Animals Including Humans

Science Year 3/4 The Circle of Life

Our amazing planet is teeming with life from the depths of the oceans to the highest mountains. But every living thing is dependent on other living things for its survival. Every animal needs to eat plants or other animals. Plants need rich soil to grow strong and healthy and soil is made rich for growing by the decomposing remains of plants and animals that were once alive. It is an endless circle of life. Your task is to share this amazing never ending story with an audience through dance, music and narration.

Session 1 Food for Thought

Objectives

How are all living things dependent on one another? Discover that the answer is, the incredible Circle of Life! Energy is transferred from one living thing to another through the food they eat and the nutrients they need. But how are nutrients absorbed by the body? Learn the mysteries of the human digestive system through some exciting practical enquiries.

Science Objectives
i) Describe the simple functions of the basic parts of the digestive system in humans

Working Scientifically

  1. Asking relevant questions and using different types of scientific enquiries to answer them
  2. Setting up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests

Other Curriculum Areas

PE - Dance: Perform dances using a range of movement patterns

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Teaching PowerPoint


Additional Resources (per group)

  • Several pairs of old, clean tights with the legs cut off (one leg per group of 2-3 children)
  • A small fruit, e.g. apple or tangerine
  • A banana
  • 2 cream crackers
  • Scissors
  • A plastic tub
  • A teaspoon
  • A sealable plastic food bag
  • 2 paper cups (one with approx. 50ml orange juice in, and the other containing 50ml water)
  • A foil tray
  • A piece of kitchen paper

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • To understand that all living things depend on one another for nutrition.
  • To investigate the parts and function of the digestive system through a practical demonstration.


Activities

  1. Use everyday objects to demonstrate peristalsis and the other workings of the digestive system
  2. Label and explain the function of the various parts of the digestive system
  3. Create movement patterns to demonstrate the way peristalsis works in digestive tubes to move food along and the way the stomach can churn, stretch and contract to mix food with acid


Investigation
Introduce the concept of The Circle of Life and the outcome of a dance performance to share with an audience. All living things need nutrition and animals need to eat. Why? For energy. How do animals get energy from food? Learn the function of the digestive system through movement and games (classifying and identifying, problem solving)
Year 3- Arrange parts of the digestive system in correct sequence and label
Year 4 – Arrange parts in the correct sequence, label and annotate


Vocabulary
Digestion, digestive system, organ, saliva, peristalsis, oesophagus, stomach, acid, intestines, faeces

Session 2 Good Digestion

Objectives

Use your knowledge of the digestive system to play a team game and learn even more about what happens to our food as it travels through our bodies. Begin to work on presenting this information to an audience through narration and dance.

Science Objectives
i) Describe the simple functions of the basic parts of the digestive system in humans

Working Scientifically

  1. Asking relevant questions and using different types of scientific enquiries to answer them
  2. Identifying differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes

Other Curriculum Areas

English (Yr4s):

  • Compose and rehearse sentences orally
  • Assess the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing and suggesting improvements

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Y3 Task sheet - enough copies for groups of 2-3
  • Y4 Task sheets

Additional Resources

  • Y3 children; Metre sticks, a large ball of string, pieces of card (to make labels), marker pens
  • Pens & pencils
  • Access to the internet and non-fiction books on digestion (optional)
  • A large space for the plenary, e.g. hall or gym
  • A music player with some suitable music to move to (classical orchestral would work particularly well)

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • To learn and use appropriately the scientific vocabulary of the digestive system.
  • To understand and describe the process of digestion.


Activities

  1. Play a team game to reinforce learning on digestion and extend knowledge further (Yrs 3&4)
  2. Either write a narration script to explain part of the digestive system (Yr4) or solve a matching puzzle to create 8 fascinating facts on the digestive system (Yr3)
  3. Create movement sequences to music that illustrate digestive processes which can be performed during the narrated explanatory scripts (Yrs 3&4)


Investigation
What actually happens to the food? How do the nutrients get into the body? Explore what actually happens with a practical task (exploring, observing)
Year 3- Write a narration script for the mouth and stomach sections of the process using key prompt words
Year 4 – Write a narration script for the small and large intestines


Vocabulary
Saliva, peristalsis, oesophagus, stomach, enzymes, gastric acid, bowels, villi, colon, rectum, anus, faeces

Session 3 Something to get your teeth into

Objectives

Are all your teeth the same? No! You need the right tooth for the job! Can you puzzle out which teeth bite, grip, tear, crush, grind and chew? You will learn their scientific names and the reason for their strange shapes.

