these animals have no backbones. Write this word on the board.
Ask: Do you think most of the animals in the world are vertebrates or invertebrates? (Accept all answers.) Tell the students that most of the animals on Earth are invertebrates. Vertebrates like ourselves make up only 1/20th of the animal life on Earth. Ask: Do you think dinosaurs were vertebrates or invertebrates? (They were vertebrates. They had backbones.)
Show the students the aquarium with goldfish and snails and tell them that the job is to classify animal life in the aquarium. Ask the students to look carefully at the animals in the aquarium. Ask: Do you think any of the animals in the aquarium are vertebrates? (The goldfish have backbones and are vertebrates.) Remind the students that if they have ever eaten fish other than tuna fish from a can, they know that they have to watch out for bones. If available, show them a fish skeleton on pages 20-21 of Skeleton from Suggested Books. Ask a student to point out the fish's backbone in the photo. Ask: Are there any invertebrates in the aquarium? (Snails are invertebrates. They have no bones at all.) Point out that a snail has a soft body like a slug's and a hard shell to protect it. Ask the students to take a tally of the vertebrates and invertebrates in the fish tank and write the results on the board. Are there any other animals in the aquarium? Tell the students there may be some microscopic life in the aquarium that is too small to see without a microscope. These tiny creatures are classified in a special kingdom of their own outside the animal kingdom.
Hand out the animal kingdom sheet (see attached). Tell the students that scientists who study animals are called zoologists (zoo-OL-oh-jists). Write this word on the board and have the students say it. Tell them that a person who studies animals with backbones is called a vertebrate zoologist. One who studies animals without backbones is called an invertebrate zoologist. Ask the students to look at their sheets. Say: Imagine you are working at the National Aquarium in Baltimore studying the life cycles of starfish, would you be a vertebrate zoologist or an invertebrate zoologist? (invertebrate zoologist because starfish have no backbones) Say: Imagine you are on an expedition in the rain forest of Costa Rica, South America. You are part of a team that is looking for a rare parrot with scarlet wings and bright blue feet. You want to find this bird in its habitat and watch it through powerful binoculars. You want to know what this parrot eats. Are you a vertebrate zoologist or an invertebrate zoologist? (vertebrate zoologist) Imagine you are on a boat in the Caribbean Ocean. You've just put on your scuba diving gear and are preparing to dive down to some underwater caves where sharks gather. You want to know what it is about the caves that attracts the sharks. You want to know why animals that usually swim alone get together in groups only in these special caves? Are you a vertebrate zoologist or an invertebrate zoologist? (vertebrate zoologist)
Refer to the sheet and point out to the students that this zoologist's classifying begins with animal kingdom divided into the two groups: vertebrates and invertebrates. Under vertebrates there are five groups called classes of animals--fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. They will be studying animals in each of these classes. Ask: On this chart, where would you put goldfish? (under vertebrates, under class fish) Where would you put snails? (under
invertebrates with clams and mussels) Ask them to write goldfish in the proper place on the chart.
Tell the students that next time they will be taking a much closer look at one class of vertebrates--fish. Ask the students, in the meantime, to observe the goldfish in the aquarium. Watch how they move, what they eat, how they breathe. Tell the students that the question to think about is: How is a goldfish like a shark?
Possible Field Trip
The National Aquarium at Baltimore has exhibits that include many invertebrates including jellyfish, crabs and crayfish, and starfish. This trip could also serve as a classifying adventure--the Aquarium has exhibits of amphibians (poison arrow frogs), reptiles (rainforest snakes), mammals (dolphins and a sloth), birds and of course, fish (sharks, rays and piranha!)
Invite a vertebrate or invertebrate zoologist from the National Aquarium, Columbus Center or a local university to speak to the class about his or her area of interest.
Identify characteristics of an invertebrate.
Oyster, clam or mussel available from supermarket fish sections or fish markets (keep refrigerated until class time)
To open a clam, oyster or mussel, hold the shell over a plastic tray and slide the knife between the two half shells. Cut the muscle that connects the two halves together. This process takes a little experience and one must be careful with the sharp knife.
Ask the students to take a look at the creature on the tray. Ask: Is this animal a vertebrate or an invertebrate? (invertebrate) Ask: Does anyone know what the name of this invertebrate is? (oyster, clam or mussel) Ask: Where do these animals live? (in oceans or bays like the Chesapeake Bay) Point out to the students that the animal has two shells fitted together. Ask: Why do you think this creature has a hard shell? (to protect its soft body) Tell the students that oysters, clams and mussels are molluscs. They suck water into their shells and through their gills. The gills work as nets to strain out tiny plant particles and also to take oxygen from the water. Then the water is spit out. This kind of feeding is called filter feeding. Oysters and other filter feeders clean the water of the Chesapeake Bay. People would like to see a lot more oysters in the Bay to help keep it cleaner. Ask: Has anyone ever eaten one of these animals? Tell the students that oysters from the Chesapeake Bay are famous and served in restaurants around the world.
Open the mollusc and show the students the soft body inside the shell. Show them the muscle on the back of the shells that held the two halves together. Remind them that they watched snails in the aquarium slide across the glass using a fleshy foot. Molluscs do not move around very much. Oysters and mussels cement themselves to surfaces and stay put. Mussels use strong threads they make to attach themselves to rocks and pilings along the edge of the water.
Tell the students that there is another world famous invertebrate that lives in the Chesapeake Bay. It is often served in Maryland with a spicy seasoning. Ask: What is the name of this invertebrate? (blue crab)
Ask the students to write a paragraph expressing their opinions on which they think should be the official invertebrate of the State of Maryland--the Maryland Crab or the Maryland Oyster? Why?
Third Grade - Science - Lesson 3 - Classification of Animals
Observe live goldfish and label a fish's body parts on a diagram.
