4th Grade Microscopic World Unit Blueprint

Learning Experience (LE) 7: Investigating Single-Celled Organisms
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(See Teacher Tips for details on lesson.)

Pacing Suggestions:
3 Days

Teacher Resources:

Single-Celled Organisms Observation Sheet (Microsoft Word)
Single-Celled Organisms Observation Sheet (Adobe Reader PDF)

4th Grade Microscopic Pond Life Google Site

Essential & Unit Questions 1 Benchmarks 2 Formative and Summative Assessments 3 Using Assessments to Monitor and Facilitate Student Learning

Why are microscopes important?

What do living things made up of one cell need to live?

5C(3-5)#2: Microscopes make it possible to see that living things are made mostly of cells. Some organisms are made of a collection of similar cells that benefit from cooperating. Some organisms’ cells vary greatly in appearance and perform very different roles in the organism.

Introduce: 5C(3-5)#1: Some living things consist of a living cell. Like familiar organisms, they need food, water, and air; a way to dispose of waste; and an environment they can live in.

Class discussion about what the students observed.

  • Do students understand they are observing organisms that consist of only 1 cell?
  • While the students will not be able to observe the organisms eat, do they see behaviors common to other organisms, such as movement?

12D(3-5)#2: Make sketches to aid in [reporting observations and] explaining procedures or ideas.

12A(3-5)#1: Keep records of their investigations and observations and not change the records later.

12C(3-5)#3: Keep a notebook that describes observations made, carefully distinguishes actual observations from ideas and speculations about what was observed, and is understandable weeks or months later.

Single-Celled Organisms Observation Sheet (Teacher-generated sheet)

  • Do the drawings show that the student has in fact observed an object and drawn what was seen?
  • Does each drawing have an “individual character” and is not a stereotype of what the student expected to find?
  • Do the drawings show relative size, shape, texture, shading, position, and complexity?
  • Do students’ written observations describe relative size, shape, texture, color, and other relevant details?
  • Do students refrain from changing their observations (written and sketches) once class sharing has occurred?
  • Do students record observations, not inferences, ideas, or speculations?
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1. For conceptual benchmarks.
2. Bolded sections indicate portion of benchmark addressed
3. Unless noted as a Summative Assessment, the assessments are formative and should be used to guide teaching and learning.

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