Subject(s): Science, English Language Arts
Grade Level(s): 9, 10
Computer for Presenter, Internet Connection, LCD Projector, Speakers/Headphones, Microsoft Office
Resource supports reading in content area:Yes
Keywords: kiwi, genome, species, lineage, New Zealand, text complexity, lesson plan
Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
- Discuss the impact of geographical isolation on the speciation of kiwis.
- Describe how the kiwi population has diverged into different genetic lineages and, as a result, increased biodiversity.
- Cite specific and relevant text evidence to support analysis of the text.
- Use vocabulary strategies to define academic and domain-specific words in the text.
- Construct a written response that clearly establishes a main point(s), contains relevant textual evidence to support the main point, utilizes transitions to maintain flow, effectively uses domain-specific vocabulary, and provides an appropriate conclusion.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
- Students should be familiar with the kiwi's biological niche and general characteristics. This to the San Diego Zoo site provides information to be used as needed.
- Students should be familiar with the different mechanisms involved in speciation, specifically geographical isolation. This Khan Academy tutorial provides information on both ideas.
- Students should be familiar with the idea of adaptive radiation. The classic example usually taught to students involves the Galapagos finches, which are mentioned in this article. This PBS site provides background on this idea.
- Students should understand the geographic locations discussed in the article. This link providesmap of the area.
- Students should be able to infer that as new genetic lineages are discovered, the biodiversity of an area increases.
- Students should have prior experience utilizing various vocabulary strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words in a text. For this lesson, prior experience in using context clues to determine the meaning of words in a text would be beneficial. In addition, students should have some dictionary skills that will enable them to look up words with multiple meanings and determine the most appropriate meaning based on how a word is used in a text.
- Students should be aware of text features that can help them locate information when reading a text. The text features in the article used in this lesson include the title, headings, photograph, and caption.
- Based on the rubric provided with this lesson, students should be able to respond to a writing prompt in a clear, organized manner that includes use of an introduction to establish the main point(s), a body paragraph(s) that support the main point(s) and includes relevant and specific textual evidence, and a conclusion that supports the main point(s).
- Students should have some awareness that use of transition words or phrases can help a piece of writing flow smoothly from one point or idea to the next.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
- What new information has this study provided regarding the kiwi population?
It was originally thought there were only three species of kiwi birds living in New Zealand: the great-spotted, the little-spotted, and the brown kiwi. As scientists began to study the brown kiwi, they were able to determine the brown kiwi was actually three different species. As scientists began to study blood samples and compare kiwi genomes, they realized there were actually 11 distinct lineages that exist today and 6 lineages that have gone extinct.
- Why has the kiwi population been able to diverge into many different genetic lineages?
When populations become isolated, they will evolve separately depending on the environments they are in and can diverge genetically from the original population. In the case of the kiwi bird, scientists believe glacier activity in New Zealand provided physical barriers that separated the populations. As a result, kiwis began to rapidly diversify, producing new lineages. Scientists are still not sure whether each of the different lineages represent separate species or subspecies. However, the diversity of the kiwi bird surprised the scientists involved in the research.
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
- Begin the lesson by asking students what they know about New Zealand.
- Some students might know it is an island nation found in the Pacific Ocean, others might be aware of its proximity to Australia, and others might only know it as the place where the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed.
- Ask students if they are familiar with any native animals found in New Zealand.
- Some students might be able to name a few marine mammals such as seals and whales that live in the surrounding waters.
- Some might name animals that are found in Australia rather than New Zealand. Correct students if they mention marsupials found in Australia, like kangaroos. Inform students the only mammals native to the country are bats and marine mammals, but that there are a variety of reptiles, birds, and fish.
- Next, specifically show students a picture of a . Inform students they are looking at a kiwi bird. Explain to students that the kiwi is an iconic animal found in New Zealand that is studied in great detail because of its unique behavior and concern about its declining numbers.
- Show the following National Geographic video clip on the Kiwi. Have students take note of the behavior and physical appearance of the bird.
- Explain to the students the video clip showed a brown kiwi, but there are other species and subspecies of the bird. Let them know they will be reading a National Geographic article that discusses the genetic diversification of the kiwi and how scientists believe glaciers played a role in this process.
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
- Pass out a paper copy of the online article "," or make it available to students electronically.