Compare characteristics of a goldfish and a shark.
Aquarium and goldfish from last lesson
Fish facts sheet (see attached)
A book on sharks for every group of five students (see Suggested Books)
Arnosky, Jim. Freshwater Fish and Fishing: A Guide for Beginners. New York: Scholastic, 1982. Arnosky shares his love of nature and the joys of fishing. Includes a diagram of a typical fish and beautifully written descriptions of favorite fishing spots, the fish that live there and how to catch them.
________, Jim. Twenty-five Fish Every Child Should Know. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993. Twelve fresh water fish and thirteen marine fish are featured with color illustration and facts about each.
Bailey, Jill. Fish. New York: Facts on File, 1990.
________, Jill. How Fish Swim. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 1997.
Banister, Keith. Sharks and Rays: A Look Inside. New York: Readers Digest, 1995.
Berman, Ruth. Sharks (a Nature Watch book). Minneapolis: Carolrhoda, 1995. Informative and filled with great photos of whale sharks, hammerheads, nurse sharks and shark birth.
Cole, Joanna. Hungry, Hungry Sharks. New York: Random House, 1987. This popular book is at a first grade reading level, but has excellent information on a variety of sharks.
Freedman, Russell. Killer Fish. New York: Holiday House, 1982. Black and white photos accompany chapters on Biters (sharks, barracuda), Stingers (stingrays) Shockers (electric eels) and Grabbers (octopus and jellyfish).
________, Russell. Sharks. New York: Holiday House, 1985. An outstanding book from an award-winning nonfiction writer.
Gibbons, Gail. Sharks. New York: Holiday House, 1993.
Greenberg, Keith Elliot. Marine Biologist: Swimming with the Sharks. Woodbridge, CT: Blackbirch, 1995.
Hirschfeld, Robert. Goldfish. New York: Grolier, 1997.
Ling, Mary. Amazing Fish (Eyewitness Juniors series). New York: Knopf, 1991. Presents a variety of fish while emphasizing characteristics common to all fish.
MacQuitty, Miranda. Sharks (Eyewitness series). New York: Knopf, 1992. As expected in books from this series, the photos are dramatic, however, as in all the books, the text is limited to captions.
Markle, Sandra. Outside and Inside Sharks. New York: Atheneum, 1996. Markle's books in the Outside and Inside series are always appealing and this is no exception. This clearly written introduction to sharks, particularly the section on shark senses, is highly recommended. Also includes a photo of a blue shark with fins labeled.
McGovern, Ann. Shark Lady. New York: Apple, 1994. Follows the career and studies of Dr. Eugenie Clark, shark expert from University of Maryland.
Parker, Steve. Fish (Eyewitness series). New York: Knopf, 1990. Illustrates the amazing
diversity of fish in both color and shape but points out the similarities in design that make them all members of this class of vertebrates.
________, Steve. Sharks (What If series). New York: Millbrook, 1996. Features life cycle of sharks but also includes other fish.
Resnick, Jane. All About Sharks. New York: Third Story Books, 1994. Co-published with Sea World.
Richardson, Joy. Fish. New York: Franklin Watts, 1993.
Tinkelman, Murray. Sharks. New York: Scholastic, 1996. Easy-to-read questions and answers about sharks.
Simon, Seymour. Sharks. New York: Harpercrest, 1995.
Snedden, Robert. What Is a Fish? Boston: Little Brown, 1997. Examines what sharks and minnows have in common.
Stratton, Barbara. What Is a Fish? New York: Franklin Watts, 1991. This book was co- published with the New England Aquarium and contains color photos of their exhibits. Text is for the advanced reader but illustrations of how fish move and breathe are detailed and easy to comprehend.
Welsbacher, Anne. Hammerhead Sharks. Minneapolis: Capstone, 1995.
Wu, Norbert. Fish Faces. New York: Owlet, 1997. A diver tells stories of fish he has encountered accompanied by stunning color photos.
National Geographic Society video. Sharks. Stamford, CT: Vestron (distributor), 1987. Features Dr. Eugenie Clark, world-renown shark expert who teaches at the University of Maryland College Park. Dr. Clark has dispelled a lot of shark myths, particularly about the shark's vicious nature.
The class fish is actually made up of three groups: 1. jawless fish, 2. sharks and rays and 3. bony fish. Fish in all three groups share some basic fish characteristics: they live in water, are ecothermic, use gills to breathe, use tails to swim and fins to steer, and usually have scales. Many fish lay eggs, but a minority bear live young, for example guppies and some sharks.
Sharks differ from goldfish in that they have skeletons of cartilage, a tough gristly substance, instead of bone. Some sharks have teeth. While most fish, such as goldfish, have air bladders that enable them to remain level in water, sharks do not have them. Shark scales resemble bumps rather than flat overlapping goldfish scales. Goldfish live in fresh water while sharks are marine animals. (Reading Mastery IV, Lesson 100) Goldfish food contains fish, crab and soy protein as well as oatmeal. Many shark species eat other fish and crabs while whale sharks and basking sharks eat plankton (microscopic plant and animal life).
Remind the students that last time they looked at vertebrates and invertebrates in an aquarium. Ask: If you were studying the goldfish in the aquarium, what kind of zoologist would you be--an invertebrate or a vertebrate zoologist? (vertebrate zoologist) Why? (because fish have backbones) Tell the students that fish were the first creatures on Earth to have backbones. Show the students pictures of a variety of fish with varying shapes and colors from Suggested Books. (The cover of Fish, in the Eyewitness series shows an array that highlights their diversity.) Point out that while fish can be as different in shape as eels and pufferfish or swordfish and stingrays, they all share some characteristics.
