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Critterpages: Denali National Park and Preserve

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Summary

Students will identify the basic needs of organisms and classify organisms found in local ecosystems as producers or first-, second-, or third-order consumers. The students will identify ways organisms adapt to factors in an ecosystem. The students will identify ways human interaction can directly alter habitats.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • America The Beautiful Quarters

Objectives

Students will identify the basic needs of organisms that must be met in order to carry out life processes. The students will classify organisms found in local ecosystems as producers or first-, second-, or third-order consumers. The students will identify ways organisms adapt to factors in an ecosystem. The students will identify ways human interaction can directly alter habitats.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Science

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts

Grades

  • Seventh grade
  • Eighth grade

Class Time

Sessions: Four
Session Length: 45-60 minutes
Total Length: 151-500 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • Writing process
  • Social network
  • Habitat
  • Producers
  • Consumers
  • Predator/prey
  • Niche
  • Community
  • Terrain
  • Adaptations
  • Citing sources

Terms and Concepts

  • Quarter
  • Obverse (front)
  • Reverse (back)
  • Climate
  • Dall Sheep
  • Denali National Park

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector (optional)
  • 1 overhead transparency or electronic version of:
    • “Denali Quarter Reverse” page
    • “Critterpages Template” worksheet
    • “Critterpages Page Rubric: Dall Sheep”
  • Copies of the following:
    • “Critterpages Template”
    • “Critterpages Page Rubric: Dall Sheep”
    • “3-2-1 Peer Evaluation” worksheet
  • 1 class map of the United States with Alaska in the proper location
  • Copies of age-appropriate texts that contain information on Alaska and Dall sheep, such as:
    • Alaska by Shelley Gill
    • Denali National Park and Reserve by David Aretha
    • Alaska by Joyce Johnston
    • Unique Animals of Alaska by Tanya Lee Stone
  • Chart paper
  • Age-appropriate materials that provide information about Alaska and the Dall sheep such as Internet sites, videos, textbooks, reference materials, and other texts.
  • Computers with Internet access

Preparations

  • Make an overhead transparency or electronic version of each of the following:
    • “Denali National Park Quarter Reverse” page
    • “Critterpages Template” worksheet
    • “Critterpages Page Rubric: Dall sheep”
  • Make copies of each of the following:
    • “Critterpages Template” worksheet (1 per student)
    • “Critterpages Page Rubric: Dall Sheep” worksheet (1 per student)
    • “3-2-1 Peer Evaluation” worksheet (3 per student)
  • Gather age-appropriate texts that contain information on Alaska and Dall sheep (see examples under “Materials”).
  • Arrange to use the school computer lab for four sessions.
  • Locate materials for partner research that provide additional information about Alaska and the Dall sheep (see examples under “Materials”).
  • Bookmark Internet sites that contain information about Alaska and the Dall sheep.
  • Make a three-column chart labeled “Sheep,” “Mountain,” and “Alaska.”

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/112.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Display the “Denali Quarter Reverse” overhead transparency or photocopy. Locate this site on a class map. As background information, explain to the students that the United States Mint began to issue the quarters in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program in 2010. By the time the program ends in 2021, there will be a total of 56 designs on the back of the coin. Each design will focus on a different national site—one from each state, territory, and the District of Columbia.
  2. With the students, examine the coin design. Have the students identify the images and the writing included in this design. Focus specifically on the sheep, the mountain, and the word Alaska. Ask the students for information on any of the three.
  3. Display the 3 column chart labeled “Sheep,” “Mountain,” and “Alaska.” Write down any prior knowledge the students have of the three words.
  4. Locate Alaska on a classroom map. Note its position in relation to your school’s location. Locate Mount McKinley on the map of Alaska.
  5. Explain to the students that they will be finding answers for the following four questions about the design on the coin.
    • What type of sheep is pictured on the coin and what are three facts about this particular sheep?
    • What mountain is pictured on the coin and what is its claim to fame?
    • When was Alaska admitted to the Union and what climate is found there?
    • Why was the Denali National Park originally established and by whom?
  6. Divide the students into groups of four and have one student in each group research one of the questions. The students can look in the printed materials provided or search preselected sites on the Internet.
  7. When students have finished their research, have them share answers within their groups.
  8. Have groups share with the class and fill in the three-column chart.
  9. Reinforce the concept that the park was originally established as a preserve for the Dall sheep.

