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ESOL Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Learning task 5

Expected time frame: 1-2 lessons

These learning activities are designed to help students identify different types of adaptation in two different organisms. Students read two information texts which describe adaptations of a carnivore and a herbivore with a focus on raising awareness of vocabulary meanings and parts of speech and the use of action verbs.

Ensuring learners know the content and language learning outcomes

  • Share the learning outcomes, including language learning outcomes, with your students, for example:
    • I understand the adaptations of a carnivore
    • I understand the adaptations of a herbivore
    • I can guess word meanings using context clues
    • I can identify action verbs in a scientific description
    • I can identify countable and uncountable nouns in a scientific description
    • I know how to use articles correctly in a scientific description

Providing many opportunities for academic language use with a focus on using authentic language

1. Identifying different types of adaptations in two different organisms

  • Guessing word meanings from context
    Ask students to read the text Adaptations (Word 36KB), making a list of any words they do not know. Dictionaries are not to be used yet. Ask students to find a partner and read him/her the list of words comparing unknown words and work together to guess the meaning from context. Students can then read the list again using a dictionary to check the meanings of any words still unknown.
  • Describing adaptations
    Ask students to name one animal which is native to their own country and describe some of its adaptations. Tell a partner about this animal.

Giving learners many opportunities to first notice then use new language

  • Reading about the adaptations of a carnivore

    Ask students to read Adaptations of a carnivore (Word 27KB) .

    Check that the students know the meaning of all the Keywords (Word 19KB) .

    Ask students to write out all the verbs which describe the actions of the bird in this text (what a bird does). In paragraph 1, for example, the two verbs which describe the bird's action processes are ‘get’ and ‘eats’.

    Ask students to write down the numbers of each paragraph and write down the missing words. Answers can be checked with a partner or the teacher.

  • Reading about the adaptations of a carnivore

    Ask students to read Adaptations of a Herbivore (Word 44KB) .

    Ask students to write down at least three words from this text that can have a different meaning. They write out another meaning of each of these three words.

    Ask students to check that they know the meaning of all the words in the word box.

    Display the Types of Nouns (Word 24KB) resource. Discuss the differences between countable and uncountable (or mass) nouns. Point out that a countable noun can be used with an indefinite article - a or an - in front of it (eg. a caterpillar). The use of ‘the’ for general reference with singular nouns (e.g. the bird / the caterpillar) and zero article with plural nouns (e.g. birds / caterpillars) should also be pointed out to students.

    Ask students to head up two columns - countable nouns and uncountable nouns - and write all the nouns referred to in the Types of Nouns (Word 24KB) resource into the correct column. Students must not write each word more than once.

    Ask students to write down the missing words and the paragraph numbers from Adaptations of a Herbivore (Word 44KB) . Students check answers by taking turns to read the sentences aloud with a partner and saying the missing words.

Include opportunities for monitoring and self-evaluation

2. Metacognitive monitoring

Students complete this self-checking activity:

  • If I close my book, can I explain one type of adaptation to a partner and can I remember the names of all three types of adaptations and say and spell them correctly?

    Ask students to complete the ‘end of the unit’ column in the learning grid (Word 2007 17KB) .

    Discuss this with students and use the information to identify any areas requiring further teaching and learning for individual students before they are summatively assessed.

Published on: 09 Jan 2018