Distribute the sheet on Fish Facts (see attached). Point out that the first characteristic of fish is that they live in water. Ask: Can people breathe underwater without any equipment? (no) How do you think fish breathe underwater? (Accept all answers.) Have the students observe the goldfish in the aquarium. Ask: What do you notice about the slits on the sides of the fish's head? (They open and close as the fish opens and closes its mouth.) Have the students find the gill slits on the fish in the fish fact sheet. Write gills on the board and have the students label the gills on the sheet. Explain to the students that water flows through a fish's mouth and out the gill openings in the sides of its head. As the water flows over them, the gills take oxygen from the water. This is how the fish can breathe underwater.
Remind the students that they learned about ectothermic and endothermic animals. Ask: Do fish get their body heat from inside or from outside? Are they endothermic animals or exothermic animals? (exothermic) Point out that a fish's body is streamlined and a good shape for sliding through water. Ask a child to look closely at the goldfish and describe how it moves. Ask: How does a fish push itself through the water? (It uses its tail fin. By moving it from side to side, it propels its body forward.) Write tail fin on the board and have the students label the tail fin on their sheets. Ask a child to look closely at the goldfish and describe where other fins are located on its body (on its back, on the sides behind the gills and on the bottom). Tell the students that these fins help the fish to steer. Have the students label the fins on their sheets. Ask: Has anyone ever touched a fish before? What does a fish's skin feel like? (Accept all answers.) Point out to the students that most fish have slimy scales. If you try to pick them up, they are very slippery. Being slippery helps them slide more easily through the water. Scales help protect their bodies. Review with the students the characteristics most fish share: they live in water, are ectothermic (get body heat from the environment), use gills to breathe, use tails to swim and fins to steer through the water and have slimy scales that protect their bodies. Tell the students that goldfish lay many eggs that look like floating jelly clumps. They are fertilized by male goldfish. When the eggs hatch, out swim small, dark-colored fish that grow and gradually become gold colored.
Tell the students that today they will be comparing two fish--a goldfish and a shark--to see how they are alike and how they are different. Point out that while they can observe goldfish in the classroom, sharks are a different story. Unfortunately, there is no way to have a live one in the classroom. Instead they will have to read about sharks and look at pictures (or videos if available). Have the students add shark to their animal kingdom chart.
Divide the class into groups of five. Distribute the shark books. Tell the students that each group should pick a kind of shark from the books that they want to know more about, for example, great white shark or whale shark or tiger shark. Ask them to write the name of the shark at the top of a paper. Below it, write three ways the shark is like a goldfish and three ways it is not. Be sure to write complete sentences. Remind the students that when doing research on a shark, look at body design, where it lives, how it breathes, what it eats, how it swims and how it has babies. Finally, they may want to add an illustration of the shark. When the students have completed their research papers, invite groups to share them.
Third Grade - Science - Lesson 3 - Classification of Animals
Possible Field Trips
Stores that sell tropical fish have large aquariums with both fresh water and salt water specimens of all shapes and colors. Occasionally, these stores have nurse sharks--blue-eyed sharks that bear a resemblance to catfish--as well as seahorses, rays, crabs and eels. Sales people are usually well-informed about all the fish in their stores and can answer most questions the students may pose.
Third Grade - Science - Lesson 4 - Classification of Animals
Describe characteristics of amphibians.
Compare characteristics of salamanders and lizards.
Identify amphibians and reptiles by their characteristics.
Pictures from Suggested Books
I Live a Double Life transparency (attached sheet)
4 slips of paper, each with the name of an amphibian or reptile written on it (examples: rattlesnake, sea turtle, poison dart frog, spotted salamander, box turtle, alligator, Komodo dragon, American toad)
4 pieces of masking tape
Arnold, Caroline. Sea Turtles. New York: Scholastic, 1996. Aquatic reptiles return to land to lay their eggs.
________, Caroline. Snake. New York: Morrow, 1991. An excellent introduction to snakes with an emphasis on pythons and boas.
Clarke, Barry. Amazing Frogs and Toads (Eyewitness Juniors). New York: Knopf, 1990.
________, Barry. Amphibian. New York: Knopf, 1993. Frogs, toads, newts, salamanders are presented in stunning photos. The importance of water to amphibians is discussed as are strategies amphibians use to stay moist in habitats as diverse as treetops and deserts
Collard, Sneed. Sea Snakes. New York: Boyd Mills, 1993. An unusual book on ocean-going reptiles.
Johnson, Sylvia and Jane Dallinger. The World of Frogs and Toads. Minneapolis: Lerner, 1994. Kaufman, Joe. Slimy, Creepy, Crawly Creatures. Racine, WI: Western Publishing, 1985. Kaufman does a good job of dispelling aversion to creatures one might find repulsive by presenting interesting facts about them. Sections are conveniently divided into amphibian, reptile, fish, etc. and illustrations are appealing.
Ling, Mary and Mary Atkinson. The Snake Book. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1997. Spectacular full page, nearly life-size photos and information about various species of snakes including a fold-out of a reticulated python.
Markle, Sandra. Inside and Outside Snakes. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995. Markle provides an excellent explanation of why snakes need to sun themselves to be active. The color photographs of snake organs are fascinating.
Mazer, Anne. The Salamander Room. New York: Knopf, 1991. A boy brings home an orange salamander and proceeds to change his room into the ideal salamander habitat.
Murray, Peter. Frogs. Chicago: Child's World, 1993. Despite the overuse of exclamation points, this is an extremely well written overview of frogs with great photos.
Parker, Nancy Winslow and Joan Wright. Frogs, Toads, Lizards and Salamanders. New York: Greenwillow, 1990.
Simon, Seymour. Snakes. New York: HarperCollins, 1993. Color photographs illustrate this well-known author's text on the locomotion, habits and anatomy of snakes.
