Desired Learner Outcomes:

Students will be able to…Students will know…
Describe characteristics of an organ system
how to:
Compare the advantages of aquatic and terrestrial environments for animalsIdentify sources in print and non-print media

Compare the mechanism of food getting and digestion in a variety of animalsEvaluate sources for credibility
Explain how some animals can exist without specialized organs for oxygen-carbon dioxide exchangeSelect material to support the assignment
Describe the differences between open and closed circulatory systemsDocument sources using an established citation method
Explain the role of the nervous system in coordinationProduce and present findings verbally using multimedia tools
State the advantages of endoskeletons and exoskeletons 
Compare the stages of development in a variety animals 
Identify relationships between the process of oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange and water balance in both aquatic and terrestrial animals 
Compare reproductive adaptations in a variety animals 



North Carolina Standard Course of Study


Goal 4
The learner will develop an understanding of the unity and diversity of life. Objective 4.01 Analyze the classification of organisms according to their evolutionary relationships.

  • The historical development and changing nature of classification systems.
  • Similarities and differences between eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms.
  • Similarities and differences among the eukaryotic kingdoms: Protists, Fungi, Plants, Animals.
  • Classify organisms using keys.
Goal 4
The learner will develop an understanding of the unity and diversity of life. Objective 4.02
Analyze the processes by which organisms representative of the following groups accomplish essential life functions including:

  • Unicellular protists, annelid worms, insects, amphibians, mammals, non vascular plants, gymnosperms and angiosperms.
  • Transport, excretion, respiration, regulation, nutrition, synthesis, reproduction, and growth and development.
Information Skills
Goal 2
The learner will IDENTIFY and USE criteria for excellence to evaluate information and formats. Objective 2.05 Determine accuracy, relevance, and comprehensiveness of information resources. Goal 4

The learner will EXPLORE and USE research processes to meet information needs.

Objective 4.05

Gather information from the most effective resources (print, non-print, electronic).

Objective 4.06

Comply with the Copyright Law (P. L. 94-553).

Objective 4.07

Organize and use information.

Objective 4.08

Credit sources of information.

Objective 4.09

Produce and present findings in various formats (print, graphical, audio, video, multimedia, web-based).

Objective 4.10

Evaluate the product.

Summative Assessment(s):

Describe Performance TasksExplain &/or Reference Criteria
presentation will be assessed on content, design and deliveryuse rubric, attached


Pre-Requisite Knowledge & Skills:

Begin with a discussion of taxonomy and classification, explaining how organisms fit into the levels of classification. Discussion may include a review of the kingdoms of life and a review of binomial nomenclature. If you plan to use PowerPoint, you may do a quick introduction to the program using the PowerPoint in a Nutshell presentation, attached below. Script for the presentation is visible in Notes view.


Follow the development of your system through the major phyla of the animal kingdom, looking for advantages or adaptations in the system. Trace the system from simple organisms, such as sponges, through to the most complex, mammals.

Working in your group, prepare a comprehensive presentation on the assigned system.

  1. Choose a representative organism from each of the sixteen listed phyla.
PowerPoint Presentations

This assignment should not be the first PowerPoint students have done.

  1. This presentation must not exceed fifteen minutes.
  2. Every group member must contribute verbally during this presentation.
  3. Sources must be credible and must be given credit in a bibliography on the last slide(s) of your presentation.
Alternative: if PowerPoint, Hyperstudio or another multimedia presentation program is unavailable, students may make posters or diagrams and present with a flip-chart.

Maintain a Journal

Students will keep a journal throughout the project for reflection, as well as for self and peer evaluation. You may choose to use some of the following prompts.

  1. My group member encouraged others with positive and constructive comments when he/she…
  2. I encouraged others with positive and constructive comments when I…
  3. My group member showed willingness to help others when…
  4. I showed willingness to help others when…
  5. My group member successfully solved a problem by…
  6. I successfully solved a problem by…
  7. I liked the group responsibilities and roles because…
  8. I disliked the group responsibilities and roles because…
  9. My group member gave ideas to the group including…
  10. I gave ideas to the group including…
  11. My group member listened to the ideas of others without judging them including…
  12. I listened to the ideas of others without judging them including…
  13. One great resource our group found was…
  14. Another way I could show my understanding of animal systems is…
Individual Assignment

A unifying theme in biology is that an organism and its environment are complementary. Animal structure is interconnected with the requirements of animal life and the means of coping with the environment. Choose one organism from any phylum and explain how that organism illustrates this principle. Discuss each system and how that system enables that organism to live successfully in its environment.


Print sources to research animal systems Materials necessary to create visuals for an oral presentation, such as poster board, overhead transparencies, etc.

Internet access and CD ROM resources, as available PowerPoint or another multi-media presentation tool, as available Data projector or other presentation device(s)

Modifications, Adaptations, & Accommodations:


Create a timeline for the project. #2 list parts and functions. #4 provide information on a lower reading level. Use native language resources.

Alternative assessment

Create a presentation and visual rubric just for the ELL’s. Allow LEP students to point when teammates are speaking.

Required Attachments:





Suggested Timeline

Day 1: Discussion of assignment, expectations, group roles, initial planning by groups

Days 2–5: Research

Days 6–10: Work on Presentation/Research

This timeline does not include the days needed for your students to present their projects. The assignment limits their presentations to fifteen minutes, encourage them to be short and to the point. Ideally, we envisioned three minutes per student for a total of twelve minutes. Individual Assignment

This assignment should be given to each student at the conclusion of the presentations. You may require the students to complete this as a homework assignment, or it can be given to them as an in class assignment. In grading this assignment, please refer to the Teacher’s Lesson Goals/Objectives, and direct students to the objectives that pertain to each system for this assignment. You want the students to demonstrate an understanding of the adaptations that each system has to function successfully in the environment. Group Selection

About two weeks before I give the students the assignment, I ask them to raise their hands if they have created a PowerPoint presentation and feel like they know this software. I write down the names of these students. When it comes time to put together groups, I make sure that every group has at least one person who is comfortable with the software.

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