TEC Lesson Plan


Contributor Information:
Name: Jackie Davis
email address: Davis_Jackie@placesmail.pinellas.k12.fl.us
School: San Jose’ Elementary

Sunshine State Standards 3-5
Standard(s) and Benchmark(s):
Standard 1: The student uses the reading process effectively.
LA.A.1.2.1 The student uses a table of contents, index, headings, captions, illustrations, and major words to anticipate or predict content and purpose of a reading selection.
Standard 2: The student constructs meaning from a wide range of texts.
LA.A.2.2.5 The student reads and organizes information for a variety of purposes.
LA.A.2.2.7 The student recognizes the use of comparison and contrast in a text. Writing: Standard 1: The student uses writing processes effectively.
LA.B.1.2.1 The student prepares for writing by recording thoughts, focusing on a central idea, grouping related ideas, and identifying the purpose for writing.
LA.B.1.2.2 The student drafts and revises writing in cursive that is focused, organized, uses precise word choice, and generally follows conventions.
LA.B.1.2.3 The student produces final documents that have been edited for publishing.
Standard 2: The student writes to communicate ideas and information effectively.
LA.B.2.2.4 The student uses electronic technology , including word-processing software and electronic encyclopedias, to create, revise, retrieve, and verify information. Listening, Viewing, and Speaking.
Standard 3: The student uses speaking strategies effectively.
LA.C.3.2.5 The student participates as a contributor and occasionally acts as as a leader in group discussion. Mathematics Strand E. Data Analysis and Probability
Standard 1: The student understands and uses the tools of data analysis for managing information.
MA.E.1.2.1 The student solves problems by generating, collecting, organizing, displaying, and analyzing data using graphs and charts.
MA.E.1.2.2 The student determines range, mean, median, and mode from sets of data.
MA.E.3.2.1 and MA.E.3.2.2 The student designs experiments, collects data, and makes predictions based on data collected.
Science Strand G. How Living Things Interact With Their Environment.
Standard 1: The student understands the competitive, interdependent, cyclic nature of living things in the environment. SC.G.1.2.1 The student knows ways that plants, animals, and protists interact.
SC.G1.2.2 The student knows that living things compete in a climactic region with other living things and that structural adaptations make them fit for an environment.
SC.G.1.2.4 The student knows that some organisms decompose dead plants and animals into simple minerals and nutrients for use by living things and thereby recycle matter.
SC.G.1.2.5 The student knows that animals eat plants or other animals to acquire the energy they need for survival. SC.G.1.2.7 The student knows that variations in light, water, temperature, and soil content are largely responsible for the existence of different kinds of organisms.
Strand H. The Nature of Science
Standard 1: The student uses the scientific processes and habits of mind to solve problems.
SC.H.1.2.5 The student knows that a model of something is different from the real think, but can be used to learn something about the real thing.
Social Studies Strand B. People, Places, and Environments (Geography)
Standard 2: The student understands the interactions of people and the physical environment.
SS.B.2.2.2. The student understands how the physical environment supports and constrains human activities.
Visual Arts
VA.A.1.2.1 The student uses and organizes two-dimensional and three-dimensional media.

NET Standards
T. Basic operations and concepts 2.Use a variety of media and technology resources for directed and independent learning activities.
T. Basic operations and concepts 4. Use developmentally appropriate multimedia resources to support learning. T. Technology productivity tools 5. Use technology tools such as multimedia authoring, presentation, digital camera for collaborative writing, communication, and publishing activities to create knowledge products for audiences inside and outside the classroom.
T. 6. Use telecommunications to access information

Lesson Plan

Title: Deserts

Technology Resource Requirements:

Subject Area(s):

Integrated Theme Unit includes Reading, Writing, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Art

Grade Level: Third grade

Short Description:

The purpose is to provide a Unit of Study on Desert Habitats that is imbedded in all curriculum areas, provides for hands-on activities, cooperative learning, and reaches students through multiple paths. The students will learn about desert habitats, where deserts are located, how plants and animals and humans adapt to the desert environment. They will learn about changes in the desert after a rain and will experiment to find out the effect of different types of coverings on evaporation rate, and the effect of different kinds of soil on temperature. They will practice cursive writing using desert facts and will write to explain. They will also write a narrative piece pretending they are a desert plant or animal. In addition, they will make a model of the water cycle, create an art/poetry project, work in groups to do research, and create a Powerpoint slide show.

Approximate Time Required: 1 month or more depending upon interest

Gain Attention: Show PowerPoint Slide Show-Desert Habitats


* Begin unit with a KWL chart. Teams brainstorm K (what they know about deserts) Use Kagan structure “Round Table” and then share and record on class chart.

* Make a list “W” What they want to learn and record on class chart. Use Kagan structure "Round Table" or
Round Robin" to brainstorm ideas. Determine what students want to learn and plan activities based on student’s questions. “L” What they learned will be addressed later.

* Show PowerPoint Slide Show about desert habitats and explain to students that they will learn to do a slide show, and this is a model for the project they will be doing at the end of this unit.

* Read Desert Giant by Barbara Bash, The Living World of Deserts by Dr. Clive Catchpole, or Life in the Desert by Andrew Clements during group reading instruction. These books provide varying reading levels from 3rd grade level to high 1st grade as needed. Some reading Activities for Desert Giant:

1. Two column note taking using pictures and text,

2. Complete Web- Animals That Use the Saguaro when it is alive, After the Saguaro Dies,

3. Illustrate and label the life cycle of the Saguaro. Make a little booklet with 8 pages. Page 1 is the title, page 2 begins with seeds and so on until page 8, which is the cactus at 150 years old. Activities for The Living World of Deserts and Life In the Desert:

4. Note taking in web format under headings appropriate for the content such as: Characteristics, Animals, Plants, Insects, Reptiles, and Deserts of the World.