Smith, Trevor. Amazing Lizards (Eyewitness Juniors). New York: Knopf, 1990.
Spellerberg, Ian and Marit McKerchar. Mysteries and Marvels of the Reptile World. London: Usborne, 1984. Packed with eye-catching illustrations, this book celebrates the diversity of reptile life and focuses on remarkable features of particular reptile species.
Stidworthy, John. Reptiles and Amphibians. New York: Facts on File, 1989. Includes sections on What is An Amphibian? and What is a Reptile? plus illustrations and information on habitat, diet and life cycles of many species in each class.
Zim, Herbert and Hobart Smith. Reptiles and Amphibians. Racine, WI: Western Publishing, 1987. These ever-popular Golden Guides have good illustrations and concise, accurate information.
Special Frog issue: March 1991. Ranger Rick Magazine. Washington, DC: National Wildlife Federation. Contains articles on frog and toad anatomy, frogs and myths, metamorphosis and even frog jokes: "How many frogs would fit in your glass of water? Toadily too many. What do you get when you cross a frog and a french fry? A potatoad. What do frogs say after telling jokes? Git-it? Git-it?"
Prescott, Lyle. "Caring for Crocs". Ranger Rick Magazine, August, 1995.
Amphibians are a class of vertebrates that includes frogs, toads, salamanders, newts and caecilians (legless amphibians which resemble worms). Most amphibians live part of their lives in water and the rest on land. The word amphibian is from the Greek word amphibios which means to live a double life. Amphibians begin life in the water as larvae. They change form in a process called metamorphosis (met-uh-MOR-foe-sis) in which they lose their gills, grow limbs and leave water to live on land. Most return to the water to spawn. Some adult amphibians use lungs to breathe but a certain amount of oxygen enters through the skin and the lining of the mouth. Many salamanders have no lungs but breathe exclusively through their skins. Holding a salamander in the hand can transfer oils to its skin that will impair its ability to get oxygen. Amphibians are ectothermic animals.
The ancestors of amphibians were fish that pulled themselves up on land with bony fins. This allowed them to exploit insect life on the edges of swamps and escape predators in the water. Early amphibians lived 360 million years ago.
Reptiles--snakes, lizards, turtles, alligators, crocodiles and tuataras (a lizard-like species)
--evolved from amphibians 315 million years ago. Certain features of reptiles make them more suited to life on land than amphibians. A reptile's skin is thick with scales to hold in moisture and keep the animal from drying out. A reptile egg is surrounded by a hard or leathery shell that protects the embryo inside. Some reptiles, such as garter snakes, bear live young. Since reptiles have internal fertilization, they do not need to find water in order to lay eggs as amphibians do. Like amphibians, reptiles are ectothermic. Dinosaurs are classified as reptiles. Many scientists support the theory that from a line of dinosaurs, came the ancestors of birds.
Ask the students if they can solve this riddle and answer the question: Who Am I?
I hatched from an egg and swam before,
I breathed through my gills, but not anymore.
I grew four legs, my tail it shrank.
So I left the pond, hopped out on the bank.
Now I dine all day on gnats and flies,
Jump back in the water if trouble arrives.
Remind the students that they learned about the life cycle of frogs
last year and about how frogs change shape as they grow. Ask: Does anyone
remember the long word that means changing in form? (metamorphosis) Remind
the students that frogs go through a metamorphosis when they start as eggs,
hatch into tadpoles with gills for breathing underwater, and over time,
develop into frogs with four legs, no tail, and lungs for breathing air.
Show the students pictures of frogs from Suggested Books. Ask: Are frogs
vertebrates or invertebrates? (They are vertebrates because they have backbones.)
Tell them that frogs belong to the class of vertebrates called amphibians.
Write this word on the board and have the students say it. Tell the students
that amphibian comes from a Greek word that means living a double
life. Ask: Does a frog live a double life? How? (It starts out living
in the water like a fish and then changes form and lives on land.)
Ask: Has anyone ever held a frog? What did its skin feel like? (soft, wet, slimy) Tell the students that frogs and other amphibians use their lungs to breathe but also breathe through their skins. Their skins are not waterproof like a raincoat. Special glands make a frog or salamander slimy to keep its skin moist so its body will not dry out. Some amphibians have glands that make their skin bad tasting or even poisonous. Ask: Why would poison in its skin be helpful to an amphibian? (Other animals wouldn't want to eat it.) Show the students pictures of poison dart frogs (on pages 56-57 of Eyewitness Amphibians or pages 23 and 24 of Amazing Frogs and Toads). Point out that the frogs are bright colors. The bright colors are like a warning label to predators that says: beware, I am poisonous. Ask: Why do you think these are called poison dart frogs? (Accept all answers.) Tell the students that South American Indians use the poison from frogs' skins to put on the tips of their blow pipe darts. When they go hunting for food, the Indians shoot game with the poison darts and the game animals die quickly and don't run away into the rainforest.
Tell the students there are other amphibians besides frogs--animals that live part of their lives in water and the rest on land. Show them pictures of toads, salamanders and newts from Suggested Books. If available, read aloud The Salamander Room by Anne Mazer.
Tell the students that there are black salamanders with yellow polka dots living in Maryland that are so good at hiding under logs and rocks that people only see them one time a year. That is in early spring when they come out and crawl long distances to ponds where they mate and lay eggs.
