Area: Plants and Animals
This Third Grade unit is the THIRD in the curriculum of four (4) units developed to address the Third Grade science standards of the Michigan Science Standards related to Plants and Animals.
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**Based on the Michigan Science Standards, this unit allows for local, regional, or Michigan specific contexts or examples in teaching and assessment.
Therefore, as we think about how to address the performance task and this overall unit, links to the following information are very intentional (though are not intended to be limiting). Many plants and animals are specific to Michigan's environment which is quite diverse. Even within freshwater environments there is great diversity - wetlands including bogs and swamps, rivers and creeks with either fast or slow moving water, ponds or lakes - with great variation in size, depth and average temperatures. Along with the diversity of water environments and habitats we find tremendous variety of living organisms - large and small, common and uncommon. Michigan (and surrounding states, as well as Canada) is also very diverse in landforms, nutrients and topography which provides variation in habitats and ecosystems.
Organisms interact with the environment and their habitat in a systemic way. How well each plant or animal survives in its habitat is very dependent upon the traits passed on to each organism from their parents. Traits help certain plants and animals survive well, survive less well or not survive at all within various habitats.
Conditions within habitats are constantly changing. Sometimes change within a habitat is significant enough that some organisms (plants and animals) can no longer survive because the habitat no longer meets the needs of the plant or animal. Sometimes the change in habitat results in a new type of habitat which better suits of plants and animals that have different traits than the organisms which once lived in a geographic area.. Michigan fossils indicate and provide evidence that the habitats found today which meet the needs of many plants and animals surviving well here, are very different from what used to live here long ago.