Animals of the San Diego Zoo Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan Outline


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Lesson Topic or Theme: The topic of this lesson is to show students different animals around the world, and educate the students on specific geographic and physical characteristics of each animal as they move through the interactive website.

Students will be instructed to visit the interactive website during class time to learn facts about the animals that live in the San Diego Zoo. This activity’s purpose is to give students brief facts about seven selected animals that live in the Zoo, and use the information that the students gain from the interactive activity to later select an animal to write a short essay containing additional facts on their animal.

Teachers are expected to instruct students to engage in the activity by not only answering the prompted questions, but also visit the recommended sites embedded in the links provided. When introducing the activities to the students, teachers should stress to the students that visiting these links and reading through the given information is extremely important because these websites will be useful later on in the lesson when students are instructed to write a short essay about their selected animal.

This lesson is intended as a learning experience for all students in the class. By giving the students the freedom to pick which animal they would like to study, the students will be more engaged and interested in the animal that they selected. After the students have answered all the questions on the interactive website, (be sure to inform students that they will not be graded on the answers they submit on the website after they complete the assignment) and visit the links, the students will then be asked to pick two animals from a list of animals that are currently living in the San Diego Zoo to further research at home. From the two animals selected the students will go home and continue their research to decide which animal they are most interested to research for the remainder of the lesson, write a short essay about, and give a short two minute presentation to the class about.

After the students complete all the in class and at home assignments, the students will have the opportunity to visit the San Diego Zoo and see their chosen animal in person. At this time the students will use their provided disposable camera to take a picture of their animal that they will later use in their classroom presentation of their animal.

 

 

1.) In-Class Explanation / Presentation:

      - To introduce the first activity, the teacher should help students log on to the class website to begin the online activity that begins the lesson plan on animals from the San Diego Zoo.

      - In this time the teacher should do a brief example of how the program works and what is expected of the students. Students are expected to:

                                          1.) Answer all questions prompted by the website

                                    2.) Spend enough time at the links given for each animal to complete the    

                                    Animal Facts Worksheet.

- At this point in the lesson, explain to the students that they are only expected to visit the class website, answer the questions and explore the links provided while completing the Animal Facts Worksheet.

 

2.) Homework: See attached handout.

      - After day on of the lesson on animals, students will select two animals that they would like to study for the remainder of the lesson. The purpose for picking two animals is because the students will be sent home with the Animals of the San Diego Zoo worksheet to help the students further decide which animal that they are most interested in after researching more on those animals.

Theoretical Perspective:

Academic rationalism:

                  -The purpose of this lesson plan is to expand the students’ knowledge of animals and their attributes that define the animal for what it is. As the lesson progresses the students will gain knowledge on the physical, and behavioral characteristics, and habitat of their chosen animal. This lesson plan is geared towards promoting independent study, and improving the students’ writing skills as well as their skills in public speaking. The knowledge that the students will gain will extend further than the information that they gain about their chosen animal; they will also improve their over-all skills in research and writing that can be useful for future academic years.

Procedure:

A. Introductory Activity

 

Class Website:

            - Following the tutorial that explains how to use the Question and Answer website, the students will begin to use the website to answer short multiple choice questions about animals in the San Diego Zoo. In addition to answering the questions given by the program, the students will also visit the links provided for the students on the webpage about each given animal.

            - To ensure that the students are using the links provided effectively, the students will be given the Animal Facts Worksheet to give two facts about each animal that they are tested on. The worksheet itself does not have the names of the animals given in the web activity, this worksheet requires the students to name the seven animals as they move through the online program.

 B. Step-by-step (descriptive outline)

Class Website:

- Visit the class website to achieve the goals listed above in the Introductory Activity.

Animal Facts Worksheeet:

            - As the students answer the questions prompted by the website, they will also be provided with a list of links that give information about the animal in the question. While the students explore these links they are expected to answer a list of questions provided in the worksheet as they go through the links.

Pre-Selection of Choice Animal:

            -At this time students will have completed both activities associated with the class website on animals, and they will move on to pre-select their animal to continue to study in more depth. Provide the students with a list of animals that are at the zoo and allow them to select between 2-3 animals to continue to look at before they select 1 final animal to study. It is important to not only suggest that students pick more than one animal initially, but to also pick only animals that live with in the park. These two instructions are key to the assignment’s success because by allowing students to select more than one animal initially gives the child the ability to research the three animals at home and in class to see which animal is not only interesting to them, but also has enough information for the student to write about. Explain to the students that they are selecting an animal from the San Diego Zoo because they will be visiting the San Diego Zoo later in the year.