Show the students the transparency: I Live a Double Life (see attached). Point out that this polka-dotted amphibian, the spotted salamander, lays eggs in clusters at the edges of ponds. When the eggs hatch, out come larvae that look a lot like frog tadpoles. Ask the students to take a good look at the salamander larva. Ask: How is this larva different from a frog larva, a tadpole? (It has frills around its head. Its longer than a frog tadpole.) Tell the students that the frills are the salamander's gills for breathing underwater. Ask: What changes does the salamander larva go through to prepare it for adult life on land? (First it grows two front legs, then two back legs for walking. It loses its gills.) Tell the students that spotted salamanders have glands on the backs of their necks that make them taste horrible to predators. The yellow polka dots are their advertisement, just like the bright colors on the poison dart frogs.
Write frog, newt, salamander, toad on the board. Ask the students to place these animals under the correct class name on their animal kingdom charts.
Ask: Do salamanders look like another kind of animal? (lizards) Show the students pictures of lizards from Suggested Books. Write salamander and lizard on the board. Tell them that there is one way lizards and salamanders are alike. They are ectothermic animals. Review the meaning of ectothermic and write it under both salamander and lizard. Ask: Are lizards amphibians? Do they go through metamorphosis and live part of their lives in water with gills and part of their lives on land? (no) Write metamorphosis under salamander and no metamorphosis under lizard. Tell the students that there are other ways that lizards and salamanders are different. Ask: What is a salamander's skin like? (soft, wet, slimy) Write this under salamander on the board. Tell the children that a lizard's skin is dry. Write dry skin under lizard. Ask: Do salamanders have scales? (no) Do lizards have scales? (yes) Write no scales and scales under the appropriate animals. Ask: Where do salamanders lay their jelly-covered eggs? (in water) Tell the students that lizards don't need water to lay their eggs. They make nests of plant material or dig holes in dirt or sand and lay eggs with leathery shells. The shells protect the developing babies inside and keep them from drying out. A few lizards keep the eggs inside their bodies and give birth to developed babies. Write jelly eggs in water and leathery eggs on land under the appropriate animals. Review the characteristics of lizards and salamanders on the board. Ask: Which animal is better adapted to living on land? (lizard) Why? (It doesn't need to stay wet or lay its eggs in water.) Ask: What class of vertebrates do you think lizards belong to? (reptiles)
Brainstorm with the students and make a list of reptiles (snakes, alligators, crocodiles, turtles, tortoises, and lizards). The list might include rattlesnake, snapping turtle, Gila monster, alligator, water moccasin, chameleon, Komodo dragon, box turtle, iguana, sea turtles, etc. Point out that dinosaurs were reptiles, too. In the time of the dinosaurs, some reptiles had wings and could fly. Ask: Are there any flying reptiles today? (There is a lizard called the flying gecko but it can't fly, it can only glide from tree to tree. There are no reptiles today that can really fly.) If available, show the students the photo of the flying gecko pages 18-19 in Amazing Lizards from Suggested Books. Ask: Are there reptiles that swim? (Yes, crocodiles, alligators, turtles, water snakes and sea snakes swim.)
Tell the students you need four contestants to come up and play the Reptile-Amphibian Game. Without letting them see the slips of paper, tape one to each contestant's back. Tell the students that you have taped the name of a reptile or amphibian on each one of them. Have the first contestant turn around and show the class the name of the animal on his or her back then turn and face them. Tell the contestant he or she may walk around the classroom and ask questions to determine whether the animal is a reptile or amphibian. Sample questions: Does this animal have scales? What do its eggs look like? Is its skin wet or dry? Refer the students to the salamander-lizard list on the board for characteristics of amphibians and reptiles. Once the contestant has identified the animal's class, he or she might want to continue asking questions to determine what particular animal it is such as: Does this animal have lots of sharp teeth? (alligator or crocodile) Does it have any legs? (snake) Does it hop? (frog or toad) Continue the game with the other contestants. When the game is over, have the students pick some of their favorite reptiles and amphibians and list them under the appropriate classes on their animal kingdom charts.
Possible Field Trip
The Reptile House at the Baltimore Zoo is separate from the main zoo and has no admission charge. Exhibits include caymans (crocodiles), a python, lizards and some very colorful snakes.
Contact a herpetologist from a local university to come and speak about his or her job. These reptile experts will probably bring live specimens.
Third Grade - Science - Lesson 5 - Classification of Animals
Adapted from Naturescope: Birds, Birds, Birds! National Wildlife Federation
Describe some physical changes in the evolution from reptile to bird.
Examine a feather and draw its structure.
Examine and identify bird bones.
Compare bird beaks, predict birds' diets and design a bird beak for a particular food.
Measure and chart wingspans of birds.
Pictures of bird skeletons from Skeletons in Suggested Books, page 18-19.
Transparency of small dinosaur (Compsognathus), Archaeopteryx (dinosaur/bird connection) and a crow (see attached)
Group One: Feather Facts sheet for each member (see attached), hand lenses, bird feathers
Group Two: Chicken Skeleton sheet for each member (see attached), hand lenses, chicken bones (clean and dry), beef, lamb or pork bones (clean and dry)
Group Three: Bird Beak sheet for each member (see attached)
Group Four: Wingspans sheet for each member (see attached), measuring tape
Bash, Barbara. Urban Roosts: Where Birds Nest in the City. Boston: Little Brown, 1990.
Burnie, David. Bird. New York: Knopf, 1988.
Cole, Joanna. A Bird's Body. New York: Morrow, 1982. Excellent material on bird anatomy.
Cohen, Daniel. Prehistoric Animals. New York: Yearling, 1993. Good pictures of fossil birds.
George, Jean Craighead. The Moon of the Winter Bird. New York: Crowell, 1969. Follows a sparrow through the winter.
Gerstein, Mordecai. Arnold of the Ducks. New York: Harper, 1983. A human baby is accidentally kidnaped by a passing pelican and is raised by a duck mother. He is covered with feathers by his duck brothers and sisters and learns to fly and live like a duck.
Helmsley, William. Fins to Wings. New York: Gloucester Press, 1991. Examines how animals move and includes a section on bird flight.