- For discussion purposes, the teacher may want to have students number each paragraph of the article. If using an electronic copy of the article, students can use a PDF mark-up tool (several tools are available as free downloads).
- Provide each student with a note-taking guide. Have students complete this guide during or after their first reading of the article. Make sure to provide print or online dictionaries for students to use for the vocabulary section.
- Based on the needs and skills of students, teachers can decrease the number of academic or domain-specific vocabulary students will define on the note-taking guide.
- For academic vocabulary, students will likely be able to use a variety of vocabulary strategies to define the meaning of the words. For domain-specific (in other words, subject-specific) vocabulary, students will typically need to draw on prior knowledge, use context clues, and/or use a dictionary to define the words.
- Students can work individually, in pairs, or in small groups.
- If students struggle with determining the meaning of the selected academic vocabulary, teachers might use the following tips to help them:
- Wont (Paragraph 1): a custom or habit. Students will likely need to use a dictionary or a website to determine the meaning of the term.
- Pipsqueak (Paragraph 3): one that is small. Students should be able to use contextual clues to determine the meaning of the word based on the repeated use of "little" to describe the kiwi.
- Extinct (Paragraph 5): no longer existing or alive. Students should use the context clue of "living" kiwis and then be able to infer that extinct is the opposite of alive.
- Endearing (Paragraph 5): beloved or admired. Students may be able to use context clues to determine the meaning of this word based on the comparison of the kiwi to Galapagos finches. If they appear to have problems, have them use a dictionary.
- Sessile (Paragraph 9): not moving about. Students will need to use a dictionary or a website to determine the meaning of the term. There are several definitions of this term, so they should substitute the definition in the reading and see which one fits best.
Formative Assessment (How will teachers check for student understanding?):
- Teachers can check students' understanding by collecting their completed note-taking guides, checking their work, providing written feedback, or grading the assignment. Or, teachers can have students share out their responses and the teacher can provide verbal corrective feedback, allowing students to make corrections to their work during the discussion.
- Teachers can use this sample answer key to help them assess students' answers (scroll down in document).
- For discussion of students' answers to the defined vocabulary words, teachers are encouraged to not only ask students to explain the meaning they determined for a word, but the strategy they used to arrive at that meaning. This will allow the teacher to provide alternative suggestions as to how the student could have arrived at the correct meaning of the word.
Common errors/misconceptions to anticipate and how to respond:
- Students may have a hard time understanding the process of speciation. The different species of kiwi are either geographically or reproductively isolated from each other. It is important to emphasize the difference to students and events that lead to each. The Khan Academy tutorial on speciation should be used by both teacher and student if there are questions on the concept.
- Students might believe flightless birds are at a disadvantage, but they have evolved other adaptations that allow them to be successful. The following Audubon site discusses adaptations five flightless birds have, including the kiwi.
Independent Practice: What activities or exercises will students complete to reinforce the concepts and skills developed in the lesson?
Provide each student with a copy of the text-dependent questions to complete. Students should be reminded to continually refer back to the text and to use relevant and specific evidence from the text to support their answers.
Formative assessment (How will you check for student understanding?):
- Teachers can check students' understanding by collecting their answers to the text-dependent questions, checking their work, providing written feedback, and maybe grading the assignment. Or, teachers can have students share out their responses and the teacher can provide verbal corrective feedback, allowing students to make corrections to their work during the discussion.
Common errors/misconceptions to anticipate and how to respond: Please see the answer key for the text-dependent questions (scroll down in the document).
Closure: How will the teacher assist students in organizing the knowledge gained in the lesson?
- Before students complete the writing prompt for the summative assessment, review the responses to the text-dependent questions completed earlier by the students. Make sure the misconceptions are corrected and the key points (as found in the sample answer key) are discussed.
- After students' written responses have been graded and returned with feedback, teachers might wish to use the provided sample response with the class. Students who are struggling writers can benefit greatly from seeing a well-organized, detailed written response. The teacher could show the sample response on an overhead or with anLCD projector and discuss some of the following:
- Have students examine how the topic is introduced in the opening sentences of the introductory paragraph and have them identify the main point of the piece. Brainstorm with students other ways the writer could have opened the piece.
- Have students examine each of the body paragraphs and explain how each supports the main point of the piece.
