Habitats and adaptations

Assessment focuses

AF1, AF2, AF3

Context

The pupils were starting a unit of work based on adaptation of living things to different environments. Christopher created a series of mind maps to identify specific animals that could be found in four habitats. Subsequent work developed an understanding of specific adaptations that made some of the animals suitable to their habitat.

The class then undertook a D&T task to design and make a creature adapted to an imaginary extreme habitat. Christopher's planning sheet includes specific adaptations for an ‘oven louse’.

The evidence

A child's hand-drawn work about what animals you will find in different habitats.

The title of this work is: "What organisms would you find in the following habitats". This illustration contains two mind maps, one of top of the other. The top mind map has the word 'arctic' in the middle with various words around it and lines pointing to each one. The words include: ice fish pine trees arctic fox lemming grass karaboo sea lions widdel seals whales dewgongs walrus penguins polar bear bacteria There are two lines under the word bacteria pointing to the words germs and viruses. The second mind map has the word 'desert' in the middle with various words around it and lines pointing to each one. The words include: lizards scarabs camels cacti locusts birds germs scopions mosquitos snakes bacteria viruses  

A child's hand-drawn illustration about different animals found in the woods or in a river.

This illustration contains two mind maps, one of top of the other. The top mind map has the word 'wood' in the middle with various words around it and lines pointing to each one. The words include: bushes birch ash beach fungus grass birds squirrel woodlice pine scots pine rabbit The second mind map has the word 'river' in the middle with various words around it and lines pointing to each one. The words include: fish weed lice bloodworms pond snails trout flat worms nyph bacteria

A child's hand-drawn illustration, with notes, of an imaginary creature called a 'Oven louse'.

The title of this illustration is 'Oven louse'. An illustration of a creature surrounded by hand-written notes. Some notes have lines to various parts of the creature's body. To the left of the creature the notes read: "Shell is very hard and heat resistant shell spines stick out when attacked very sharp claws for lots of grip on oven door sharp moth parts for eating food as it is cooking drinks food fat and steam". Underneath the creature the notes read: "stores heat and releases it if it is attacked when it does spore-like eggs fly from it's shell". To the right of ther creature the notes read: smells drinks and eats through that tube (A line goes from this note to the mouth of the creature) extra grip claw (a line goes from this note to the right side of the creature) 360 eyes (a line goes from this note to the creature's eyes) shell on underside (a line goes from this note to the right side of the creature) stores heat (a line goes from this note to the right side of the creature) eggs come from those parts (The word 'there' is crossed out and this notes goes to an area around the bottom part of the creature).

Teacher's notes

Christopher said why he chose the animals for each of the mind maps and described specific characteristics that allowed the animal to survive in the given habitat. When questioned he could say why an animal could not survive in one of the other habitats.

For the oven louse, Christopher described why it was important to have eggs in order to make sure that there are future generations of the creature.

Next steps

Consideration of how adaptations have developed over extremely long periods of time, looking at times in history when conditions have changed and the effect that this had on various animals and plants.

Assessment commentary

In his explanation of the mind maps, Christopher shows that he can identify similarities and differences relating to simple scientific ideas. Through his explanation of the adaptations of the oven louse, he is able to show the impact of natural scientific developments and links specific characteristics to their purpose. He uses appropriate scientific forms of expression to communicate ideas.