Wild About Animals...

A Web Quest for 4th Grade (Science)

Designed by

Jessica Peters
jp48296@appstate.edu

 around

Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits | Teacher Page


Introduction

world

Why do bears hibernate in the winter? How can polar bears stay warm in the cold Arctic air? Some animals have long legs since they travel great distances across the savannah, while other animals might have humps to store water as they track across the desert. Today, we are going to explore the behaviors and body structures of a variety of animals, which are influenced by their habitats.  I want you to use this web quest to discover the needs, mentioned above, that would help these animals.

 

 



The Task



Earth supports many different habitats, each of which has distinct features and distinct animal populations. Animals are adapted to these conditions in which they live. Each team will produce a report on their assigned habitat including the following information:
  • a physical description of the habitat.
  • examples of the habitat (geographical locations).
  • examples and pictures of animals that live in the habitat.
  • discuss how the animals in the assigned habitat are adapted for life there through either physical or behavioral adaptations.
You will explore the Internet to gain an understanding of how behaviors and body structures help animals survive in their particular habitat.

 

The Process



Exploring Animals' Behaviors and Body Structures:
1. You'll be assigned to a team of four students to explore the various habitats provided.
2. You will explore the web sites that I have provided along with other resources of your own. Make sure to list all your resources at the end of your report.
3. You will be exploring your assigned habitat to gain a more in-depth understanding of the behaviors and body structures of the animals that live in that particular habitat.
4. Your team should record your findings since you will display them for your fellow classmates' observation.
5.
Here are some ideas to consider when exploring your assigned habitat:
    a. Grasslands: Research the speeds of the animals that live there.
    b. Temperate forest: many trees grow there. Explain how animals that live there depend on those trees.
    c. Tropical rain forest: Keep the three main levels of the rain forest in mind and find an animal for each level
    d. Polar: research both the polar bear (North) and the penguin (South Pole).

6. Questions to consider when researching the animals' behaviors:
    a. How did your animal acquire each behavior?
    b. Which of your animal's behaviors are learned and which are instinctual?
    c. Are any of your animal's behaviors linked to the environment or climate in which it is found?
    d. Do the animal's body structures help it in any way?
    e. Can animal's instincts and learned behaviors be related to its environment? Think about this: In order to survive, a polar bear instinctively goes into "winter sleep" to conserve its energy when it has gone about two weeks without food, which can be scarce in the Arctic. Think about other behavior, such as migration, hibernation, and primate grooming.

7. Your group should prepare a report from your findings with the name of the animals, descriptions of the various animals' behaviors and body structures, and pictures of the animals.
8. From the list you have created about each animals' behaviors. Decide if these are behavioral or physical. A polar bear's thick fur, which protects it from the cold, is an examples of a physical adaptation. A lizard that "plays dead" to avoid predators is displaying a behavioral adaptation by displaying a chart like this one in your report. You should use Microsoft Excel to make this table and insert it into your report.

Animal
Adaptation
Effect
Behavioral/ Physical
Giraffe
Long neck
Can eat leaves in tall trees (the parts of plants other animals cannot reach)
Physical
Bird
Flies south in winter
Warmth
Behavioral
Porcupine
Sharp, stiff quills
Can defend itself against enemies
Physical
Dolphin
Tail
Helps it swim
Physical

9. For each group, the class will decide if they were right in their decision on the basis of the animals' behaviors and body structures, whether that particular animal truely belongs in that habitat the group assigned it.



Evaluation

You will be evaluated upon the completion of the report, which should include all aspects meaning a physical description of the habitat, examples of the habitat (geographical locations), examples and pictures of animals that live in the habitat, and discuss how the animals in the assigned habitat are adapted for life there through either physical or behavioral adaptations, and presentation. Also, the report will be a common grade for the entire group and must record all resources/web sites that were used.


Beginning

1

Developing

2

Accomplished

3

Exemplary

4

Score

 

Physical description of assigned habitat.

 

Vague, lack description of assigned habitat, reflects beginning level of performance.
Mild description of assigned habitat, reflects development and movement toward mastery of performance.
Vivid description of assigned habitat, reflects mastery of performance.
Specific description of assigned habitat, reflects the highest level of performance.

 

An array of animals with pictures.

 

 

Few animals, NOT great variety of pictures, reflects a beginning level of performance.
Several animals, NOT too many pictures or not that great of pictures, reflects development and movement toward mastery of performance.
Many animals, several pictures, reflects mastery of performance.
Great deal of animals with an assortment of great pictures, reflects the highest level of performance.

 

Listed adaptations or body structures with a table displaying each animal's adaptation as either behavioral or physical.

 

 

Few or did not understand the differences between behavioral and physical,  reflects a beginning level of performance.
Several, does not understand the difference well enough, reflects development and movement toward mastery of performance.
Many, understands the basic difference between behavioral and physical, reflects mastery of performance.
Great deal of adaptations with a remarkable understanding of the difference between behavioral and physical, reflects the highest level of performance.

 

Report with resources displaying their knowledge of  behaviors and body structures that help animals survive in a particular habitat.
Not well-researched report with only few resources, reflects a beginning level of performance.
Kind of researched report with several resources, reflects development and movement toward mastery of performance.
More researched with many resources, reflects mastery of performance.
Well-researched report with an array of resources, reflects the highest level of performance.

 

Effective presentation and engages the entire class.
NOT prepared or does not understand how to present research, reflects a beginning level of performance.
Kind of prepared but NOT confident with presenting their research, reflects development and movement toward mastery of performance.
More prepared and NOT confident with presenting material, reflects mastery of performance.
Prepared and very confident with presenting research, reflects the highest level of performance.



Conclusion

balloon

<>You should have gained an understanding of how to use the Internet, when researching a topic like animal behaviors and body structures in various habitats. You also should have learned about other habitats that they were researched by your classmates. You should have learned how to use technology to benefit and help you when researching and documenting your work. When researching future subjects, you can use Google Search and http://www.ask.com as search engines in order to find an abundant array of web sites.
 



Credits & References

Images Were Retrieved from the Following Sites:

http://www.biolumanetics.net/tantalus/pictures/bovistapictures/animals3.jpg
http://www.free-graphics.com/clipart/Animals/Land_Animals/Wild_Animals_Around_World.jpg
http://www.generalsquarters.com/images/party_animals.gif
http://www.greenville.k12...dbunting/animals.gif
http://www.pari.go.jp/english/8-key/8-key.htm
http://www.ioe.mmu.ac.uk/courses/decs/intro.shtml


Some Text Was Retrieved From the Following Sites:.

http://www.cheetahspot.com
http://www.northolympic.com/onp/index.html
http://www.desertusa.com/animal.html
http://www.pbs.org/edens/manu/index.htm
http://octopus.gma.org/surfing/antarctica
http://school.discovery.com/lessonplans/programs/habitats


Last updated on December 2, 2004. Based on a template from The WebQuest Page