Sessions 2 and 3

  1. Review the chart from the previous session. Remind the students that Denali National Park was initially established to preserve the habitat of the Dall sheep. This is one way to protect animals. Another way is to inform people about the particular animal and how it lives and survives. The more information we know about a particular animal, the easier it is to protect it.
  2. Explain to the students that there are many web sites that give information about pets and animals. Explain to the students that they will be creating a fictional web page on a fictional web site called Critterpages to tell about the Dall sheep.
  3. Display the “Critterpages Template” overhead transparency and review the template with the students. Explain to the students that they are researching the answers to the questions listed on the template. The students will then use their answers to create the page. Review the parts of the page and the questions with the students. Distribute the “Critterpages Template” to the students.
  4. Distribute the “Critterpages Page Rubric: Dall Sheep.” Display the rubric and review it with the students. Review with the students information relating to copyright and plagiarism. Review with the students how to cite sources.
  5. Have the students use the printed texts or take the students to the computer lab to complete their research.
  6. Allow the students time to write their sections, emphasizing the use of the writing process.

Session 4

  1. Review the charts and the rubric from the previous sessions.
  2. Allow the students time to complete their sections emphasizing the use of the writing process.
  3. When students have finished their pages, set up a publishing center for the final drafts. Distribute the “3-2-1Peer Evaluation” worksheet and review the directions with the students. Have the students read three other students’ pages and complete an evaluation sheet for each one they read.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Allow students to work in pairs or small groups on the actual page.
  • Simplify the questions on the template.
  • Provide a sample page on another animal from Denali National Park.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have the students create pages on the other animals found in the Denali National Park.
  • Post students’ pages on the school or class Web page if available.
  • Have the students write positive comments on each other’s pages.
  • Take anecdotal notes about the students’ participation in class discussions.
  • Use the rubric to evaluate the students’ worksheets and projects for understanding of the lesson objectives.
There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.7 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 7
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes
Standards:

  • W.7.1. Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
    • Introduce claim(s), acknowledge alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.
    • Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
    • Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), reasons, and evidence.
    • Establish and maintain a formal style.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.
  • W.7.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
    • Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
    • Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
    • Use appropriate transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
    • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
    • Establish and maintain a formal style.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.
  • W.7.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
    • Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
    • Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
    • Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another.
    • Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.
    • Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: SL.7 Speaking and Listening
Grade(s): Grade 7
Cluster: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • SL.7.4. Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
  • SL.7.5. Include multimedia components and visual displays in presentations to clarify claims and findings and emphasize salient points.
  • SL.7.6. Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grade 7 Language standards 1 and 3 for specific expectations.)

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: SL.8 Speaking and Listening
Grade(s): Grade 7
Cluster: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • SL.8.4. Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
  • SL.8.5. Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest.
  • SL.8.6. Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grade 8 Language standards 1 and 3 for specific expectations.)

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.7 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 7
Cluster: Production and Distribution of Writing
Standards:

  • W.7.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
  • W.7.5. With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1–3 up to and including grade 7.)
  • W.7.6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and link to and cite sources as well as to interact and collaborate with others, including linking to and citing sources.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.7 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 7
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standards:

  • W.7.7. Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions for further research and investigation.
  • W.7.8. Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
  • W.7.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
    • Apply grade 7 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Compare and contrast a fictional portrayal of a time, place, or character and a historical account of the same period as a means of understanding how authors of fiction use or alter history”).
    • Apply grade 7 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g. “Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims”).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.8 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 7
Cluster: Production and Distribution of Writing
Standards:

  • W.8.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
  • W.8.5. With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1–3 up to and including grade 8.)
  • W.8.6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas efficiently as well as to interact and collaborate with others.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.8 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 7
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standards:

  • W.8.7. Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
  • W.8.8. Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
  • W.8.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
    • Apply grade 8 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws on themes, patterns of events, or character types from myths, traditional stories, or religious works such as the Bible, including describing how the material is rendered new”).
    • Apply grade 8 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., “Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; recognize when irrelevant evidence is introduced”).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.8 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 7
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes
Standards:

  • W.8.1. Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
    • Introduce claim(s), acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.
    • Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
    • Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
    • Establish and maintain a formal style.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.
  • W.8.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
    • Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
    • Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
    • Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
    • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
    • Establish and maintain a formal style.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.
  • W.8.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
    • Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
    • Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, and reflection, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
    • Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence, signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another, and show the relationships among experiences and events.
    • Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.
    • Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events.

Discipline: Science
Domain: 5-8 Content Standards
Cluster: Life Science
Grade(s): Grades 5–8
Standards:

  • Structure and function in living systems
  • Reproduction and heredity
  • Regulation and behavior
  • Populations and ecosystems
  • Diversity and adaptations of organisms

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Use of Spoken, Written, and Visual Language
Grade(s): Grades 5–8
Standards:

  • Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Strategies to Writing
Grade(s): Grades 5–8
Standards:

  • Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.