Nature's Transformers - CA & NV - 1st Grade


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In this four-lesson unit students will build literacy skills while learning about biomimicry; the process of using nature to help solve human problems. Through the integration of Nevada Academic Content Standards for Science as well as Content Standards for Language Arts, students will work collaboratively to read informational text, gather information, practice asking questions based on their observations, and discuss ideas with peers to develop solutions to human problems using the natural world as a guide. This unit includes three 1-hour classroom lessons followed up by a half-day field study at a local park. 

To supplement the lessons taught by Sierra Nevada Journeys and Great Basin Institute, the teacher will also have access to our extension curriculum. The extensions include a pre-unit lesson, extension activities for the in-school and field based lessons, and a post-unit lesson to wrap up the program. All students participating in the curriculum will also receive a free literacy kit including activities and a book that can be used at home to build family involvement in literacy and science instruction. 

Lessons Overview

LESSON 1: With a Tail Like This? 

During this 60-minute lesson students will explore the relationship between the structure of an external part and its function through the study of various animals. Students will read an informational text along with the teacher and use a graphic organizer to write and draw about the structure and function of external parts that animals use to survive.  

LESSON 2: relating structure and function

During this 60-minute lesson students learn about the way organisms have adapted to survive, grow, and meet their needs; specifically, students will investigate ways nature has solved problems through the development of adaptations. During the lesson students begin to identify problems, ask questions about the topic, and gather information about the ways nature has solved a problem to help humans.   

LESSON 3: designing solutions

During this 70-minute lesson students learn more about the concept of biomimicry as it relates to humans; specifically, the ways humans have used nature to help them solve problems. Students will listen to a story about the engineering design process and develop solutions to human problems using nature as a guide. The students will work in small groups to practice designing solutions to given problems. During the lesson students will listen to a story and practice developing a solution to a human problem by mimicking nature. 

LESSON 4: field study

During this 3-hour field study students journey to Galena Creek Regional Park for an outside experience with Great Basin Institute.* Students will explore real life examples in nature of how organisms use their adaptations of external parts and functions to help them survive, and connect how those adaptations in nature have helped humans solve problems.

*Only for schools in Nevada

Book Your 1st Grade Program

To book Nature's Transformer, just click on one of the links below. When prompted to choose grade/program, please select 1st - Nature's Transformers.

Return to all Classrooms Unleashed Programs to see the school districts we serve in Nevada and California.

teacher information


This lesson is developed for Nevada Academic Content Standards in Science and ELA, derived from Common Core and NGSS: 

Science: PE: 1-LS1-1, SE, DCI LS1.A, CC, PE: K-2-ETS1-1; ELA: RI.1.7, W.1.2, W.1.7