Parker, Steve. Skeleton, New York: Knopf, 1988.
Parsons, Alexandra. Amazing Birds (Eyewitness Junior book). New York: Knopf, 1990.
Ricciuti, Edward. Birds. Woodbridge, CT: Blackbirch Press, 1993. Contains sections on evolution of birds and bird senses.
Taylor, Barbara. The Bird Atlas. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1993. Three hundred birds by continent including physical characteristics and information on habitat. Also a section on the evolution of birds.
Naturescope: Birds, Birds, Birds! Washington, D.C.: National Wildlife Federation, 1985.
"Take a Peak at That Beak," Ranger Rick Magazine, Jan 1985, pages 10-14.
Short, Lester. The Lives of Birds. New York: Henry Holt, 1993.Highly readable book by the curator of birds for the American Museum of Natural History. The chapter on the bird-reptile connection is fascinating.
You can prepare the chicken bones yourself or have children bring in clean, dry chicken bones from home and make a collection for Group Two. If unable to find feathers for Group One, they are available by the bag at craft and hobby stores.
Birds, class Aves, share characteristics related to the ability to fly. Although some birds are flightless, their bodies show the adaptations necessary for flight. For instance, birds have lightweight bones. The bones are thin-walled and honeycombed with air spaces. Their beaks are lighter than are jaws full of teeth. Their digestive systems work on food very quickly so waste material does not stay in the body long as extra weight. The forelimbs of early birds evolved into wings. A bird's breastbone is large with strong flight muscles attached. Most remarkable is the evolution of scales into feathers. Birds are the only animals with feathers. As mentioned in the last lesson, many scientists support the theory that birds are the descendants of certain small, insect-eating dinosaurs.
Birds, of course, come in all shapes, colors, and sizes from man-sized ostriches to tiny hummingbirds, from broad-winged hawks to black and white waddling penguins. There are at least 8,500 species of birds. All birds are endothermic (warm-blooded) and lay eggs to reproduce. Nesting habits vary widely and depend on a bird's adaptation to its habitat. Beak shape is also a reflection of adaptation to diet. For instance, ducks and geese have wide bills for nibbling aquatic plants. Hummingbirds have long, needle-like beaks for sipping nectar from flowers. A parakeet's beak is short, strong and sharp for cracking through the husks of seeds.
Write this question on the board: Are dinosaurs really extinct? Tell the students that for many years scientists believed that sixty-five million years ago, the last dinosaur lay down and died. No more baby dinosaurs were born or hatched. Dinosaurs became extinct. When a kind of animal becomes extinct it means that there will never be any more of that kind of animal on Earth. All are dead and no more young will ever be born. Ask: Are all dinosaurs really extinct? (Accept all answers.)
Tell the students that because dinosaur detectives kept looking for dinosaur bones and studying them, they found new evidence that dinosaurs may be alive today. In fact, we see these dinosaurs every day walking around, perched in trees, singing, building nests, flying through the sky. Tell them that some scientists think that over many millions of years, dinosaur ancestors changed into birds. By adapting to new environments, their bodies changed and they survived. Show the students the picture of Compsognathus, Archaeopteryx and a crow. Tell them that the first animal is a small, insect-eating dinosaur. The second is either a dinosaur with feathers or an early bird, scientists aren't sure which. The last picture is a modern-day crow. Ask the students to look at the bird's body. Ask: What changes do you see in the bird's body compared to the reptile's? (Front legs or arms are wings; beak instead of teeth; feathers instead of scales.) Point out that birds have scaly legs and claws like the dinosaur. Ask: Do reptiles lay eggs? (yes) Point out that birds lay eggs, too. Ask: Are reptiles ectothermic or endothermic? (ectothermic. They get body heat from outside.) Ask: Do you think birds are ectothermic or endothermic? Why? (endothermic. Birds are always active. They eat often.)
Tell the students that many of the body changes from reptile to bird prepared birds forflying. For example, lightweight bones. Show the students some chicken bones and point out that they are strong but light. The walls of the bones are thin and inside they are honeycombed with air spaces. Write bones on the board. If available, show the students pictures of bird skeletons from Skeleton in Suggested Books. Point out that birds don't have arms; they have wings. Attached to a bird's breastbone are very strong flight muscles to move its wings. Write wings on the board. Tell the students that thick skin and heavy scales of the reptile ancestor over time changed into lightweight feathers. Write feathers on the board. Tell the students that instead of heavy jaw bones full of teeth, birds have lightweight beaks. Write beaks on the board. Point out that different birds have differently shaped beaks. For example, ducks and geese have wide bills for nibbling underwater plants. Hummingbirds have long, needle-like beaks for sipping nectar from flowers. A parakeet's beak is short, strong and sharp for cracking through the husks of seeds.
Divide the class into four groups and point out that each group will be studying one of the bird features listed on the board: bones, wings, feathers or beaks. When they are finished, groups will share their study results with the class. Distribute the materials. Be sure the members of the group studying wings have access to the board where they will record their results. If available, give the Skeleton book to Group Two.
When the groups are finished their projects, have representatives come to the front of the room and report on findings. Have the students list the names of some birds in the appropriate place on their animal kingdom charts.
Have an adult or child with a pet bird bring it to class and discuss its habits and care. Have the students observe the bird and write a paragraph describing it and what characteristics it shares with all birds.
Invite a member of the Baltimore Bird Club (Audubon Society) to the classroom to share a presentation on local birds. The group's headquarters is at Cylburn Mansion where there are bird exhibits open to the public. Baltimore Bird Club: (410) 467-0653.
Third Grade - Science - Lesson 6 - Classification of Animals
Vertebrate Truth or Lie game adapted from Naturescope: Amazing Mammals, page 15.
