Grade 6: Bee Tongues Shrinking


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Reading in Science and Technical Subjects

RST.6-8.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.

RST.6-8.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

RST.6-8.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.

RST.6-8.10 By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 6-8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.

Writing in Science and Technical Subjects

WST.6-8.9 Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis reflection, and research.

WST.6-8.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for reflection and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

Florida Science Standard

SC.7.L.17.2 :Compare and contrast the relationships among organisms such as mutualism, predation, parasitism, competition, and commensalism.  Belongs to: Interdependence


This Grade 6 lesson titled “Bee Tongues Shrinking” from CPALMS Lesson Plan Development Initiative has a Science (or an ELA/Literacy) instructional time of one hour and 40 minutes. In this lesson, students analyze an article that explains an evolutionary adaptation as a result of climate change. As they read the article – working individually, in pairs, or in small groups – students use organizers to list key events from the text, record unfamiliar vocabulary, as well as their questions about the text, using teacher support as needed. Students then individually answer text-dependent questions as they reread the text before sharing responses in a class discussion guided by the teacher. As a culminating activity, students individually write a multi-paragraph narrative response from an insect’s perspective about a question posed, referring back to the text and using vocabulary words from the lesson as they construct their response.


Connecticut teachers should be aware that the lesson plan lists its standards for both literacy and science with Florida labels; while the literacy standards listed above use the Common Core labeling, the wording remains the same. Science teachers will have to determine if the standard listed above aligns with Connecticut’s science curriculum expectations for grade 6. The teacher notes and preparation materials will require familiarity to be used effectively, especially regarding the prior knowledge students need. Although samples are provided for student work and a writing response rubric, the use of a common core-aligned rubric that elicits direct, observable evidence of the degrees to which students can independently demonstrate the targeted standards listed above is suggested. There are no Speaking and Listening standards listed and there could be since students are involved in discussions. If ELA teachers are using this lesson, they should add the comparable ELA/Literacy CCSS.

Click here for link to ELA/Literacy CCSS 


This lesson is a good example of how to focus on challenging sections of a complex informational text. It engages students in a productive struggle through text-dependent questions and other supports that gradually build toward independence. The lesson plan addresses instructional expectations and is easy to understand and use. Materials include: a detailed lesson plan, learning objectives, prior knowledge students will need, guiding questions, and multiple quality attachments that enhance the lesson activities. This lesson could easily be taught in Science or ELA classes.