Teachers can use these activities however best fit their students and classroom. Many activities can be completed by individual students, small groups, the entire class, or as part of learning centers. In order to address all of the standards listed on the activity overview below, all of these supplemental activities need to be completed. Some of the content statements and elaborations are only addressed through the supplements and are not included in the versions written in the Growing Up WILD (GUW) guide.
Note: All supplemental materials are protected by copyright and are owned by Ohio Environmental Education Fund and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. They may be used, with attribution, for educational purposes but are not to be used commercially. Please include Curious KIDSS and www.curiouskidss.org when citing the supplemental materials. All references to Growing Up WILD must include a reference to the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, which holds the copyright to Growing Up WILD. Guides can be obtained through a workshop from the ODNR Division of Wildlife.
When implemented as written, supplemental resources for the Growing Up WILD activities First Impressions and Wildlife as Symbols address the following content statements in the 2017-2018 Ohio Learning Standards for the following disciplines:
English Language Arts
Characteristics of Living Things
While First Impressions introduces students to a variety of living things, the activity itself does not provide examples of characteristics of living things. Using the Idea Circle graphic organizer as a template, discuss as a class and record the following information for each animal shown in the First Impressions voting activity:
Before students begin reading, they may need to brainstorm lists of ways living things:
1. Get energy
2. Grow up (Please note that the names of the different stages of development are not the focus of this content statement. The focus at this grade level is for students to see a variety of living things and to learn characteristics common to all living things.)
3. React to the environment
After completing the First Impressions activity, students will use an Idea Circle approach to find out more information about the characteristics of living things. Encourage students to select a living thing that they dislike or have neutral feelings about.
Each student will select a book about a specific plant or animal. These non-fiction books may be in the teacher’s classroom library, the school library, borrowed from public libraries or online libraries. See “Resources for eBooks and Digital Media” for suggestions on finding content online.
1. Students begin by selecting a book about an animal. Some books will not provide all of the information requested on the graphic organizer. Teachers can decide to implement any of the following as a whole class, or differentiate strategies for individuals or small groups. Students can use:
2. As they read, students fill out a graphic organizer about how their living thing gets its energy, grows up and reacts to its environment. If needed, this activity could be completed as a small group working collaboratively to complete one graphic organizer. Another option could be for students to add the characteristics of their living thing to a class chart as they complete their individual or small group research.
3. Students share the results of their research on their living thing with their small and/or large group(s). This research can be completed during time allocated for science instruction, as a center activity, or during time allocated for reading.
Suggested Text for the Idea Circle
The Growing Up WILD (GUW) guide provides animal cards for use with the First Impressions activity. Those cards may be used or the 8.5” x 11” full color animal cards provided by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources can be an excellent source of pictures and information for this activity. Be sure to select the bald eagle to use as one of the animals students are asked to react to. Revisiting the feelings about eagles will transition from First Impressions to Wildlife As Symbols later in this series of activities.
The book Actual Size by Steve Jenkins can also be used in this activity. This book shows life size images of several different kinds of animals, including a gigantic spider. The Goliath bird-eating spider usually elicits strong reactions from students, and adults!
Follow the instructions for the Warm Up provided in the GUW guide.
In #1 of the Procedure, instead of using the hula-hoops or masking tape to differentiate the three feelings, provide each student with pieces of paper, or post-it notes, that will represent their feelings about the animal shown. In #2, continue the lesson by holding up the animal in question and have students draw their face (smile :-) , frown :-( or indifferent :-I ) on the piece of paper and cast their vote for that animal.
Change the directions in #3 as follows. Once votes have been cast for the animal, have one, or a group, of students organize the responses by feelings. Allowing the students to sort by smile ;-), frown :-( and indifferent :-I faces allows extra practice in the classification of data. The data can then be graphed as shown on p.66 of the GUW guide. Ask students to then sort the three feelings by count. Continue with the lesson as described in #4 and #5.
Use the supplemental content that follows in addition to the suggestions in #6, #7 and the Wrap Up.
First Impressions Can Change
After the students have received more information addressing their questions, ask to see if students’ opinions about any specific animal have changed. Students share their feelings on the animals previously done. Have students categorize and count the data with the intent that students will be able to compare the data and graphs from before and after information was received about the animals.
As a closing activity, students complete the “I used to think… but now I know…and still wonder about…” graphic organizer. There is also a version of the graphic organizer limited to “I used to think… but now I know…” provided to aid in differentiation.
Wildlife as Symbols
After the First Impressions activities are completed, transition into the Wildlife as Symbols components. Follow the GUW guide suggestions for the Warm Up discussion. Brainstorm where students have seen other symbols of the United States (American Flag, Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem). Continue through the Procedure steps and Wrap Up questions as written.
Introduce the activity by allowing students to investigate Ohio’s place in the United States and the world by zooming in or out at https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ohio/. Students can toggle between the Map and Satellite views to see landforms and water, as well as zoom in to see overhead or street views of their school and neighborhood. Emphasize that the map they are viewing represents real places.
Students can work individually, in small groups or as a class to create an Ohio mural, as described in the GUW guide. Students can research Ohio’s symbols to identify the following state symbols:
These symbols of Ohio can be added the mural.
The following books about Ohio can be used to discover the different state symbols:
Ohio’s Learning Standards for Social Studies list the following symbols of the United States that students should recognize: American Flag, Pledge of Allegiance, and National Anthem. Symbols of Ohio will not be assessed at this grade level.
Wildlife as Symbols - Other Activities
Follow the suggestions in the GUW guide to create a class banner. Once completed, emphasize that students are unique, much like their hand prints, but share common characteristics of their class and its selected wildlife symbol, their school and/or district. Discussions could include a school mascot if appropriate. Reading We Are Alike, We Are Different by Janice Behrens (available in BookFlix, Family and Community) can reinforce these similarities and differences.
Wildlife in Literature
Students can work individually, in small groups, or as a class to identify accurate or anthropomorphic representations of wildlife. Epic! and BookFlix have many examples of wildlife talking, wearing clothes, and other unrealistic portrayals.
Students complete the sentence stem “I am (description) like a (wild animal), and draw a picture representing their choices. Several versions of a graphic organizer are provided to support differentiation. If school district policy allows, scan poems and create an online gallery using www.Padlet.com , www.Gooru.org , www.Storybird.com , or other digital publishing tools.
All other activities in Wildlife as Symbols align to Ohio’s Learning Standards in Social Studies and/or English Language Arts. As time allows, students can do these activities as a class, in small groups, or at centers.