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The Environment Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

What factors make up an environment and how do these things impact life? This lesson plan uses a text lesson to explain key facts about environments. An activity gives students practice in describing environments.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define 'environment'
  • list the key characteristics of environments
  • discuss the relationship between environments and living things

Length

45 to 90 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.1

Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.2

Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.3

Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.4

Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.7

Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).

Materials

  • Paper copies of the text lesson What is an Environment? - Lesson for Kids, one for each student
  • A worksheet created using the quiz from the associated text lesson, one for each student
  • Assorted images of animals (e.g. lion, dog, chicken, dolphin, and so on).

Instructions

  • Begin by writing the word 'environment' on the board for the class.
    • How would you describe the environment of our classroom?
    • What types of things make up an environment?
  • Pass out the copies of the What is an Environment? - Lesson for Kids text lesson.
  • Tell the students to read the introduction and 'Introduction to Environments' section of the text lesson.
    • Did anyone mention temperature in their description of our classroom environment?
  • Review the definition of 'environment' that was presented in the text lesson with the class before continuing.
  • Ask the class to read the 'Environments of the World' section of the text lesson.
    • What nonliving factors are used to assess an environment?
    • How do these factors influence life in the environment?
    • How are rainforest environments different from desert environments?
    • How is life different for desert dwellers as compared to rainforest dwellers?
    • How would you describe the environment of our town?
  • Instruct the class to read the remainder of the text lesson at this time.
    • How do animals adapt to their environments?
    • What would happen if an animal was not able to adapt to its environment?
    • What types of things do we do to adapt to our environment?
  • Review key points about environments before continuing.
  • Pass out the worksheet and tell the students to complete it using what they learned about environments from the text lesson.
  • When each student has completed the worksheet, have them pair up to share and compare answers.
  • Review each question and answer from the worksheet with the class, allowing students to ask questions and correct responses as needed.

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