3rd Grade - Sonoran Desert Wildlife Fun!

Sonoran Desert Explorers Lesson Plan                             

Lesson Developer: Markie Garrison

Title: Sonoran Desert Wildlife Fun!                                         

Grade: 3

Concept/Topic: Students will learn about several different types of Sonoran Desert Wildlife.


1. Educational Technology Standard

            Strand 1: Creativity and Innovation

            Concept 4: Original Works

PO 2: Use digital collaborative tools to analyze information to produce original works.

2. Educational Technology Standard

            Strand 2: Communication and Collaboration

            Concept 2: Digital Solutions

PO 1: Contribute to a cooperative learning project and demonstrate effective group behaviors while using digital collaborative resources.

General Goals: The goal of this lesson is to teach students about Sonoran Desert wildlife while also introducing the concept of group work.

Specific Objectives: Students will be required to work in small groups to become experts on three types of wildlife found in the Sonoran Desert and then teach their classmates about them.

Required Materials:

·      Computers/Internet access-at school and at home

·      PowerPoint software

·      Access to the Sonoran Desert Explorer website

Anticipatory set: Begin the lesson by introducing the Sonoran Desert – where it's located, what the weather is like, and other basic information about the desert. Then introduce the Sonoran Desert Explorer website. Take a quick tour of the website with the students. Explain that this is a week-long project that will end in short presentations.

Step by Step Procedures:

Day 1

1) Introduce the lesson by exploring the Sonoran Desert Explorer website with the students. Let them know that they will be working in groups and will do short presentations at the end of the week.

2) Break the students into small groups of 2-3 students and assign three types of wildlife to each group. The types of wildlife can be found on the Sonoran Desert Explorer website.

3) After each group is assigned their topics, have them watch the introduction videos, read the information on the site, and take the quizzes that are provided on each topic. They may take the quizzes as a group. Encourage them to work together as a team in order to learn about their wildlife topics. Also, have them discuss what they learned when they are done.

4) The students need to complete the activity from ONE of their assigned topics as homework for the night.

Day 2

5) Have the students come back together as a group to discuss the activity they completed for homework.

6) The students are to begin working on their presentation. The presentation is to be a PowerPoint including 2 slides for each topic. One of the 2 slides should have 1-2 pictures of the wildlife, and the second slide should include 3-4 important facts about the wildlife. Students need to find pictures from the Internet and may use information from the Sonoran Desert Explorer website for the facts. Teacher should be walking around assisting groups with finding pictures/information as well as helping put presentations together.

7) The students need to complete the activity from a different type of wildlife as homework for the night

Day 3

8) Students should come back into their groups to discuss the activity they completed for homework.

9) Students need to continue to work in their presentations. The presentations are due on day 5.

10) Students should complete the activity from the last of their 3 assigned topics as homework for the night.

Day 4

11) Students should come back to discuss this final activity.

12) Students should put the final touches on their presentations and be ready to present their information to the class.

Day 5

13) Each group will present their information on the Sonoran Desert wildlife. Each presentation should be under 5 minutes. Teacher should be up front with the students to assist in the presentation, especially if this is the first presentation/group presentation they have ever done.

Plan for Independent Practice:

Closure: After all students are done presenting, quickly review the Sonoran Desert and discuss that vegetation and crawlers are also found in the desert. Information of these other two subjects can be found on the Sonoran Desert Explorer website.

Assessment: Test the students on the things that were presented to them after all of the presentations have been completed. Make sure to use simple questions based on the information that was presented.

Adaptations: This lesson can be used for all students.

Extensions: For gifted students, the presentations may be longer and provide more information.

Possible connections to other subjects:

·      Literacy because students have to read through a lot of information in order to present it to their classmates.

·      Art for students are to search the Internet to find pictures of their assigned topics.

·      Geography because students are learning about the desert and where it is located.