Genesis 1:25 says, “God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals, each able to produce offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good.” Some people believe that the different physical traits or behaviors given to animals occurred over long periods of time to survive their environments while others believe that God designed animals in their kinds from the beginning to survive their environments even after the Fall of Man. Looking at the different traits of plants and animals brings out two very different worldviews, one void of a Creator God and one acknowledging the Creator God. It is important in reading science books to understand these two worldviews so that you know what you are reading.
Its Designed to Do What it Does Do
While I thought this book might be too young for my 2nd and 3rd graders, it actually turned out that the googly eyes were a hit. Through this book, we learned all about different kinds of animals and their unique characteristics that were designed from the beginning as part of their kind.
Throughout the book, the students were led line by line to drawing a mysterious animal. It turned out to be a sheep to remind us of Jesus, the Lamb of God.
Science Fact versus Science Idea
Remember that science should not be a faith or a religion, it is a process for figuring out the world around us. Science changes all the time because we are discovering new things all the time. So in order for something to be a science fact, it must meet three criteria:
Identifying Worldview in books
Adaptation can be a loaded word. It means one thing to some and another to others depending on your worldview. However, you can tell which worldview a book is speaking from by how they address the idea of adaptation.
If the book you are reading believe that physical traits of organisms develop over long periods of time, you are reading a book from an evolutionary standpoint.
If you are reading a book that points out God's purposeful design from the beginning, then you would be reading a book from a Creation standpoint.
Adaptation itself is defined as the physical traits or behaviors that allow an organism to be better suited for its environment. We can learn about the adaptations without getting into the 'how' they came about. The cards below are just the facts, just the adaptations we have seen (observed) from animals.
Animal and Plant Adaptation Matching Cards
These cards have both animals and plants and their amazing abilities to live in their designated environments. I, personally, believe that our Creator God was very purposeful and intentional about how He made Creation. This is consistent with His character throughout scripture. Since science changes all the time, I trust the God who created who never changes.
Genesis 3:21 “And the LORD GOD made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.” Before the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden, did animals need defenses? I don’t think so. They didn’t need them because there was no death. However, today, we have a lot of death and animals consume other animals for energy as part of the food chain. Yet, even though all of Creation deserved death at the Fall, God, in His love, provided 1. Covering and Clothing for Adam and Eve and 2. defenses for the animals like the Texas Horned Lizard. Sometimes we mess up but you can know you are still loved because God will continue to provide for us even when we mess up.
Cooperative Review: Building Towers
Since we have been learning so much about Biomes and Ecosystems, we will be spending a portion of time during class reviewing all that we have been learning in the class.
Today our review game was cooperative. Each student is asked a review question, either from geography, vocabulary or the biome and ecosystem information given in the last eight weeks. When they answer, they will get a block. I am not a stickler about if they answer it right the first time. The goal is to review and as long as the students are participating, they get a block because we are all still learning. The important thing is to remain engaged in the learning process.
At the end of the questioning time, I will give them about five minutes to see how tall they can build their towers.
We used Jenga blocks in class and both classes went straight to the game-playing structure and I challenged them to think outside that box. They did and some were successful. It was fun.
Read Aloud: Texas Horned Lizards by Emily Hudd
The students and I fell in love with these little lizards. While they look pointy and scary, they really are magnificent creatures.
This book highlighted about five defenses the horned lizard has and since we live in Texas, this is our state reptile.
There is a reading guide that we read aloud together. The points to fill in do not come in the order of the book, so as we read we found where to fill in the information. This was a great way to activate listening. All the students at the end of class, were able to tell me at least one defense of the horned lizard.
Animal and plant defense cards
Both animals and plants have defenses. After the Fall of Man, death entered, yet, God in His goodness did not leave everything to die, but provided defenses as a way of protecting His creation from death.
This is a matching game where at first, they are to match the animal to the defense. Then they can scramble and flip the cards over to play a memory game. Finally, we learned about three types of animal defenses; Fight, Flight, and Trickery. They can sort the defenses on the cards into these three sections. Scientists sort and organize information all the time.
John 7:38-39- "Whoever believes in Me, as the scripture has said, "Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. Now this He said about the Spirit whom those who believed in Him were to receive for as yet the Spirit has not been given because Jesus was not yet glorified."
Jesus is our living water through belief in Him and He offers it freely to us. As the Living Water flows into our hearts and minds, we need to be careful to let it flow out of us. Let us not be a spiritual beaver and build walls to stop the flow of living water that we are to share with others.
This book is a great read aloud for a group of active students. The text is simple using short sentences. Every other page has an illustrated picture of what is being said about Rivers and Streams.
The topics that are covered by this book are:
While I am reading aloud to the students, they can follow along with the topics using this reading guide. This also serves as a wonderful review tool for parents who might not have access to the book.
Some of the characteristics of a beaver are:
Lego Dam Investigation
In honor of the beaver, we made Lego Dams to attempt to keep flowing water back.
This last Lego Dam was successful! It was able to keep all the water back from the other side of the tray. Way to Go!!
Rivers and Streams Ecosystem
This has all the parts of the rivers and streams that we learned from Cathryn Sills book as well as wonderful flora and fauna. Plus the students continue to learn about the food chains in each ecosystem.