The following lessons are directed towards students about ages seven to eleven years. Younger students, excluding more advanced pupils, may not be able to retain all the information. Also, some degree of literary competency is involved beyond basic phonics. But- you know your class (or at least we hope you do) and all other matters pertaining to these lesson plans are left to your discretion.
Depending upon time and preference of depth vs. breadth, these lessons may be altered, rearranged, substracted, or added upon. Be creative! (It is recommended that you print out the information sheet0 on this page) If you are interested, it is also recommended that you use the Kids' World section of our web site to complement the lessons. Here is the basic outline of the lessons:
Introduction to Sponges
1) Give each student a peice of paper and ask them to draw a sponge as they think it is and write a definition in their own words. Don't give any indication that the discussion will be about porifera. After about five minutes, invite students to share their pictures and definitions. After a few minutes or when someone hits upon the right concept, continue with discussion.Learning the Information
2) Ask other students to define a sponge in animal terms. As a class, brainstorm a definition. Then, think of ways to describe a sponge. Also, ask students to say what they think of when they think of a sponge. Pass around a couple pictures of sponges so that students can actually see what a real sponge looks like. For really good pictures, we recommend that you look in the August 1998 issue of Smithosian magazine. This magazine contained an article entitled, "The Incredible Sponge."
3) Then, pass out the information sheets. These sheets should probably be kept within each student's notebook so that they are not lost. Another alternative would be to turn each of the sheets into transparencies for class discussion. Orally review the information. Then, have students underline terms, sentences, and phrases that they thought were most important.
1) From the information page, have each student choose ten words that they thought were important. Have them create a poem, story, picture, or other creative expression that incorporates these terms. Invite students to share with the class.Evaluation
2) In groups, assign the students to work on the Sponge Mysteries Activity. When the worksheet is finished, it will reveal a word (porifera). Encourage students to work cooperatively and use other resources, especially our website.
3) To help review key terms, have students complete the Word Search.
4) If you have time, have students play the game on our web site.
1) Play Spictionary- pictionary with sponges. Create cards with an important term on each card. Divide students into groups. Each team will, in turn, select a representative, who will choose a card. He/she has ninety seconds to illustrate the term so that the team guesses it. Each time a team guesses correctly, give them three points. If a team does not guess correctly, give them a chance to make up two of the points by correctly guessing what the word is when the team member creates a definition. Rotate the representative in each team so that each student has a turn. When each student has represented his/her team onece, end the game and add the bonus points. These points may be used as extra credit or bonus on the quiz.
2) Review for the quiz.
3) Administer the quiz.