Creature Features

2nd and 3rd Grades
Millcreek Elementary School



   Why do animals live where they do?

Academic Expectations & Demonstrators

Things in the environment are classified as living, nonliving, and once living. Living things differ from nonliving things. Organisms are classified into groups by using various characteristics (e.g., body coverings, body structures).

· Differentiate between the characteristics of animals.

· Classify animals according to how (born live or hatched) and where(on land or in water) they bear offspring.

· Group animals according to their body coverings (eg. Fur, feathers,scales, and skin).

· Differentiate between animals with backbones (vertebrates) and without backbones (invertebrates).

Organisms have basic needs.

· Animals need air, water, shelter, space, and food.

· Organisms can survive only in environments in which their needs can be met.

Animals have life cycles that include the beginning of life, growth and development, reproduction, and death. The details of a life cycle are different for different organisms.

· Observe and compare the egg, larva, pupae, and adult stages of several different insects (mealworms and butterflies).

· Observe and describe the lifecycles of different animals.

· Record changes in organisms as they pass from one life cycle stage to another in metamorphosis.

All animals depend on plants. Some animals eat plants for food. Other animals eat animals that eat the plants.

· Observe animal behaviors and interactions using the terms predator and prey.

· Classify animals by their feeding relationships, (i.e. first and second order consumers). Design and conduct investigations (set up a terrarium) to determine feeding relationships.

· Diagram a food web or chain.

The world has many different environments. Distinct environments support the lives of different types of organisms. When the environment changes, some plants and animals survive and reproduce, and others die or move to new locations.

· Identify a variety of habitats and animals associated with them.

· Predict the effect on the population of an organism if the death rate of its food source (plant or animal) is increasing or decreasing.

· Investigate factors that influence biotic potential.

All organisms, including humans, cause changes in the environment where they live. Some of these changes are detrimental to the organism or to other organisms; other changes are beneficial (e.g., dams built by beavers benefit some aquatic organisms but are detrimental to others).

· Investigate the effect that an over population has on the environment.

WR-E-1.4 Transactive writing is informative/ persuasive writing that presents ideas and information for authentic audiences to accomplish realistic purposes like those students will encounter in their lives.

· Children will create a feature article on an animal of their choice.

Essential Questions:

· How do adaptations allow animals to survive?

· How does an organism’s basic needs relate to its environment?

· What happens to animals when there is a change in its environment?

· How do animals grow and change?

Culminating activity:

The students will research to create a feature article on an animal from their classroom’s chosen environment (rain forest, ocean, desert, and rivers/lakes). This feature article will address the essential questions and will be used as a transactive writing piece for their student portfolio. These articles will be compiled into a newsletter for publication and distributed to the student body at Millcreek Elementary.


See Kentucky Writing Assessment (Holistic Scoring Guide)

Content Knowledge


Instructional Sequence

Week 1: Introduction:

Week 2 and Week 3: Rainforest

Week 4 and Week 5: Oceans

Week 6 and Week 7: Rivers/Lakes

Week 8 and Week 9: Desert

Week 10: Unit wrap-up


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