2nd Grade- Let's Investigate the Creatures of the Sonoran Desert!


Grade Level: 2nd Grade 


Lesson Developer: Christina Cunningham


Lesson Plan Title: Let’s investigate the creatures of the Sonoran Desert!


Standards Addressed: Science-Strand 1: Inquiry process

Concept/Topic : Concept 3: Analysis and Conclusions

PO4. Generate questions for possible future investigations based on the conclusions of the investigation. 


Standards Addressed: Science-Strand 1: Inquiry process

Concept/Topic: Concept 4: Communication

PO1. Communicate the results and conclusions of an investigation (ie verbal, drawn, written)


General Goal(s): Students will be able to identify wildlife, vegetation, and crawlers in the Sonoran Desert through observation and investigation.


Specific Objectives: Children will be able to use the website to learn about and identify what they have seen during their trip to the park in the Sonoran Desert.


Required Materials:

  • Internet Access
  • Notebook
  • Pencil
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Glue


Anticipatory Set (Lead-In):  Students and their guardians can visit this website: http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/santan/ and choose a park in their area that they would like to investigate together. 



Step-By-Step Procedures:

1. Using the internet, the student and his/her guardian can visit the park website. Together, they can choose a park that they would like to explore together.

2. Once the student arrives at the park, the first step they should do is enter the visitor’s center. The staff at the visitor’s center can answer questions and provide a map of trails.

3. Before exploring the park, have the student choose which trail that he/she would like to walk along.

4. While walking on the trail, the students can observe his/ her surroundings and explore their senses. What do they see, hear, and smell? They can write these things down.

5.  Using the camera, the student can take pictures of vegetation, wildlife, and of what else they find interesting in their surroundings.

6. Using binoculars, students can get a better view of plants and wildlife that are in the distance during their investigation.

7 .While exploring, the student can write down five different types of crawlers, wildlife, and vegetation that they have encountered during their park visit.

8. After the student has completed their park investigation, they can use the internet to visit the website to identify and read about what they saw on their trip.

9. Once the pictures that they have taken are developed, they can paste their favorite pictures in their notebook. Underneath, they can write why they love the pictures that they have taken.

10. Using the information from the website, students can write about what they think was the best Sonoran Desert creature or plant that they saw and why it was the best.



Plan For Independent Practice: Students are taking their own pictures, choosing their own trails to observe, and independently using the website to identify what they have seen during their park visit.


Closure (Reflect Anticipatory Set): Students can share their pictures and information that they have gathered during their trip with their fellow classmates.


Assessment Based On Objectives:  Students can take a quiz on the website. The quizzes are located at the bottom of each topic page.
Adaptations (For Students With Learning Disabilities):  Provide the student with five creatures to observe and learn about while at the park. The student can take pictures of what they see, and use these pictures as a way to show and/or explain what they thought was the best Sonoran Desert creature or plant.


Extensions (For Gifted Students): Children who are gifted can observe eight, opposed to 5  different types of crawlers, vegetation, or wildlife while at the park.