Meet the Crayfish Lesson

Teacher: Kim Nickerson
Subject and grade level: Science, 3rd grade
Location: Newark, CA
Brief Description: Science lesson on crayfish and the structures of life (life science)
Classroom context: 2nd/3rd grade combo class (7 second grade and 20 third grade students); 10 English learners (1 Beginner, 2 Early Intermediate, 4 Intermediate, and 3 Early Advanced), and 3 Fluent-English-Proficient (FEP) students; elementary school in an urban/suburban community in Northern California.
Curriculum: Lesson Plan (adapted from the FOSS Curriculum - Structures of Life Unit) 
California Science Standards Addressed: Next Generation Science Standards: 1 - Structure, Function, and Information Processing
Learning goals:

The science learning goals for the unit were
1. Students will be able to identify the structures and behaviors of crayfish and land snails.
2. Students will be able to describe how a structure or a behavior of crayfish and land snails helps them to survive.
3. Students will be able to compare and contrast the structures of crayfish and land snails.

The language and literacy learning goals for the unit were:
1. Students will be able to communicate effectively with classmates and the teacher about the structures and behaviors of the land snail and the functions of those structures.
2. Students will be able to use concepts and academic vocabulary to complete writing activities that support concept development related to the study of land snail's behaviors, structures, and functions.
3. Students will be able to follow multi-step directions given verbally and in written form.
4. Students will be able to write legible, simple sentences that respond to prompts.

Samples of student work:

Crayfish Structures Worksheet: Scanned | Transcribed

Video transcripts: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4


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Part 1: Science talk and lesson launch


Part 2 Prepare to investigate and initial observations


Part 3 Observing and reporting 


Part 4: Lesson Closure