1st Grade - Wildlife Excursion!

Grade Level: 1st Grade
Lesson Developer: Deonna Sainz
Lesson Plan Title: Wildlife Excursion!
Concept / Topic To Teach: Students will gain information in science by exploring different arachnids, animals, birds, cacti, insects, lizards, snakes, and vegetation using the
Sonoran Desert Explores website. Language arts will also be applied when the students are writing about their journey in their personal journals.
Standards Addressed:
Science- Strand 4: Life Science
  • Concept 1: Characteristics of Organisms
    • PO 1. Identify the following as characteristics of living things:
      •  growth and development
      • reproduction
      • response to stimulus  
    •  PO 2. Compare the following observable features of living things:
      1. movement – legs, wings
      2. protection – skin, feathers, tree bark
      3. respiration – lungs, gills
      • support – plant stems, tree trunks
  • Concept 3: Organisms and Environments
    • PO 1. Identify some plants and animals that exist in the local environment
Language arts- Strand 2: Writing Components
  •  Concept 1: Ideas and Content
    • PO 1. Write stand-alone text that expresses a clear message.
    • PO 2. Incorporate details in pictures and text.
  • Concept 5: Sentence Fluency
    • PO 1. Write simple sentences.

 General Goal(s): Identify animals and plants living in the Sonoran Desert using Sonoran Desert Detectives website and create a journal based on the students experience.

Specific Objectives: Students will learn to navigate around the internet webpage to find information about one of each arachnids, animals, birds, cacti, insects, lizards, snakes, and vegetation . After finding information the student will create a journal entry for each topic and include two or three sentences along with pictures.

 Required Materials:
  • Computer with Internet
  • Access to Sonoran Desert Detectives website
  •  Paper, crayons, markers, color pencils
  • Yarn for binding journal
  • Printing access
  • Imagination!

Anticipatory Set (Lead-In): The teacher will take students on a nature walk to get an idea of what they will be looking for when they go on their “journey”. During the nature walk the teacher should point out different leafs, bugs, and animal and give descriptive details about what it looks like and what it’s doing. The students will then gain an idea of the journal. Also during the walk mention what the topic will be about and what they will be doing.

Step-By-Step Procedures:
You can spread the work out how you would like but typically it would be a week worth’s of work!
  • Start with the nature walk
  • Have the students choose 4 out of the 8 topics to explore (arachnids, animals, birds, cacti, insects, lizards, snakes, and vegetation)
  •  Out of those 4 topics the students will then choose 1 subject, giving them a total of 4 specific things to learn about. You should try not to have multiple students do the same thing.
  •  Give the students time to learn about their subject and to complete the activities and assessment on the webpage. Have them write down important facts and specific details.
  • After you feel the students have had enough time to learn, you can start explaining the journal.
  • The journal should be a fun activity! Students will pretend they went on a wildlife excursion and they would find their subjects during this journey. Therefore the journal should be a page about each subject. It should include two or three sentences about what they learned or details about it. Along with a picture of what it was doing when the saw it.
  • Once its completed have the students make a decorative front page and a end page, then hole punch and bind all 6 pages together with the yarn to make it seem like they were in the past exploring these topics.
  • If you would like spilt the students up into groups of 3 or 4 and have the students explain or read their journals to each other. You may also do this as a whole class
Plan for Independent Practice: Exploring the website to find their subjects to research. The student can take home the pictures to color and finish writing the sentences with their parents. Also the students can walk a Sonoran Desert walk to take the information learned and apply it to the outdoors.
Closure (Reflect Anticipatory Set): Now that we have come back and survived our excursion what are some fun facts you learned? What did you hear from your fellow explores that you found was interesting? You can ask more questions that you can come up with and also ask the children for feedback about what they liked/ disliked.
Assessment Based On Objectives: When the students are doing research on the website and after they have read the information and completed the activity there is a assessment on every page for the students complete.

Adaptations (For Students With Learning Disabilities):

These are just some ideas; feel free to modify how you would see necessary

  • The student can have the help of the teacher one on one.
  • Fifth grade students can come in and help them.
  • They should only be required to do two sentences
  • Also only three topic instead of four
  • Work with partners
 Extensions (For Gifted Students):
These are just some ideas; feel free to modify how you would see necessary
  • The student can add one or two of the following index, reference page, page numbers, summary of the journal, or vocabulary page.
  • Add more topics or sentences to each subject
  • Work with fifth grades
  • Work as partners to help students with disabilities
  • Add more than just one picture
Possible Connections To Other Subjects:
  • Math
  • Reading
  • Technology
  • History/social studies