- Have students identify where the writer effectively uses text evidence from the article for support of his or her points.
- Have students identify the use of transition words or phrases that make the ideas flow.
- Ask students to identify where domain-specific vocabulary is used accurately and effectively.
- Have students read the final paragraph to see how the writer wrapped up the piece and connected back to his or her main point established in the introduction.
- Have students sketch out 3 pictures/diagrams they feel best represent the main ideas found within the article. Allow students students approximately 10 minutes to work on this assignment.
- Allow students to get into groups and share with others what they believe the main ideas were and discuss them. Collect the assignment and check for basic understanding.
- Students will individually respond to the writing prompt. They should be directed to respond with a multi-paragraph response with a clear introduction, body section, and conclusion. They can refer back to the text as they construct their response.
- Provide students with a copy of the rubric and go over it with them so they will know how their written response will be assessed.
- Go over the writing prompt with students and make sure students understand what it is asking them to address:
- Using evidence from the text, explain and support with details the impact isolation had on the speciation of the kiwi. Why are these results so relevant to the conservation of the kiwi?
- Teachers will use the rubric to assess students' written responses.
Specific suggestions for conducting Formative Assessment can be found in the Guided Practice and Independent Practice phases of the lesson where it says, "How will you check for student understanding?"
Feedback to Students
Specific suggestions for conducting Feedback to Students can be found in the Guided Practice and Independent Practice phases of the lesson where it says, "How will you check for student understanding?"
Accommodations & Recommendations
For students struggling with the science content:
- For those having difficulties with the process of speciation and how it can occur, allow them to watch the following animated tutorial on the mechanisms of speciation.
- Students may enjoy looking at the hatching of kiwi chicks and monitoring their progress at the Zooborns site.
For readers struggling with the text:
- It might benefit students to break the text into sections (the introductory section can be section one, and the other sections can be broken up based on the headings in the text). Have students independently read section one, and then have several strong readers read section one aloud.
- Then, have students highlight (on their copy of the text) the vocabulary from the note-taking guide that appears in section one. The teacher can work with students to model ways to define a few of the vocabulary words to get them started. Then students can work independently to define the meanings of the remaining words for that section. Students can report out their meanings and receive feedback from the teacher. This process can be repeated for the other two sections of the text if needed.
- Note: Depending on the needs and skills of the students, the following words are not included on the note-taking guide but might need to be added for students to define: transits, accommodate, inflicted, unregulated, corridors.
- Finally, have students complete the concept organizer on the first page of the note-taking guide, share out their answers, and receive feedback on their work.
For struggling writers:
- It might help students to provide them with an outline to help them structure their written responsesforthesummative assessment. The outline might include places for them to record:
- Ideas on how to introduce the topic
- A place to write down their main point(s)
- Topic sentences (the first sentence of each body paragraph that will reveal the point of the paragraph and will connect to the paper's overall main point)
- Specific evidence from the text for support in each body paragraph
- Ideas for transition words
- Ideas for use of selected vocabulary
- Ideas on how to wrap up their piece and connect back to the main point(s)
- Have students study the evolutionary history of flightless birds and their relationships to each other. There are a variety of resources available as well as that show the evolutionary history of the divergence of different species. The following National Geographic Article "Why Fly? Flightless Bird Mystery Solved, Say Evolutionary Biologists" can be assigned to explore this topic.
- Have students explore the conservation efforts to protect the kiwi bird. The Department of Conservation site provides information on the different statuses of the different species as well as some of the threats to the bird and what can be done.
- Have students research the history of glaciation in New Zealand and its impact on the country and organisms that live there.
Suggested Technology: Computer for Presenter, Internet Connection, LCD Projector, Speakers/Headphones, Microsoft Office
For teachers who would like more support in understanding and implementing Reading Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects into their science curriculum, please see the teacher tutorials featured in the section of this lesson's CPALMS resource page labeled "Attached Resources."
The text's grade band recommendation reflects the shifts inherent in the standards and is based on a text complexity analysis of a quantitative measure, qualitative rubric, and reader and task considerations.
Source and Access Information
Name of Author/Source: Ellen Muse
District/Organization of Contributor(s): Brevard
Access Privileges: Public
* Please note that examples of resources are not intended as complete curriculum.