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Utah Science

Curriculum Consortium

Tyson Grover 

tgrover@dsdmail.net

Annette Nielson

afonnesbeck@dsdmail.net

Storyline Narrative 7.4.2

Standard 7.4.2: Obtain, evaluate and communicate information about specific animal and plant adaptations and structures that affect the probability of successful reproduction. Examples of adaptations could include nest building to protect young from cold, herding of animals to protect young from predators, vocalization of animals and colorful plumage to attract mates for breeding, bright flowers attracting butterflies that transfer pollen, flower nectar and odors that attract insects that transfer pollen, and hard shells on nuts that squirrels bury.

Student Friendly Objective: I can present information that shows how specific adaptations and structures will make an organism more likely to survive and reproduce.

Anchor Phenomenon: Males of certain species have different physical characteristics than females of the same species (think, peacocks, white campion, etc.)

Big Idea: Specific adaptations and structures affect the probability of successful reproduction and offspring survival.

Students are introduced to this standard by being presented with pictures of various organisms with different structural traits between the males and females of the species (e.g. different plumages, presence or absence of antlers, etc.) that influence the reproductive success of these organisms. Students are engaged as they discover patterns in the examples given to them. As students work together, they are obtaining information, evaluating it as they look for patterns, and then communicating their explanations for these examples.

 

This leads into students being introduced to animal behaviors that also play a role in how successful an organism is at finding a mate. Students explore the behaviors they see to obtain more information about them. This allows students to form explanations using evidence

 

As students understand that animal behaviors play a role in the success of finding a mate, they will also be given an opportunity to see patterns in behaviors that animals exhibit after reproducing, specifically referring to parental behaviors. Students will see various organisms, evaluate and explain the information given to them, and communicate how behaviors of organisms influence reproductive success.

 

To elaborate on the idea of adaptations influencing reproductive success, students will investigate how the structures of plants function to contribute to successful plant reproduction.  This is achieved first by focusing on a specific example, and then by expanding that to include a larger range of examples. Students will be able to use the patterns they saw in animals and apply those patterns to plants. Students will communicate their understanding through written explanations and class discussions.


In order for the teacher to evaluate student understanding of the concept, students will construct explanations about the reproductive strategies, both behaviors and structures, of different types of organisms shown on the University of Utah Genetics page on reproduction. Furthermore, students will apply the patterns they have seen in other episodes to a final evaluation episode, where they will predict the probability of successful reproduction of various organisms within the same species (just containing different traits).

Episode 1

Question

Why do males often look different than females of the same species?

Snapshot

Students look at the differences between males and females of different species and create explanations for the differences

Conceptual Understandings

There are differences between the structures of males and females (e.g. antlers in males vs. no antlers in females) and those differences have a purpose

How do animal behaviors influence their ability to find a mate?

 

Conceptual Understandings

Animals exhibit behavior that influences their likelihood of finding a mate and reproducing.

How do parental behaviors increase the likelihood of offspring survival?

Snapshot

Students watch birds of paradise dance and work in groups to explain the behavior

Episode 2

Question

How do animal behaviors influence their ability to find a mate?

 

Episode 3

Question

How do parental behaviors increase the likelihood of offspring survival?

Snapshot

Students make observations about pictures and read explanations of parental behaviors of different animals, then predict how those behaviors increase their offspring’s chance of survival

Conceptual Understandings

Parental behaviors can increase their offspring’s chances of survival

How does seed shape influence seed dispersal and thus successful reproduction of plants?

 

Conceptual Understandings

The shape and size of samaras increases the falling time of the seed so it is more likely to be dispersed

How do structures influence reproductive success in plants?

Snapshot

Students alter samaras to see how it affects their falling time

Episode 4

Question

How does seed shape influence seed dispersal and thus successful reproduction of plants?

 

Episode 5

Question

How do structures influence reproductive success in plants?

Snapshot

Students do a card sort of different plant reproductive strategies and explain how the strategy helps the plant reproduce successfully

Conceptual Understandings

Various plants have different methods that allow them to be successful in reproducing

How do different reproductive strategies lead to reproductive success for various organisms?

 

Conceptual Understandings

Organisms are different and have different strategies for reproductive success

How does variation within a species influence individual reproductive success?

Snapshot

Students use the University of Utah Genetics page to learn about different organisms’ reproductive strategies and explain how this helps the organism be successful in reproduction

Episode 6

Question

How do different reproductive strategies lead to reproductive success for various organisms?

Episode 7

Question

How does variation within a species influence individual reproductive success?

Snapshot

Students read about individuals within the same species and decide which will be more successful at reproduction

Conceptual Understandings

Some organisms within a species have a higher chance at reproducing because they have traits that are better for survival