Module Anchor Phenomena—3–5

Module Anchor Phenomena—3–5

Phenomena supply students with a strong foundation to fully engage with their learning by offering them exciting and tangible examples of science in the real world. Phenomena also provide the chance for student inquiry—allowing them to ask questions as they observe each phenomenon and take on the role of scientists! This inspires them to discover more about the world around them and develop a lifelong love for STEM. We’ve put together some of the Anchor Phenomena your students will encounter in Twig Science for Grades 3–5—plus some fun facts that might surprise you.

Grade 3, Module 2: Welcome to the Biodome

Module Anchor Phenomenon: Two painted lady butterflies have similarities and differences as they grow and change, but only one of them is eaten by a bird. How do plants’ and animals’ life cycles help them survive?

Did you know? In ecology, crypsis is the ability of an animal or a plant to avoid observation or detection by other animals. Many butterflies are protected by their darkly colored camouflage, often blending in with their natural surroundings by folding their wings to reveal a carefully patterned underside. Some butterflies, too, protect themselves using the opposite kind of pattern—bright colors help them signify to predators that they’re highly toxic. A lizard, for example, that might eat such a butterfly will remember the experience—and won’t repeat it!

Grade 3, Module 3: How to Survive an Ice Age

Module Anchor Phenomenon: Some types of squirrel can survive in the Arctic, while other types cannot. What is the relationship between an organism and its environment?

Did you know? The Arctic ground squirrel—also known colloquially as a parka—is a cute little rodent that lives in the arctic areas of North America and Russia. Part of the reason why it survives so well in its harsh environment is due to its exceptionally long hibernation period, which can be as long as nine months of the year—longer than any other animal! As well as seasonal changes in body mass, the animal also has a summer and a winter coat that sheds and changes in color according to the seasonal conditions.

Grade 3, Module 4: Weather Warning HQ

Module Anchor Phenomenon: It is warm in Sydney, Australia, on New Year’s Day. What is the weather like around the world?

Did you know? Have you ever heard that the Earth is closer to the Sun in summer, and further away in winter? While the idea might make sense, it’s actually incorrect! The Earth’s orbit is, in fact, imperfect and is lopsided rather than a perfect circle. But that’s not all—in the northern hemisphere, we experience winter when the Earth is closest to the Sun, and summer when it is farthest away! You might think this difference in the Earth’s axis would influence our weather, but at more than 150 million kilometers away, it doesn’t affect it much.

Grade 4, Module 1: Egg Racers

Module Anchor Phenomenon: Race cars slow down quickly when they drive over gravel traps. What happens to energy when objects collide?

Did you know? When you hear the word “collision” you may automatically think about a car crash or two people knocking into each other—in short, an accident. While these examples are true, there are countless examples of the transfer of energy between objects that are not necessarily unpleasant or accidental! More helpful illustrations of “collision” or “impact” could be a baseball bat hitting a ball, two billiard balls on a pool table, or even just clapping your hands together. Take a high-five, for example. A high-five is an elastic collision because the two hands bounce off each other and, in fact, is the perfect example of Newton’s third law of motion—If A pushes on B, then B pushes on A equally as hard in the opposite direction.

Grade 4, Module 2: Sparks Energy, Inc.

Module Anchor Phenomenon: Some parts of the United States generate more electricity from wind power than others. How do people produce and transfer energy for their use?

Did you know? Our global reliance on fossil fuels has improved in recent years, with approximately 28% of the world’s electrical energy now being generated by renewable energy sources. Of course, preserving our natural environment and combating climate change isn’t the only incentive to switch to sustainable energy sources. Renewable energy generation actually creates up to five times more jobs than is required in the fossil fuel industry while, in the case of wind and solar energy production, actually producing cheaper energy!

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