How do animals receive and respond to different types of information? How do animals use the information to guide their actions and behaviors within their environments? In this unit students explore these questions by learning about animal senses and then engaging in several activities and a simulation where they experience first-hand how to perceive their surroundings and use the information to make decisions and guide their own behaviors. The unit culminates in a design challenge where students develop an animal model with input sensors and then create a decision tree that demonstrates how the animal processes and responds to information.
- Students are able to describe how animals use their senses for survival
- Students are able to describe, and identify uses for objects without using sight for sensory perception
- Students are able to use a simulation to evaluate the effect of limited sensory perception on decision making
- Students are able to create a decision flow chart that predicts animal behavior based on environmental conditions
- Students are able to develop a model of an animal with input receptors to describe how it would behave given different types of sensory information
Students watch videos to learn how animals perceive the world around them. Students discuss how animals use this information for survival in Lesson 1 (SL.4.1). In Lesson 2, student use senses other than sight to perceive different objects and then research potential uses for the objects (W.4.7). Students play a game of “Bat and Moth” in Lesson 3 to emphasize sensory perceptions affected by distance and sound and identify patterns reflecting decisions made to attain the moth. Lesson 4 provides students with an opportunity to create a decision flow chart to show how the bat might behave due to its sense receptors under certain environmental conditions (4.OA.C.5). The Design Challenge lesson allows student to engage in the design process and develop a model of an animal with specific sense receptors and explain how their animal might respond to different types of sensory information (4-LS1-2).
Co-created by Campbell Union School District teachers