Module 3-Science 4B - Course Guide

Module Overview:

In this module, students will learn about the history of life on Earth. Students will learn about the essential characteristics of living things. Students will learn about cells and the structure and function of some plant and animal cells.

Module Materials:

Lesson # Lesson Title Material(s)
1 History of Life on Earth pen or pencil
digital or physical materials to create a visual of organisms from geologic time periods (optional)
sponge (no scrubber side)
plastic cup
bath salts (such as epsom salts--they must contain magnesium sulfate)
2 Characteristics of Life pen or pencil
1 apple (optional)
an earthworm (in a jar with soil) (optional)
1 rock (optional)
2 drinking glasses (optional)
leaf (optional)
4 shallow trays (could be cookie sheet, pie tin, cake pan, etc.) (optional)
50 cereal o's (optional)
50 dry spaghetti sticks (optional)
50 marbles (optional)
50 raisins (optional)
timer (optional)
toothpick (optional)
pair of tweezers (optional)
clothespin (optional)
spoon (optional)
brown paper lunch bag (you could substitute a medium-sized bowl) (optional)
3 Animal and Plant Cells pen or pencil
1 box of gelatin (optional)
1-gallon plastic bag with zip seal (optional)
fruits and candies (optional)
markers (optional)
materials to make a model (optional)

Module Objectives:

Lesson # Lesson Title Objective(s)
1 History of Life on Earth
  1. Describe how the type of organisms living on Earth has changed over time.
  2. Describe how fossils can provide evidence about the plants and animals that lived long ago and the nature of the environment at that time.
  3. Explain how fossils can be compared to one another and to present day organisms to find similarities and differences.
2 Characteristics of Life
  1. Describe the basic needs of all living organisms.
  2. Explain how organisms rely upon their environments.
  3. Give examples of plant and animal structures that serve essential functions.
3 Animal and Plant Cells
  1. Describe the building blocks of life.
  2. Describe the structure and functions of an animal cell.
  3. Describe the structure and functions of a plant cell.
  4. Compare animal and plant cells.

Module Key Words:

Key Words
trace fossils
natural selection
geologic time
animal cell
plant cell

Module Assignments:

Lesson # Lesson Title Page # Assignment Title
2 Characteristics of Life 11 Polar Bear Zoo

Learning Coach Notes:


Module Guiding Questions:

When a student starts a lesson ask them questions to check for prior knowledge and understanding and to review concepts being taught. At the end of the lesson ask the questions again to see if their answer changes.

Lesson Title Question
History of Life on Earth
  1. How long has life existed on Earth?
Characteristics of Life
  1. What are the characteristics of living things?
Animal and Plant Cells
  1. What is the difference between an animal cell and a plant cell?

Module Video Questions:

When a student watches a video take time to ask them questions about what they watched. Suggested questions for the videos in this module are listed here. Suggestion: Have the student watch the entire video first all the way through. Then have them watch the video a second time, as they watch it pause the video and ask the questions.

Lesson Title Video Question
History of Life on Earth Events in Earth's Past
  1. What kind of events can change Earth's geology?
  2. What is the Geologic Time Scale?
  3. What are the 4 major time periods in the Geologic Time Scale?
  4. What was the Precambrian time period like?
  5. What was the Paleozoic Era like?
  6. What was the Mesozoic Era like?
  7. What is the Cenozoic Era like?
History of Life on Earth Fossils
  1. What are the different types of fossils?
  2. How is each type of fossil formed?
  3. How are fossils found?
History of Life on Earth Fossils as Evidence of Change
  1. What have we learned from fossils?
History of Life on Earth Natural Selection
  1. What causes organisms to change over time?
History of Life on Earth Natural Selection 2
  1. What role does animal adaptation play in natural selection?
Characteristics of Life Characteristics of Living Things
  1. What are the Basic Needs of Living Things?
  2. What are the groups of different living things?
  3. What are the life processes?
  4. What is sensitivity?
  5. What is respiration?
Characteristics of Life Magic School Bus: All Dried Up
  1. What is the desert like?
  2. What are some animals and plants that live in the desert?
  3. What adaptations do plants and animals have that help them survive the desert?
Characteristics of Life Adaptations
  1. What are 5 things you learned about adaptations from this video?
Animal and Plant Cells The Magic School Bus Goes Cellular
  1. What are 5 things you learned about cells from this video?
Animal and Plant Cells Characteristics of Animals
  1. What does multi-cellular mean?
  2. What do all animal cells have?
  3. What are other characteristics of animals?
  4. What is tissue?
  5. What are organs?
Animal and Plant Cells Plant Cells
  1. What are the parts of a plant cell?
  2. What are 5 things you learned about plant cells from this video?

Module Suggested Read Aloud Books:

Take time to read to your student or have them read aloud to you. Read a different book each day. While reading the book point out concepts being taught. You may purchase these books or find them at your local library. Suggested things to discuss while reading the book:

  • What is the main idea?
  • What are three things new you learned?
  • How does this book relate to what you are learning about?

# Book Author Lexile Level
1 When Fish Got Feet, When Bugs Were Big, and When Dinos Dawned: A Cartoon Prehistory of Life on Earth Hannah Bonner 1010L
2 Living Things and Nonliving Things: A Compare and Contrast Book Kevin Kurtz AD470L
3 The Basics of Cell Life with Max Axiom, Super Scientist Amber J. Keyser

Module Outing:

Take some time to apply what your student is learning to the real world. Suggested outings are below.

# Outing