In small groups, students will experiment and observe the similarities and differences between human-made objects and nature. The students will compare the function and structure of hollow bones with drinking straws, bird beaks and tool pliers, and bat wings and airplane wings. A classroom discussion can be held to discuss similarities and differences that were observed along with follow up assessment activities such as journal writing and Venn diagrams
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY [1 = Least Difficult : 5 = Most Difficult]
WHAT WILL THE STUDENTS LEARN?
1.1 Identify and describe characteristics of natural (e.g. wood, rocks, wool) and human -made materials (e.g. Styrofoam, plastic, fabric).
1.2 Identify some possible uses and advantages for natural and human-made materials.
2.4 Compare natural systems with mechanical systems that are designed to serve similar purposes, e.g., bird’s wings as compared to an airplane’s wings.
Students will observe that many human-made objects get their basic design from things in nature. They will also discuss the importance of function in design.BACKGROUND INFORMATION:
See the book "Nature Got There First" by Phil Gates
Evolution: the natural or artificially induced process by which new and different organisms develop as a result of changes in genetic material
Adaptation: the process or state of changing to fit new circumstances or conditions
Survival: continuation in life or existence
http://www.velcro.com/kidzone.html - Story of Velcro
Gates, Phil. Nature Got There First. New York, NY: Kingfisher Books. 1995. pg. 7-49 - Great examples
http://wings.avkids.com/Curriculums/Birds/wing-shapes_summary.html -Activity comparing birds wings and airplane wings
Models of bonesPREPARATION:
Pictures/models of bird beaks
Pictures/models of airplane wings
Pictures/model of bat wings
Other objects found in "Nature Got There First"
Gathering Materials and photocopying comparison chart
1. Read and Discuss Nature Got There First. Pg 7-50
2. Allow the children to explore the materials, and compare their similarities and differences.
3. Have students fill out the compare and contrast chart, in groups if desired. They are encouraged to fill it with the objects provided, and with others they know about. For younger grades, you may wish to have them draw and label the objects as well as comparing them.
4. for an extension (homework perhaps) have students find three other human-made objects that are designed after something in nature.
How are things found in nature similar to human-made objects?REFERENCES:
Why are objects in nature designed the way they are?
Why do many human-made objects resemble those found in nature?
Why do things in nature look the way they do (e.g. birds’ beaks, bee’s hive, armadillo)
See Associated Download.
See Associated Download.