Big Idea 15: Diversity and Evolution of Living Organisms

A. Earth is home to a great diversity of living things, but changes in the environment can affect their survival.

B. Individuals of the same kind often differ in their characteristics and sometimes the differences give individuals an advantage in surviving and reproducing.

General Information
Number: SC.3.L.15
Title: Diversity and Evolution of Living Organisms
Type: Big Idea
Subject: Science
Grade: 3
Body of Knowledge: Life Science

Related Benchmarks

This cluster includes the following benchmarks.

Related Access Points

This cluster includes the following access points.

Independent

SC.3.L.15.In.1
Classify animals by a similar physical characteristic, such as fur, feathers, and number of legs.
SC.3.L.15.In.2
Classify parts of plants into groups based on physical characteristics, such as classifying leaves by shape.

Supported

SC.3.L.15.Su.1
Sort common animals by observable characteristics.
SC.3.L.15.Su.2
Sort common plants by observable characteristics.

Participatory

SC.3.L.15.Pa.1
Match animals that are the same.
SC.3.L.15.Pa.2
Match plants that are the same.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this topic.

Educational Software / Tool

What Is It Like Where You Live?:

This site offers an abundance of information on Earth's biomes (rainforest, tundra, taiga, desert, temperate, and grasslands), as well as marine and freshwater ecosystems. The site features relevant facts, pictures, maps, indigenous plants and animals, additional links, and much more.

This resource is a wonderful reference, not a lesson plan. Teachers will need to provide an objective and structure for student interaction with the website.

Type: Educational Software / Tool

Lesson Plans

Gr. 3 Lesson 3-Hurry for a Habitat!:

Students will use a relay race activity to reinforce knowledge gained in Lesson One. They will demonstrate understanding of the different habitats of the Everglades and the flora and fauna found in each one.

Type: Lesson Plan

Gr. 3 Lesson 2-Everglades Habitats Plants of the Everglades:

Students will learn about and become familiar with the different habitats of the Everglades and the plants that live there.

This is lesson 2 in a series of 3 lessons. Students will be able to identify plants of the Everglades using a dichotomous key and identify what causes Everglades habitats to be different.

Type: Lesson Plan

Gr. 3 Lesson 1-Classifying Everglades Animals and Their Habitats:

Students will learn about and become familiar with the different habitats of the Everglades and the flora and fauna found in each one.

Type: Lesson Plan

Animal Invention Challenge:

Students will learn about animal classification and animal characteristics by making connections to classification and attributes of shapes. Students will use what they have learned to complete a design challenge where they will act as a biomimetic engineer and brainstorm animal characteristics that could be used to create a variety of useful inventions.

Type: Lesson Plan

Classification of Vertebrates:

Students will classify vertebrates into groups based on their characteristics. Students will begin with a galley walk of vertebrates in which they examine images of animals and identify characteristics of each type. Once they determine the characteristics of each they will sort new animals into their groups based on the characteristics they identified.

Type: Lesson Plan

Animal Habitat Diorama:

Students will complete a research project on an animal using the provided research guide and rubric. Students will create a diorama of their animal within their habitat. The diorama will include other animals and plants that might be found within that habitat in order to demonstrate an understanding of animal habitats and environmental adaptations.

 

Type: Lesson Plan

Feathered Friends: A Lesson about Birds:

Have you ever wondered why all birds have feathers but not all birds can fly? In this lesson students will learn some physical and behavioral characteristics of birds. Students will be able to write down what they know, what they want to know, and what they have learned on a KWL chart. They will classify bird picture cards and complete a Venn diagram demonstrating their understanding of birds.

Type: Lesson Plan

Who's at the Zoo? A Reptile and Mammal Lesson:

Have you ever wondered what makes a reptile a reptile or a mammal a mammal? In this lesson, students will learn the physical and behavioral characteristics that represent reptiles and mammals. Students will be able to organize new information on a T-Chart, sort reptile and mammal picture clue cards, and complete a Venn diagram demonstrating their understanding of what represents reptiles and mammals. This lesson intentionally only covers mammals and reptiles, the other animal groups will need to be covered for full mastery of the aligned science standard.

Type: Lesson Plan

Animal Habitat MEA:

Animal Habitat MEA is where the students will help a pet store choose which habitat they should buy to house their snake and lizard families. The students will solve an open-ended problem and give details on the process that they used to solve the problem.

Type: Lesson Plan

Picking Pets:

Students will have to choose which pet would be best for the PTA to purchase for the classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Adding Up to the Main Idea:

In this lesson, students will use non-fiction books on the subject of spiders to find key details in the text that lead them to the main idea. Students will use a graphic organizer that shows the concept as a math problem in which the key details from the text are added up to find the main idea. At the end of the lesson, students will create a poster utilizing key details and main idea from a book about an arachnid.

Type: Lesson Plan

What am I? Classifying Living Things:

In this lesson, students will learn how to classify animals. First, they will learn vertebrate versus invertebrate. Next, they will learn the animal classifications: mammal, bird, fish, reptile, amphibian, and arthropod. They will practice sorting these animals by different attributes and then do a short research project on one animal classification, which they will share with the class.

 

Type: Lesson Plan

Classifying Plants:

In this lesson students watch an introductory video, read an essay and identify appropriate vocabulary words" meaning within context, and complete an activity on plant classification. During the activity, students will cut out pictures of plants from magazines, classify them, and identify similarities and differences between them.

Type: Lesson Plan

A-maze-ing Plants:

This Engineering Design Challenge is intended to help students apply the concepts of flowering plants, plant structures, and plant responses to stimuli as they build mazes to demonstrate a plant"s response to light. It is not intended as an initial introduction to this benchmark.

