Animals in Action

Life Science Activities for Grades 5—8

Written by Katharine Barrett

The classroom corral used in this unit serves to focus attention on the animals gently placed inside, allowing students to observe the behavior of a gerbil, the movements of a cricket, and other compelling characteristics of animals in action.

Observing the contained animals closely, the class adds foods, shelters, and other elements to the "corral environment," exploring the concepts of stimulus and response. As other questions are introduced—How do animals move? What do they prefer to eat? How do they respond to light and sound?—students generate hypotheses and test their validity through behavior experiments with rats, crickets, guinea pigs, cardboard boxes, and common classroom objects. The class concludes the unit with a scientific convention to discuss findings.

This unit makes an excellent connection to the GEMS guide Aquatic Habitats, another unit in the GEMS series that explores animal behavior, habitat, and conservation.

Time: Five 45-minute sessions, plus follow-up sessions.

Comment on this GEMS unit.

Animals in Action

Ordering information

Literature Connections

Spanish Language Student Materials

What materials are needed to present this unit? See the full list.

Lawrence Hall of Science    © 2019 UC Regents. All rights reserved.    Contact GEMS    Updated February 06, 2021