Homework:

            -After students complete the in-class activities, and selected their three choice animals, the students will be sent home with the Animal Description Worksheet. The purpose of this homework is to allow students to research information on three different animals before they decide which animal they would like to research in more depth. Giving the students the freedom to choose which animals they would like to research sparks more interest with the student and also allows the child to see how much information is available to them about their animal, and if there is enough resources for the child to write a substantial essay. Students should be allotted at least two days, or a weekend to complete this assignment: the goal of this assignment is to solidify what students are interested in, not just what is convenient for the student based on time and resources.

Essay:

            - In a short, 1-2 page essays, the students are expected to compile the information that they have gathered from their research and construct the information into a well written essay. This essay should contain the required information listed in the, Animal Essay Outline handout as well as any information that the student found interesting about their animal.

Field Trip to the San Diego Zoo:

            -  Students, accompanied by a parent or chaperone, will attend a field trip to the San
Diego Zoo. Prior to the trip to the zoo the students will be given a disposable camera where they will be expected to take candid photos of their animal. It is important for the student to take the pictures of their animal because those pictures will be used in their final presentation to the class.

 Presentation:

            -Following the field trip to the San Diego Zoo, the students will use the pictures that they took from the Zoo, and three interesting facts about their selected animal, and present it to the class in a short two-three minute presentation.

 Evaluation:

            -The evaluation of this lesson will occur in two separate assignments. Section one of the evaluation process is the child writing a short essay containing the major facts of their animal that include physical, and behavioral characteristics, as well as the animals geographic location. Students are expected to compose a well written short essay that not only contains the required information, but also some facts that the students found interesting about their chosen animal that led them to select their animal. Section two of the evaluation requires the students to prepare a short presentation to their classmates about their chosen animal and highlight the major parts of their essay. During this presentation the students will share the photo that they took at the San Diego Zoo, and share three facts about their chosen animal.

 C. Closure

            -The purpose of the homework and evaluation is to further develop the students’ research and presentation skills, as well as refining the students writing skills.

D. Adaptations for different learners (i.e. non-native speakers, struggling readers or math phobic learners, students with poor study skills)

            - Requiring students to create a research paper and give a class presentation requires a lot of previous skill. Students are expected at this point to know how to navigate the internet as well as navigate themselves around a library. This lesson poses difficulties primarily when it comes to the actual research of this project. Students that have already grasped the idea of where to go to find resources may have an easier time with the assignment than those students that are not as familiar with research. The purpose of the in class activities and homework is to show the teacher that the students are not only doing the project but to allow the teacher to see if the student is utilizing all available resources.

1.) Some students may struggle with finding resources for their animal

a.) The purpose of having the students select more than one animal initially is to allow the students to see which animal interests them the most and also has enough information to satisfy the requirements.

b.) The homework can also show the teacher the students’ skill in research and dissever which students may need additional help in researching their animal. 

E. Homework

            - The purpose of this homework is to allow students to research information on three different animals before they decide which animal they would like to research in more depth. Giving the students the freedom to choose which animals they would like to research sparks more interest with the student and also allows the child to see how much information is available to them about their animal, and if there is enough resources for the child to write a substantial essay. Students should be allotted at least two days, or a weekend to complete this assignment: the goal of this assignment is to solidify what students are interested in, not just what is convenient for the student based on time and resources.

F.
Evaluation:

      A. How will you determine if you have met your objectives?

      -Our objective for this lesson is, “The Student will be able to identify animals of different species by using an interactive website that asks questions based on geographic location, physical characteristics and behaviors. Using the interactive website, students will take a virtual tour of the San Diego Zoo, answer the questions prompted by the website, and use the information given by the website to create a presentation of their own.” Using the worksheets that accompany the web activities the teacher will see that the student is preforming the in class activities and is gaining information on the animals on the website. The final essay and presentation again shows the teacher the students’ ability to find appropriate information on their animal, and compose not only a short essay, but also be able to speak for two-three minutes about their selected animal.

B. Concerns or Questions.

                  -This lesson is not meant to be a lesson that takes just a week out of the school year. In order to cover all the tasks given in this lesson, there has to be a lot of time put into this lesson plan. The amount of extra time spent on this lesson plan is all depending on the previous knowledge of the students on research and technology. If the students are unsure on how to go about researching a topic, it will take extra time to instruct students on how to go to the library or log on to the internet to find information on their animal.

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