5. Students write desert riddles using facts they have learned. Illustrate plant or animal that answers the riddle on back of 6”x9” white drawing paper, and trade with other students read and solve. Students edit and type on the computer using a word processing program. Print and glue onto front of card. Combine into a class desert riddle book when finished. (Could also be made into a slide show.)

* Social Studies - Using the maps from The Living World of Deserts and Life in the Desert and a blank world map, students color in the desert areas around the world. Label desert name. On notebook paper, write at least two facts about each desert.

* Read aloud daily, choosing desert related books from the database, Desert Bibliography, or other sources.

* During Math, visit the Weather Channel http://www.weather.com and begin recording daily temperatures for Phoenix, Arizona and Dunedin, Florida. Set up a line graph, and record data on the line graph using two colors. Continue for 10 days, then teach students how to use a calculator to find average and range. Students then write a paragraph comparing and contrasting the temperature data for the two cities.

* Technology: Desert Graphics Folder on desktop- Students will work with a partner for this activity. They will use one of the programs on the computer that have graphics. They will find at least one graphic that is appropriate for our desert unit of study. It can be a desert scene, plant, animal, etc. Then they will save the graphic into our class desert folder on the desktop. I will combine the graphics and print a copy for each student to use to decorate other work.

* Handwriting: Make a small booklet for each student with 8-10 pages for cursive handwriting practice. Each day, write a desert fact on the overhead. Students will copy it into their booklet and use the desert graphics from the folder the students made to decorate each page. They will illustrate their own cover.

* Experiment: What is the effect of using plastic wrap to cover a wet sponge and using no covering on a wet sponge on the evaporation rate of the sponges. Each team sets up the experiment, observes, records data, makes a graph during math, writes up results, and shares with class. Students complete "mini" science board using the scientific method format.

* Use internet desert sites, encyclopedia programs, or the library to do research for PowerPoint project. Students work with partners, choose a desert plant or animal and find out where it lives, what it looks like, and it’s adaptations for survival. Take notes and carefully illustrate the plant or animal.
* Powerpoint slide - Use this information to create a slide in PowerPoint. Teach 2 or 3 pairs to use the program and they will then teach the next pairs. They will learn to insert pictures into Powerpoint from the Powerpoint clip art file as well as to animate and add sound. Combine finished 11 or 12 slides into class slide show. Share will other classes. Each pair of students narrates their own slide. (See example of Powerpoint Wolves slide show created by my third grade students.)

* Compare and contrast cacti and philodendron- use live plants

* During reading, read “Rain in the Desert” pages 30-35 Module A -Habitats, Scott Foresman Science. Students fold a piece of white drawing paper in half. On one side, illustrate the desert before a rain, on the other half, illustrate the desert after the rain. On the back, write a sentence for each picture they drew.

*Writing- Directions "Write a narrative piece pretending to be a particular desert plant or animal. "Write a story about what happened to you while you were the desert plant or animal.”

* View Hyperstudio show on the water cycle.

To run Hyperstudio use plug- in. To download the plug-in, click here. www.hyperstudio.com/resource/hsplugin/plugin.html

* Make water cycle model.

* Write desert cinquain, edit, type and print. Share with class.

* Desert Habitat Art Project - use colored tissue paper and watery glue. Draw and cut out desert plants and animals - Glue on desert cinquain in shape of Saguaro.

* Experiment- What is the effect of sand, soil, and water on temperature? Students work in teams, set up experiment, record data , graph results, and write statement of results. Use scientific method format.

*Complete the “L” part of the KWL chart


Interactions include teacher directed whole group and small group, partner work, cooperative learning teams, individual student and small group led activities. Also included are hands-on activities, activities that encourage students to use multiple paths to learn, and use of Kagan cooperative learning structures whenever appropriate. (See Example - Find Someone Who )


Computer with internet and television access, printer, word processing program such as Appleworks or Clarisworks, PowerPoint and Hyperstudio, Kid Pix, Desert Bibliography Resource List, Desert Web Sites, Encyclopedia program on the computer, collaboration with my teammates, Pat Van Driessche and Lisa Welch, on ideas for assignments and assessments, Science text, Scott Foresman, Science Module A, Habitats and Science Moduale B, Gardening (chapter 2). Books used for reading lessons: Scholastic, Inc., Desert Giant, by Barbara Bash Kendall/Hunt Publishing, Pegasus Books, The Living World Deserts by Dr. Clive Catchpole, Steck-Vaughn Co., Pair-It Books, Fluency Stage 4, Life in the Desert, by Andrew Clements, and Scott Foresman, Science Module A, Habitats, and Cooperative Learning by Spencer Kagan.

Miscellaneous Supplies:

6 cacti and 6 philodendron or one each per team of students, colored construction paper, glue, scissors, graph paper, and sponges, plastic wrap, plastic cups, sand, garden soil, thermometers for each team of students.

Assessments: Rubrics are created with student input for most assignments.

* Desert Giant FCAT type assessment

* Science Module Saguaro FCAT type assessment

* Rubric for Saguaro Time Line Booklet

* Rubric for Desert Riddles

* Rubric for Temperature Graph and Comparison Paragraph

* Rubric for Handwriting Booklet

* Pinellas County Science Experiment Rubric

* Rubric FL WRITES

* Rubric for Cinquain Art Project

* Rubric for Powerpoint slide show created by students