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Lesson Plans: Elementary School
Characteristics of Snakes and Turtles
Subject: Life Science, Geography, Literature
Grade Level: 1-4

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This lesson is designed for students in grades 1-4. Obviously this encompasses a large range of developmental stages and abilities. Parts I and II of this lesson are probably most appropriate for the earlier grades, although they may be adapted for use with grades 3 and 4 as an introduction to the content. The remaining parts target grades 3 and 4 but may be adapted for use with grades 1 and 2.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:
  • Name characteristics of snakes and turtles.
  • Compare and contrast snakes and turtles.
  • Name characteristics of reptiles.
  • Compare and contrast reptiles and mammals.
  • Demonstrate what they have learned in a presentation.


Life Sciences

Standard 5: Understands the structure and function of cells and organisms
Level I (Grade K-2)
2. Knows that plants and animals have features that help them live in different environments
Level II (Grade 3-5)
2. Knows that living organisms have distinct structures and body systems that serve specific functions in growth, survival, and reproduction (e.g., various body structures for walking, flying, or swimming)
3. Knows that the behavior of individual organisms is influenced by internal cues (e.g., hunger) and external cues (e.g., changes in the environment), and that humans and other organisms have senses that help them to detect these cues.

Standard 6: Understands relationships among organisms and their physical environment
Level I (Grade K-2)
1. Knows that plants and animals need certain resources for energy and growth (e.g., food, water, light, air)
2. Knows that living things are found almost everywhere in the world and that distinct environments support the life of different types of plants and animals
Level II (Grade 3-5)
3. Knows that an organism's patterns of behavior are related to the nature of that organism's environment (e.g., kinds and numbers of other organisms present, availability of food and resources, physical characteristics of the environment)
4. Knows that changes in the environment can have different effects on different organisms (e.g., some organisms move in, others move out; some organisms survive and reproduce, others die)

Technology Standard and Benchmarks

Standard 2: Knows the characteristics and uses of computer software programs
Level I (Grade K-2)
1. Types on a computer keyboard, using correct hand and body positions
3. Uses menu options and commands
Level II (Grade 3-5)
1. Uses a word processor to edit, copy, move, save, and print text with some formatting (e.g., centering lines, using tabs, forming paragraphs)
2. Makes back-up copies of stored data, such as text, programs, and databases
6. Knows how formats differ among software applications (e.g., word processing files, database files) and hardware platforms (e.g., Macintosh, Windows)


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