During this unit students observe, describe and discuss the relationship of organisms to their environments. Students distinguish between living organisms and non-living materials. Students will observe and record how the living organisms depend on non-living materials. Opportunities should be given for students to observe organisms from various environments, such as ocean, desert, artic, and forest.
According to Research
All students, especially those who live in circumstances that limit their interaction with nature, must have the opportunity to observe a variety of plants and animals in the classroom, on the school grounds, in the neighborhood, at home, in parks and streams and gardens, and at the zoo. But observing is not enough. The students should have reasons for their observations—reasons that prompt them to do something with the information they collect. The reason can be to answer the students' own questions about how organisms live or care for their young. Some students may enjoy displaying, with drawings, photographs, or even real specimens, all the living things they can find where they live. The point is to encourage them to ask questions for which they can find answers by looking carefully (using hand lenses when needed) at plants and animals and then checking their observations and answers with one another.
American Association for the Advancement of Science. (2009). Benchmarks on-line. Retrieved from http://www.project2061.org/publications/bsl/online/index.php?chapter=5