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Tread Lightly: The Truth About Science Friction

Science Scope—February 2009

During a recent unit on characteristics of animals in different environments, “backyard safari” trips around the schoolyard provided opportunities for students to describe ways that animals are adapted to their unique environments. This led to a discussion of how polar bears have adjusted to living in the arctic. Therefore, students’ questions provided an opportunity to make natural connections between the life science topic—characteristics of organisms and their environment—and properties of objects and materials in physical science. Using broad themes that encompass concepts in several science strands helps students to develop understanding of the “big ideas” of science—in this case, form and function.
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