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CKSci Grade 3 Unit 3: Habitats and Change

CKSci Grade 3 Unit 3: Habitats and Change

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About This Lesson

This unit introduces Grade 3 students to fundamental concepts of habitats, adaptations, ecosystems, and environmental changes over time. Students will learn about the relationships between living things and their environments. They will see that organisms are adapted to live in specific habitats, but when habitats change—suddenly or over millions of years—the same adaptations that allowed success in one habitat may not be those that ensure survival in another.

Students understand important aspects of the relationship between the adaptations of living things and their environments by

  • exploring concepts of traits and adaptations, including living in groups;
  • witnessing case examples of changes in ecosystems, ranging from beaver dam flooding to widespread disruptions caused by humans; and
  • examining the fossil record to see that ecosystems in the past have changed, how the living things in them have changed, or how species have gone extinct.

Students also learn that engineers use their knowledge of ecosystems to develop solutions and build things that respond to or prevent ecosystem damage. As a series of culminating activities, students explore the principles and practices of engineering design, such as scientifically defining a problem to be solved, and evaluating and optimizing possible solutions.

Number of Lessons: 16

Instruction Time:

  • Each Lesson is designed to be completed in one 30–45-minute class period. Some lessons may take more than one class period.
  • Some single-day activities and performance tasks might require setting aside a longer block of time.
  • This Unit should be completed in 23 classroom days.
  • A Pacing Guide is provided within the Teacher Guide.
  • A complete list of Materials needed to complete the unit is provided in Online Resources.

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