Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Baby It's Cold Outside!

...not really! It's been about 65 degrees or warmer the last few days, which is about 20 or more degrees than our average -not your typical NJ November!

On to the topic of this post: teaching about warm and cold bloodedness!
This is another one of those science topics that I always got frustrated with because all I could really do was have my students make predictions and then have them do research or tell them which animal groups were cold-blooded and which were warm-blooded. There really wasn't anything past the knowledge part of Bloom's Taxonomy, and certainly no inquiry. I wanted my students to at least be able to explain how scientists prove how they know which animals have body temperatures that remain constant or change temperature according to their environment.
First I read The Magic School Bus Gets Cold Feet  to my students. They began to form a definition of what the two terms meant, which animals were cold-blooded, and which were warm-blooded. We used the Scholastic lesson plan and lab sheet that went along with the book. Click here to download it.

Then I came across The Infared Zoo at Cool Cosmos, a website created by the California Institute of Technology. It shows students infared images of different animals taken at a teaching zoo. These pictures show a lizard - and how its body temperature has changed over time. Students use the color key to determine an estimate of the body temperature of the animal and discuss why they think each part would be warmer or colder, or what could cause an animal's temperature to drop or rise rather than staying constant.

Click the logo to visit the site!

Check out lesson plans that go with the site!

Check out my animal classification post here.

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