I presented a modified Second Great Lesson to the boys last week. I didn't get any pictures that day, but I did today when the boys were doing some follow-up work. We are not using the Timeline of Life for our Second Great Lesson (although we do own one). If you want to read more about why I've chose to modify the Second Great Lesson you can in my post The Great Lessons and Religion.
The "script" for my Second Great Lessons begins by informally recalling that during the Creation God created all living and non-living things (work on living/vs non-living, in particular the "characteristics of living things" is good companion work to this lesson as either a prerequisite or follow-up work.). We recalled that we discussed the non-living things that God made during our First Great Lesson. Then, I read Genesis 1:1-25, pausing as appropriate to point out the non-living things we talked about during the First Great Lesson and now to point out when God makes living things. After I finish the reading, I told them that this lesson was going to focus on the living things that God created. We made a list of those things based on what they remembered from the reading of Genesis: vegetation, creatures of the sea and "every thing with which the water teams and that moves about it (an often underemphasized part, but important if you are about to talk about Prokaryotes and Protists), creatures of the air, creatures of the land. If you have already done the "characteristics of living things work" it would also be easy to point out how the Bible text emphasizes that the vegetations and creatures will reproduce and the different modes by which they will do so.
Next, I take out the chart of the Five Kingdoms (ours is from Montessori Research and Development). At this point my script segues into the story of the Five Kingdoms which I borrow KidsBiology.com. These are the specific pages I used. I had to change the name of the kingdom Monera to Prokaryote to match my chart. I think the name of the kingdom might be "Bacteria" in my follow-up chart, but we'll sort that out. Otherwise, I used the script "as-is" from the website up until it describes the kingdoms individually. I could have continued with the script here, but it was just easier to read the descriptions off the chart at that point. I printed out the first pages of the website for myself to make the presentation easy. Here is a photo (it will enlarge if you click on it):
I liked how this "story" gave a little information about the history of scientific classification and is upfront about the changeable nature of scientific classification. I also liked how it gave us an opportunity to talk about how Aristotle's classification was the same as that in Genesis One. Aristotle divided living things into two groups, Plants and Animals. He further divided animals into three groups (fly, walk, swim).
Both boys worked with the mute chart today.
They both chose to start with the control upside-down and only flipped it at the end to check their work.
I was surprised that Me Too was able to complete the chart with the control flipped. I was even more impressed that thanks to the Montessori method my first grader can both read and pronounce "Prokaryote."
The last sentence of each definition on the chart takes an evolutionary bent. I am going to just cover those sentences with roll-on, white, correction tape that I can remove later for upper-elementary.
The boys each recorded part of our work and stored it in their binders.
I have similar charts for each of the five kingdoms that can be part of our follow-up work if we wish. We will be also following-up with "the characteristics of living things," plant and animal story material, the animal adaptation game, as well as other biology work. I really hope to get to the parts of cells before we do this Great Lesson again.
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