Animals Lesson 2: Talk and Writing

Talk and Writing

At this stage in the unit, the students will be learning Foundational Knowledge and Practice that is important for the rest of the unit. The table below shows specific talk and writing goals for this phase of the unit. 

Talk and Writing Goals for the Foundations Phase

Teacher Talk Strategies That Support This Goal

Curriculum Components That Support This Goal

Treat this as background information.

We want to talk about a few basic practices and some basic knowledge to prepare us for the unit.


Listen for student ideas about matter and energy at different scales, and attend to wrong ideas.

What is happening to matter and energy at ______ scale? Who can explain?

Are you in the macroscopic scale or the atomic-molecular scale?

Who can explain that at a different scale?

The PPT that “Zooms into” the macroscopic subjects of the unit: a leaf, a potato, air, fossil fuels, etc.

Examine student ideas and correct them when there are problems. It’s ok to give the answers away during this phase! Help students practice using precise language to describe matter and energy at different scales.

Let’s think about what you just said: food molecules. What are food molecules?

Are you talking about matter or energy?

Remember: atoms can’t be created. So that matter must have come from somewhere. Where did it come from?

Let’s look at the molecule poster again… is carbon an atom or a molecule?

Let’s revisit our scale poster… what is happening to matter at a macroscopic scale?

Powers of Ten Poster

Molecule Poster

Three Questions Poster


Grade student ideas. 


There is a quiz during this phase of the unit to help you decide if your students are ready to move on.