Science Objectives
i) Describe the simple functions of the basic parts of the digestive system in humans
ii) Identify the different types of teeth in humans and their simple functions

Working Scientifically

  1. Making systematic and careful observations (of their teeth)
  2. Identifying differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Task sheets to support the Y3 and Y4 tasks

Additional Resources

  • Class set of small safe mirrors
  • A plate of apple quarters with the skin on and the core removed -1 quarter per child
  • Modelling clay, e.g. Plasticine™, ideally pink and white - enough for Yr3s to each make a model of their teeth
  • Pens & pencils
  • Scissors
  • Glue sticks

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • To make close observations of the process of biting and chewing to investigate the role of different types of teeth.
  • To name the 4 different types of teeth and explain their function within the mouth.

Activities

  • Eat a slice of apple and observe the function of different teeth in biting and chewing (Yrs 3&4)
  • Either write an explanation of the structure and function of the 4 types of teeth (Yr4) or create a model of their lower teeth, drawing each type and matching the name with a description (Yr3)
  • Play an active game to embed knowledge of the shape/function of the 4 types of teeth (Yrs 3&4)


Investigation
What can we tell about an animal from looking at its teeth? Look at our teeth and those of different creatures. What types of teeth are there and what do they do? Relate differences to diet. (observing) Make a plasticine model of their lower set of teeth
Year 3- Match labels and annotations
Year 4 – Match labels write own annotations


Vocabulary
Jaw, incisors, molars, premolars, canines, tear, grind, chew, gums, enamel, acid, bacteria, tooth decay

Session 4 Animal Detectives

Objectives

It’s time to use your detective skills to work out why animals vary so much from one another. What can you tell about an animal by looking at its teeth or its poo? Learn how an animal’s diet can affect these things and much more besides! Create an animal mask and research its special features ready to use in the Circle of Life presentation.

Science Objectives
i) Describe the simple functions of the basic parts of the digestive system in humans
ii) Identify the different types of teeth in humans and their simple functions

Working Scientifically

  1. Reporting on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions
  2. Identifying differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes

Other Curriculum Areas

Art: Improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials (paint and collage)

You Will Need

Additional Resources

  • Paper plates - 1 per child
  • Acrylic paints in animal colours, e.g. shades of brown, yellow, grey etc.
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paper & card in animal shades
  • PVA glue
  • Scissors
  • Pencils & pens
  • Masking tape
  • Tissue paper
  • Felt tips
  • Egg boxes
  • Collage materials, e.g. cotton wool, fabrics, string
  • Access to the internet for research
  • A copy of ‘The Mole who knew it was none of his business’ by Werner Holzwarth and Wolf Erlbruch
  • Either some thread, elastic or some garden canes to enable children to use the masks (this can be done at any point before Session 5)


Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • To understand that every animal is adapted to its own particular life style and habitat including its teeth.
  • To research and present information on the teeth, diet or digestion of a chosen animal.


Activities

  1. Play an active game that encourages chn to think about distinctive features and adaptations of different animals (Yrs 3&4)
  2. Explain the different diets of carnivores, herbivores and omnivores and know how you can deduce an animal’s diet by studying its teeth (Yrs 3&4)
  3. Create an animal mask from a paper plate and either complete 3 simple sentences and research a dietary fact on their chosen animal (Yr3) or write a paragraph on their chosen animal using their own research (Yr4)
  4. Begin to understand why an animal’s poo varies according to its diet, life style and health (Yrs 3&4)


Investigation
Create animal masks to use in the dance. Are all animals the same in the way they digest food? No! Why? Because their diet is different. Investigate different animals – their diet, digestion and droppings. Revise vocab: Herbivore, Carnivore and Omnivore. (analysing secondary sources)
Year 3- Research 3 key facts on their chosen animal
Year 4 – Write a short paragraph on their chosen animal for the dance narration


Vocabulary
Herbivore, carnivore, omnivore, diet, features, adaptations, life style, survival, predator, prey

Session 5 Predator or Prey?

