Grade 4, Competency Goal 1:
The learner will build an understanding of animal growth and adaptation.
1.01 - Relate structural characteristics and
behavior of a variety of animals to
the environment in which they are typically found.
1.02 - Determine animal behaviors and
body structures that have specific growth and survival functions in a
On the board, or chart paper, list
many of the organisms found in the Belizean rain forest. In this list
include several examples of producers, consumers, and decomposers.
In earlier lessons in Belize Institute, students have already been exposed
to descriptions of these animals, their behaviors, diets, and ways
Place students in to groups of four. Explain that students have learned that the rain forest habitat is similar
to our habitat, and is also quite different. Ask students to review some
of the ways, offering similarities and differences. Students have also
learned about many of the animals that live there. On the board are some
of them. Look over the many different organisms that are listed. Ask
students if there are any organisms that they are not familiar with or
Ask students this simple, yet hard-to-answer, question: What animal
in the Belizean rain forest do you believe is the most beneficial one
there? Tell students not to answer immediately. Have
them think about what the needs of the rain forest are. Think about
the animals, and what their
adaptations are. Have each student write down their answer and explain
why they chose this animal. Include the animal’s adaptations and
any other reasons why you would choose that animal.
Next, have students share their with their group. (Allow for sharing
and discussion time.)
Then, ask students to decide as a group which one of the four animals
selected by their group is most beneficial to the Belizean rain forest.
Each group must come to an agreement as to which animal it is, and should
have a reason for its choice. (Allow time for discussion, debate, and
decision. If Internet access is available, allow groups to go online to seek
the answer.) Ask each group to present its findings, including reasons for their
decision, and to present their results in a way to convince others that
their animal is the most important.
Finally, it is time as a class to decide on the most beneficial animal
of the Belizean rain forest. Ask students to offer any other thoughts
or ideas on making this decision, and to reiterate the reason they chose
this animal. Students vote and a class consensus is reached.