The fifth grade activity presented here is a modified version of a common cookbook approach to teaching animal adaptations. The original activity gave step-by-step directions that provided few opportunities for students to be engaged in deep thinking. In presenting our version of the activity, we make clear the critical role of the teacher in promoting higher order thinking and engagement. This animal adaptation activity helps students understand how the structure of various bird beaks determines the type of food it can successfully acquire and eat. This activity addresses two common misconceptions: that animals choose their adaptations and that animals adapt within their lifetime. This makes clear to students that “No, birds cannot build-a-beak!” The activity presented here promotes National Science Education Content Standards A and C, as well as Iowa Teaching Standards 1, 2, 3, and 4.
Iowa Science Teachers Journal
© Copyright 2007 by the Iowa Academy of Science
Larson, Katherine and Kemp, Mandy
"Can a Bird Build-a-Beak? Using Inquiry to Address Student Misconceptions about Animal Adaptation,"
Iowa Science Teachers Journal: Vol. 34
, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/istj/vol34/iss2/4