Type: Lesson Plan

An Egg Is Quiet:

Through a variety of simple activities students observe and describe changes involving eggs.

Type: Lesson Plan

Animain Idea (Animal Main Idea):

In this lesson, the students will use key details to identify the main idea of informational text about vertebrates.

Type: Lesson Plan

Animap:

Are you looking for a lesson that takes basic understanding on the classification of animals to the next level? This lesson incorporates student knowledge on mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, along with a creative twist! Armed with what students have learned about animal physical characteristic and/or behaviors, students will create an original map of a zoo that classifies or groups these animals accordingly.

Type: Lesson Plan

Dr. Friendly's Zoo Exhibit:

Dr. Friendly owns a zoo. He wants to create an exciting new zoo exhibit where two or more different mammals live and interact together. Help Dr. Friendly select the best pairings of mammals from the data provided.

Type: Lesson Plan

Lesson Study Resource Kit

Exploring Diversity and Evolution: A Lesson Study Resource Kit for Grades 3-5:

This resource kit provides teachers engaged in lesson study with exemplary content background, unit and lesson plans, assessment items and tasks, and informational texts, related to the teaching and learning of diversity and evolution in grades 3-5. Complete with links to activities and lessons as well guiding questions, this resource kit contains all of the materials that a team would need to construct a unit of instruction that fully aligns to the NGSSS for science, while supporting the informational text component of the Florida Standards for English language arts.

Type: Lesson Study Resource Kit

Original Student Tutorials

Let's Classify Plants Part 3: Flowering or Non-flowering Plants:

Enter the fascinating world of plants by identifying examples and traits of flowering and non-flowering plants.  Since this interactive tutorial is part 3 of a 3-part series, we will also summarize the information from the series.

Click below to open other tutorials in this series.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Let's Classify Plants, Part 2: Seeds and Spores:

Enter the fascinating world of plant reproduction as we discover more about seed-producing and spore-producing plants.

This is part 2 in a 3-part series. Click below to open other tutorials in this series.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Let's Classify Plants, Part 1: Vascular and Non-vascular Plants:

Enter the fascinating world of plants as we learn about vascular tissue and how to classify plants based on whether or not they have this tissue.

This is part 2 in a 3-part series on plant classification. Click below to open other tutorials in this series.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Animal Classification Part 3: Ways That Animals Are Produced:

Help Detective Pup investigate how different types of animals reproduce in this interactive tutorial.

This is the third in a 3-part series. Click below to open the other tutorials in the series.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Animal Classification Part 2: Vertebrates and Invertebrates:

Help Detective Pup compare and contrast animals that are classified as vertebrates and invertebrates in this interactive tutorial.

This is the second in a 3-part series. Click below to open the other tutorials in the series.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Animal Classification Part 1: Groups:

Investigate 11 different groups of animals with Detective Pup and the traits that make each group unique in this interactive tutorial.

This is the first in a 3-part series. Click below to open the other tutorials in the series.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Teaching Ideas

Seal and Sea Lion Venn Diagram-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, students will create a Venn diagram showing sets of the characteristics of seals and sea lions.

Type: Teaching Idea

Invertebrate "Heads Up 7 Up"-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, the student will identify biographical information about various tidepool animals.

Type: Teaching Idea

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other:

As a result of this activity, students will be able to determine the characteristics that distinguish groups of organisms.

Type: Teaching Idea

Whale Watching Logic-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, the students will develop logic skills by classifying animals by attributes.

Type: Teaching Idea

WebQuest

Are Chickens the Only Ones?:

Did you know that there are many kinds of animals that lay eggs? You can find out about different kinds of egg laying animals on this WebQuest.

Type: WebQuest

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Original Student Tutorials

Let's Classify Plants Part 3: Flowering or Non-flowering Plants:

Enter the fascinating world of plants by identifying examples and traits of flowering and non-flowering plants.  Since this interactive tutorial is part 3 of a 3-part series, we will also summarize the information from the series.

Click below to open other tutorials in this series.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Let's Classify Plants, Part 2: Seeds and Spores:

Enter the fascinating world of plant reproduction as we discover more about seed-producing and spore-producing plants.

This is part 2 in a 3-part series. Click below to open other tutorials in this series.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Let's Classify Plants, Part 1: Vascular and Non-vascular Plants:

Enter the fascinating world of plants as we learn about vascular tissue and how to classify plants based on whether or not they have this tissue.

This is part 2 in a 3-part series on plant classification. Click below to open other tutorials in this series.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Animal Classification Part 3: Ways That Animals Are Produced:

Help Detective Pup investigate how different types of animals reproduce in this interactive tutorial.

This is the third in a 3-part series. Click below to open the other tutorials in the series.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Animal Classification Part 2: Vertebrates and Invertebrates:

Help Detective Pup compare and contrast animals that are classified as vertebrates and invertebrates in this interactive tutorial.

This is the second in a 3-part series. Click below to open the other tutorials in the series.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Animal Classification Part 1: Groups:

Investigate 11 different groups of animals with Detective Pup and the traits that make each group unique in this interactive tutorial.

This is the first in a 3-part series. Click below to open the other tutorials in the series.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

WebQuest

Are Chickens the Only Ones?:

Did you know that there are many kinds of animals that lay eggs? You can find out about different kinds of egg laying animals on this WebQuest.

Type: WebQuest

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Teaching Idea

Whale Watching Logic-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, the students will develop logic skills by classifying animals by attributes.

Type: Teaching Idea