Objectives

Where does all energy on planet Earth come from? Yes, 93 million miles away! How does it transfer from one living thing to another? Yes, it’s the incredible circle of life! Create your own food web that explains this amazing relationship between all living things and discover who are the producers, consumers, predators and prey!

Science Objectives
i) Construct and interpret a variety of food chains, identifying producers, predators and prey

Working Scientifically

  1. Gathering, recording, classifying and presenting data in a variety of ways to help in answering questions
  2. Recording findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts, and tables

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • To understand the terms predator, prey, producer and consumer and use them to describe the relationship between living things.
  • To construct a food chain/web and use it to consider the interconnectivity of living things.

Activities

  1. Play an active mime game to reinforce the feeding behaviours of herbivores, carnivores & omnivores (Yrs 3&4)
  2. Construct a food web and use it to derive information on predators, prey, producers and consumers, either independently with unfamiliar organisms (Yr4) or with some support using more familiar organisms (Yr3)
  3. Understand, reason and discuss the interconnectivity between living things in a food web (Yrs 3&4)

Investigation
How are the animals and plants on earth interconnected? Investigate food chains and food webs, predators, prey, producers and consumers. (analysing secondary sources) Create food chain dance sequences with narration to show the relationship between each thing.
Year 3- Draw the food chain and label producers, consumers, predators and prey
Year 4 – Write a narration script to accompany the food chain dance

Vocabulary
Herbivore, carnivore, omnivore, food chain, food web, producer, consumer, predator, prey, energy

Session 6 The Amazing Circle of Life!

Objectives

So what happens to the top predator at the end of the food chain? Does all that amazing food energy disappear? No! It is recycled back to the earth so the whole process can begin again, but how does this happen? Discover the secrets of the fabulous team of decomposers - nature’s wonderful recyclers!

Science Objectives
i) Describe the simple functions of the basic parts of the digestive system in humans
ii) Identify the different types of teeth in humans and their simple functions
iii) Construct and interpret a variety of food chains, identifying producers, predators and prey

Working Scientifically

  1. Making systematic and careful observations
  2. Reporting on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • A set of 1-6 hold up cards per group of 3-4 children from the Resource Pack - alternatively give each group a 1-6 set of digit cards or a number fan


Additional Resources

  • A tub of cubes or counters (to award as game points)
  • Specimens to show decomposers at work: some mushrooms, or better still some decaying wood that has some fungi growing on it (if you can find some), some mouldy or mildewed fruit, e.g. over ripe strawberries, plums or grapes with mouldy “bloom” on them, some mouldy bread in a sealed clear plastic bag, some soil with decaying leaf mould in it and ideally some creatures that are decomposers along with it, e.g. woodlice, centipedes etc.
  • Magnifying lenses and/or binocular viewers
  • Pencils & pens
  • Paper


Weblinks
Food chains and food webs in animals from www.bbc.com

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • To identify a variety of decomposers and scavengers including fungi, bacteria, invertebrates and birds.
  • To understand the crucial role played by decomposers in recycling nutrients back to the soil at the end of the food chain and use appropriate scientific vocabulary to explain this.

Activities

  1. Play a team game to help identify a variety of decomposers and learn more about them (Yrs 3&4)
  2. Make some close observations of decomposers and the evidence of the decomposition process using magnifying lenses (Yrs 3&4)
  3. Write an explanation of the role of decomposers either by doing a cloze procedure (Yr3) or by using key words to write an explanatory paragraph (Yr4)
  4. Take part in a Circle of Life Quiz to review their knowledge and understanding of this block of learning (Yrs 3&4)


Investigation
How is the circle of life completed? Understand the role of decomposers in returning the nutrients to the soil. What is the role of the sun? How can we show this in dance? Plan the sequence with music – some with whole class some sections in groups.
Year 3 /Year 4 Work together in mixed groups with higher expectations of year 4s


Vocabulary
Scavengers, decomposers, breakdown, recycle, plus all vocab previously taught in this block