The Life systems topic for Grade 2 is the study of the patterns of Growth and Changes In Animals. The best way to undertake investigations in this topic is with the observation of live animals in the classroom. There are many ways this can be done. A classroom pet is an excellent way to teach the students how to care for an animal properly by meeting all its needs.
Collecting insects and building terrarium homes for them is one way but is more temporary as these small creatures should be placed back into their environments fairly quickly. Rabbits, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, mice, lizards and so on are all examples of more "permanent" pets which are easily obtainable as is the information on how to take care of them. But they are limited in terms of observing the complete life cycle of an animal first hand. For this reason, it is beneficial to have a "temporary" pet such as a mealworm or butterfly caterpillar where students can observe and record all the stages of growth and change.
All investigations in this book suggest materials and live animals that can be easily obtainted for the students to observe. There is an assessment task with each activity and an overall Assessment at the end of the Unit in the form of a culminating activithy. Throughout the book, you will find other resoruces listed to supprort this Unit. It is important that students follow established safety practices in all investigations. These practives include: Washign one's hands after handling plants, animals, and soils. Following instructions for touching or smelling any substances under investigation. Working only with supervision near a pond or other body of water during outdoor activities.