Mammal Adaptations Combines Next Generation Science with ELA Common Core Standards Thematic Unit
English Language Arts, Science, Common Core, Basic Principles
Internet Activity, Project, Thematic Unit Plan, Worksheet
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Mammal Adaptations

This is a thematic unit that covers standards from both Next Generation Science and Common Core English Language Arts.

This unit contains three take home books about Hibernation one easy, one medium, and one advanced.  This makes differentiation easy.  The books are also in color in PowerPoint form to project and read with your class.  The illustrations are the same for all of the books.  There are detailed instructions and a book list with suggested books.  There are information sheets, writing prompts, and activities for reading, writing, speaking, and listening.  There are links to videos to encourage students to use their language skills.  There is also a KWL activity, a word card sorting activity, and alphabetizing sheet, and a Venn Diagram.  The unit concludes with your students writing a report on the mammal of their choice.  The topics covered include characteristics of mammals, hibernation, marsupials, ways mammals protect themselves, and camouflage.


Teaching thematically helps all of your students, especially ELL students and socially disadvantaged students.  This unit has activities for both fiction and non-fiction selections. 


This unit covers the following standards -

Next Generation Science

1.SFa Observe and analyze the external structures of animals to explain how these structures help the animals meet their needs.

1.SFf Obtain and share information to explain that patterns of behaviors between parents and offspring promote survival.

1.SFg Use observations and information as evidence that animals form groups of varying size and to describe how being part of a group can help individuals survive.

Reading Standards

1.  Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

2.  Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.

3.  Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.

7.  Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

Reading Standards for Informational Text

1.  Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

2.  Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.

5.  Know and use various text features to locate key facts or information in a text.

6.  Distinguish between information provided by pictures or other illustrations and information provided by the words in a text.

7.  Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas.

10.  With prompting and support, read informational texts appropriately complex.

Writing Standards

2.  Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.

3.  Write narratives in which they recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include some details regarding what happened, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure.

5.  With guidance and support from adults, focus on a topic, respond to questions and suggestions from peers, and add details to strengthen writing as needed.

6.  With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.

Speaking and Listening Standards

1.  Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

2.  Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.

5.  Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feeling.

6.  Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation.

Language Standards

1.  Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

2.  Demonstrate a command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

6.  Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being tread to, and responding to texts, including using frequently occurring conjunctions to signal simple relationships.

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