• CCB Science pages 156 - 165



  • Give characteristics of vertebrates

  • Explain the difference between warm- and cold-blooded animals

Key Concept

  • Vertebrates are animals with backbones. They have more developed systems than invertebrates.


Tier 2 reflex
Tier 3 amphibians

Evidence-Based Reading

  • Multiple-Meaning Words: Point out that the word amphibious is used in contexts other than life science and biology. Tell students that the Greek prefix amphi- means both. Challenge students to guess the meaning of the word amphibious in the following sentence: Hunters use amphibious vehicles to travel through shallow streams and over rough ground.

21st Century Skill

  • Flexibility and Adaptability: Emphasize that we often cannot choose events that occur, but we can choose our responses; an individual can choose to remain flexible and adaptable. Point out that such challenges often lead to personal growth.

Writing Practice

  • Remind students to make sure they understand the diagram before attempting to write. Have students share their final paragraphs with the class. Ask students to describe some advantages of using a diagram to show how to use an electronic device. Point out that many products are sold internationally and purchasers may speak many different languages.

Before Lesson

Determine students’ readiness for learning about vertebrates by asking students to brainstorm a list of characteristics all vertebrates share. List them on t he board and have students debate whether these characteristics are shared by all vertebrates, by most, by some, or by a few.


Students can explore their own skeletal systems by pressing on the bones in their hands, wrists, elbows, knees, and ankles. All animals with backbones share this internal skeletal structure, although the specific bones may vary. Some animals have more bones and some have fewer. The bones may be larger or smaller. As students go through the lesson, have them compare the skeletal systems in each kind of vertebrate.

Guided Practice

  • Vertebrates
    • Cold-blooded Animals
      • Fish
      • Amphibians
      • Reptiles
    • Warm-blooded Animals
      • Birds
      • Mammals

Core Skill

Follow a Multistep Procedure: Guide students in reviewing the numbered steps in the procedure for preparing a wet mount. Point out that the last step (directing the reader to start on one side of the drop of water when lowering the cover slip) reduces the chance of introducing air bubbles into the wet mount.

Analyze Author’s Purpose: Ask students to state which of the author’s methods- words or diagram-made it easiest for them to understand metamorphosis. Ask students to explain what makes the method they chose most useful to them.


Elaborate Language: Discuss and define additional common words associated with vertebrates with which students might not be familiar. Ask students to identify words from the lesson that may be unfamiliar, such as shrew like, platypus, kangaroo, opossum, or marsupial.

Classify Mammalian Pet Species: Assign groups of students to research several mammalian pet species. Have students organize their findings in a report that classifies each species as a good pet species or a bad pet species. Have students cite evidence supporting their classification of each species as a good or bad pet.

Lesson Review