Describe what characteristics are common to all mammals.
Recognize some ways mammals have adapted to their habitats.
Review the five classes of vertebrates.
Ten copies of Good Morning, Mammals script
Ten name tags with string or yarn attached to wear around the neck: Dr. Vertebrate, Dog, Elephant, Chimpanzee, Bat, Flying Squirrel, Tiger, Blue Whale, Kangaroo, Mole
Bowtie, necktie, glasses, scarf, hat or some other piece of costume for Dr. Vertebrate
Vertebrate sheet for each student (see attached)
Berger, Melvin. A Whale is Not a Fish and other Animal Mixups. New York: Scholastic, 1996. Brownell, M. Barbara. Mammals. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society, 1993. A breezy, light-hearted look at each mammalian order from primates and rodents to whales and bats.
Carwardine, Mark. Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1993.
Creagh, Carson. Mammals. New York: Time Life, 1996. While it includes animals from all over the world, this book was first published in Australia and has some fascinating information about Australian marsupials and the platypus. Other sections include Grazers and Browsers, Burrowers and Chewers and Mammals of the Sea,
Few, Roger. Macmillan Animal Encyclopedia for Children. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991. All kinds of animals including mammals, organized by habitat.
Gibbons, Gail. Whales. New York: Holiday House, 1991. A comprehensive look at whales including their evolution from land dwelling to sea going mammals.
Hansen, Roseanna. Wolves and Coyotes. New York: Platt & Munk, 1981.
MacDonald, David. The Encyclopedia of Mammals. New York: Facts on File, 1984.
Matthews, Downs. Harp Seal Pups. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997. Shows how baby mammals are born and survive in the harsh environment of the Arctic. Good way to introduce Arctic habitat for next month's unit on ecosystems.
McNulty, Faith. Dancing with Manatees. New York: Scholastic, 1996. Easy-to-read text and appealing illustrations explore the world of these endangered marine mammals.
Milton, Joyce. Whales, the Gentle Giants. New York: Random, 1989.
Moss, Cynthia. Little Big Ears. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997. Written by the director of the Amboseli Elephant Research Project in Kenya, this is the true story of a baby elephant born unable to stand and nurse. Mother and sister elephant work to save the baby. This story was part of the public television documentary "Echo of Elephants."
Parker, Steve. Mammal (Eyewitness series). New York: Knopf, 1989. Besides the outstanding photos one has come to expect from Eyewitness books, this one also has a thought- provoking text. It emphasizes the diversity of mammalian adaptation and deals with what makes these adaptations successful.
Patent, Dorothy Hinshaw. Why Mammals Have Fur. New York: Cobblehill, 1995. Fur makes it possible for mammals to keep body heat in and live in cold places. Patent examines how fur evolved and how it serves animals throughout the world.
Simon, Seymour. Animal Fact/Animal Fable. New York: Crown, 1979. Elephants are afraid of mice. A cat has nine lives. Dogs talk with their tails. Simon explores these and other assertions in a fascinating book with facts that will probably surprise readers.
Zim, Herbert and Donald Hoffmeister. Mammals: A Guide to Familiar American Species (A Golden Nature Guide). New York: Golden Press, 1955. This book in the classic series includes illustrations and short descriptions of North American mammals highlighting range and habitats, feeding habits, physical features and family trees.
Mammals and their Characteristics.(video) Simon and Schuster Communications, Film Service Center, 429 Academy Dr., Northbrook, IL 60062.
I'm a Mammal and So Are You. (video) Benchmark Films, Inc. P.O. Box 315, Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417. A musical about mammalian characteristics.
Naturescope: Amazing Mammals (a teaching guide). Washington, DC: (Ranger Rick Magazine )
National Wildlife Federation, 1986.
For the Good Morning, Mammals skit, the nine roles can be assigned ahead of time and actors given an opportunity to read over their parts before science class.
Ask the students to name the classes of vertebrates they have studied so far. Tell them that today they will be studying the fifth class of vertebrates--mammals. Ask: How many mammals are there in the classroom? (Count the number of people in the classroom plus any mammal classroom pets.) Point out that people are mammals.
Ask the nine preselected students to come up to the front with their chairs and scripts. Tell the other students that the nine will be playing the roles of other mammals in a brand new program on the Animal Channel called Good Morning, Mammals. Have them be seated. To launch the performance, turn away from the students and put on the Dr. Vertebrate costume and then turn back and introduce yourself as the host of the show (See attached script).
When the performance is over, have the actors take their bows. Distribute the Vertebrate sheet (attached) and tell the students that it will help them in the Vertebrate Truth or Lie Game. Tell them you will read a statement and they are to say whether it is the truth or a lie and why. Following are some statements for the Truth or Lie Game.
1. Amphibians lay leathery eggs in sand. (Lie--Amphibians lay jellylike eggs in water.)
2. Birds have hollow bones. (Truth)
3. Only birds can fly. (Lie--Bats fly and they are mammals.)
4. Fish are endothermic. (Lie--Fish are ectothermic or cold-blooded.)
5. Amphibians have scales. (Lie--Amphibians have no scales.)
6. Reptiles have scales. (Truth--Fish have scales, too.)
7. Reptiles go through a larva stage. (Lie--Reptiles do not go through metamorphosis.)
8. Snakes and lizards are slimy. (Lie--Snakes and lizards have thick, dry, scaly skin.)
9. Fish nurse their babies. (Lie--Fish do not nurse. They have no mammary glands and don't make milk.)
10. Mammals have mammary glands and nurse their babies. (Truth)
11. Fish breathe through gills. (Truth)
12. Only birds and mammals have feathers. (Lie--Only birds have feathers.)
13. Reptiles and mammals have lungs and breathe air. (Truth)
14. Frogs and toads are reptiles. (Lie--They are amphibians.)
15. Birds have hair, breathe air, do lots of baby care. (Lie--Birds do baby care and breathe air but they do not have hair.)
