Curriculum

What Do Plants And Animals Need To Live?

What Do Plants And Animals Need To Live?

What Do Plants and Animals Need to Live? is part of Smithsonian Science for the Classroom, a new curriculum series by the Smithsonian Science Education Center. It is designed to address a bundle of kindergarten life science and earth science standards. In this module, students:

  • Plan and carry out investigations to answer questions about what plants need to live.
  • Use evidence from observations and text to support an argument about what caterpillars need to live and grow.
  • Develop and use models to show how caterpillars’ webs help them get what they need to live and grow.
  • Communicate a solution that reduces the impact of a sidewalk on a tree’s ability to get what it needs.
  • Develop and use a model to determine which plan to build a play area is best for the system of living things on a piece of land.

Below are digital resources that support teaching of this module.

Lesson 1: A Mystery at School

Family Letter
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Download Spanish PDF
Prior to starting this module share the Family Letter with students’ families. Indicate how they should submit responses to the letter.

Ada Asks Introduction (1:01 minutes)
In this video Ada shares observations about her unhealthy radish plants. Closed captioning is available in the YouTube version by clicking the “CC” icon.

Watch on YouTube


or Download Video

Healthy Plant
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This file shows a healthy radish plant.

Pick Your Plants
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This file shows artwork of plants from the Smithsonian Institution.

Lesson 2: Making a Plant Plan

Root Vegetable Roundup
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This file shows images of root vegetables.

Lesson 4: Hungry, Hungry Caterpillars

Ada Asks Caterpillar (0:46 minutes)
In this video Ada explains that she is going on a trip and needs the class to take care of her caterpillars. Closed captioning is available in the YouTube version by clicking the “CC” icon.

Watch on YouTube


or Download Video

This video is intended to look like it is malfunctioning. Read the lesson description for further details.

Caterpillar
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These are photos of a painted lady larva (caterpillar) and adult painted lady butterfly feeding on thistle.

Lesson 5: Hungry, Hungry Caterpillars

Caterpillars Feeding (0:30 minutes)
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This video shows painted lady caterpillars feeding on mallow plants.

Caterpillars Habitat (1:22 minutes)
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This video shows examples of the caterpillars’ natural habitat.

Lesson 6: World of Webs

Caterpillar Webs
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This file shows caterpillars and the webs they make while living in a cup.

Caterpillar Habitat View 1
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This file shows caterpillars and the webs they make while living in a cup.

Caterpillar Habitat Cup View 2
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This file shows caterpillars and the webs they make while living in a cup.

Caterpillar Habitat Cup View 3
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This file shows caterpillars and the webs they make while living in a cup.

Underground Mouse
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This photo shows a mouse moving through a subway station. 

Lesson 8: Sidewalk Solutions

Tree and Sidewalk
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This photo shows a tree growing near a broken sidewalk.

Sidewalk Solutions
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This file shows photographs of two engineering strategies for fixing sidewalk-tree interactions.

Lesson 9: Play Area Plan Part 1

Ada Asks Science Challenge (1:46 minutes)
In this video Ada tells students that her school is building a new play area and they need to figure out the best place to put it. Closed captioning is available in the YouTube version by clicking the “CC” icon.

Watch on YouTube


or Download Video

Schoolyard Illustration
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This file shows an illustration of the schoolyard and illustrations of three possible plans for adding a play area to the schoolyard.

Lesson 10: Play Area Plan Part 2

Bird Identification
https://allaboutbirds.org
This website provides access to the bird identification application Merlin. It can be used as a website or downloaded as an application.

Bird Observation
https://ebird.org
This website provides access to the citizen science project eBird. It can used as a website or downloaded as an application.

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