Possible Field Trip
A trip to the Baltimore Zoo makes a good classifying expedition. Have the students carry journals and write what they observe about each animal, as well as noting something about its habitat and its vertebrate class.
Third Grade - Science - Lesson 6 - Classification of Animals
Good Morning, Mammals
DR. VERTEBRATE: Welcome! Welcome, studio audience and viewers at home
to Good Morning, Mammals the only show on the Animal Channel to
explore the life of mammals. I am your host Dr. Vertebrate. Now, I know
all you amphibians out there have enjoyed the reruns of Bill Nye the
Salamander Guy and we've received a lot of fan mail from turtles raving
about the show Hanging with Mr.Tortoise, but today we're going to
get up close and personal with a group of real live mammals. The topic
for our show is: Mammals--How are we alike? How are we different?
Let me introduce you to our guests. First, from the windy city, Chicago,
Illinois, we have Pepper, the Dog. Tell us a little about yourself, Pepper.
DOG: Sure, Dr. Vertebrate. I'm a canine, a member of the same family as wolves, coyotes and foxes. Of course, I'm not a wild canine. I don't live in a pack the way wolves do. I'm a domestic dog. I live with humans--they're my pack. They feed me every day.
DR. VERTEBRATE: Yes, indeed. We mammals have good appetites. We have to eat often because we're endotherms. (Write endothermic on the board.)
DR. VERTEBRATE: Now to our next guest, from the grasslands and forests of Asia--Tiger. Can't help noticing your marvelous fur coat, Tiger.
TIGER: Thanks, Dr. Vertebrate. I try to keep my coat nice. Fur is important to me. In fact, hair is important to mammals because it keeps us warm. We're the only animals with hair. Birds don't have it. Reptiles don't have it. Amphibians don't have it. Fish don't have it. Let's hear it for hair! (Grrrrowl)
(Mammals applaud. Dr. Vertebrate writes hair on the board.)
BLUE WHALE: Well, I only have a few little whiskers, but I'll tell you what's really important to mammals--air! If you lived in my habitat, you wouldn't take it for granted. We all need air, don't we? We all breathe with our lungs.
(Dr. Vertebrate writes air on the board.)
BAT: That's true. When I'm hanging upside down in the cave with my gang
all day, we're all breathing air. But what I'd like to talk about is...baby
ELEPHANT: Don't get me started! I know I'm the biggest land mammal on Earth, but do you know I carried my baby for almost two years before it was born? And then I took care of that 250 pound baby, nursed him with my milk for another two years. His name is Wilbur. Little Wilbur stays with me and I protect him and his brother and sister. Raising mammal babies is hard work.
BLUE WHALE: A 250-pound baby? Honey, my baby was 16,000 pounds and 23 feet long! She drank 160 gallons of milk a day.
DR. VERTEBRATE: Do all mammals nurse their babies? Let's have a show of hands.
(All guests raise their hands. Dr Vertebrate writes baby care on the board.)
CHIMPANZEE: The name mammals comes from the name of the glands
that make milk. They're called mammary glands. What I'd like to
know is, are there any mammals that lay eggs? I mean, mammals are born
not hatched, right?
KANGAROO: Good question, mate! In Australia, where I come from, live the only mammals that lay eggs--platypus and echidna. They also nurse their young, though. The rest of the 4,000 kinds of mammals are born, not hatched.
(Dr. Vertebrate writes most born, not hatched on the board.)
FLYING SQUIRREL: Four thousand kinds of mammals. But I can tell you a way we're different from each other. Everybody smile.
(All mammals smile and show their teeth.)
FLYING SQUIRREL: See? We all have different kinds of teeth. Tiger has
those big sharp ones. Don't take this personally, Tiger, but I'm glad you
don't live in my habitat.
TIGER: No offense taken. I need these sharp teeth. I'm a hunter, you know. A carnivore.
BAT: Look at Elephant's teeth. They're really flat.
ELEPHANT: I'm a vegetarian. I need flat teeth to grind up grass, branches and fruit.
DOG: I understand carnivores like myself need sharp teeth for biting and herbivores (or vegetarians) like Elephant need flat teeth for grinding, but what do you eat, Blue Whale. I've never seen teeth like yours.
BLUE WHALE: Well, I don't really have teeth. This row of plates in my mouth is called baleen. It works like a strainer. Water and tiny shrimp come in, I spit the water out through my baleen and sift out the shrimp. Then I lick the shrimp off my baleen. It's really a very tidy way to eat.
DR. VERTEBRATE: Mole, you've been awfully quiet. Do you have anything to share about how we are alike and how we are different?
MOLE: I can't really see everybody's teeth or fur because my eyesight is pretty bad. Where I live, underground, its always dark. I dig tunnels with my claws and feel around with my nose and whiskers.
BLUE WHALE: So your habitat is underground. How very interesting. My habitat is the ocean.
ELEPHANT: My neighborhood is flat and grassy. Not a bit like the ocean or underground.
FLYING SQUIRREL: My habitat is up in the trees.
CHIMPANZEE: Even though we're all mammals, it's no wonder we don't all look alike. It's because we each have to survive in a different habitat.
DR. VERTEBRATE: I am sorry but we are going to have to wrap up this fascinating discussion, but just to recap. Mammals have hair, breathe air and do lots of baby care.
ALL MAMMALS (chant over and over together): We have hair, breathe air, do lots of baby care!
DR. VERTEBRATE (While the animals are chanting): That's all the time we have. We hope you've enjoyed our show. This is Dr. Vertebrate saying Good Morning, Mammals!
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