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                   Plants Curricular Unit         

   Developed by Joanne Boulais      

 

 

 

GRADE LEVEL 2

THEME:

    Students are naturally curious about the world around them. This unit is designed to encourage and satisfy that curiosity by providing students with the opportunity to explore various types of plants and seeds through hands on exploration, books, written materials, games, the internet, and educational software. This unit is designed to span approximately one month of instruction through scientific inquiry, which will be integrated through science, language arts, math, technology, and art.                  

 

Unit Goal: Students will understand that plants are living things with specific needs, characteristics and uses.

 

LESSONS:

What is a Plant?                           

Plant Adaptations

Plant Parts

How We Use Plants

Edible Plants

From Seed to Plant

Seeds Travel

 

Lesson One: What is a plant?

 

Goals and Objectives: Given a PowerPoint introduction to plants, students will understand that plants are living things and be able to describe their needs.

 

Content Standards Addressed:

Science

A INQ.1     Make observations and ask questions about objects, organisms and the environment.

A INQ.2     Use senses and simple measuring tools to collect data.

A INQ.3     Make predictions based on observed patterns.

A INQ.4     Read, write, listen and speak about observations of the natural world.

A INQ.5     Seek information in books, magazines and pictures.

A INQ.6     Present information in words and drawings.

 

Introduction: Initiate a discussion about plant life. Create a K-W-L, filling in information students already know about plants. Explain that they will be starting a unit during which they will learn about plants. Have the class view the Plant PowerPoint using a computer hooked up to a projector. Then add questions students may have to the chart. Hang the chart in a prominent location to refer back to throughout the unit.

 

Materials:  Plant PowerPoint, computer hooked up to a projector, crayons, colored pencils, or markers paper and pencils encyclopedias, botany or gardening books, or magazines with images and descriptions of plants computer with Internet access 

 

Procedure:

1.      After watching the PowerPoint, talk about the types of plants featured. Do all plants look alike? What needs do plants have? How do they get their food? Discuss the parts of flowering plants and the process of photosynthesis, the process by which plants make food. Talk about plants that are familiar to the students. What do they look like? Where do they grow? What are their needs?

2.      Have students choose a familiar flowering plant they would like to learn more about; tell them they will research and write a paragraph about it. Each paragraph should include the plant's common and scientific names; a description of the parts (seed, root, stem, leaves, and flower); its needs; and at least three interesting facts. Also have students draw a picture with each plant part labeled. Students may use encyclopedias, botany or gardening books, or magazines for research. The following Web sites also have useful information:

3.      Allow time in class for students to research and complete their paragraphs and drawings. Then divide the class into groups of three or four so they can share their work. Ask them to discuss within their groups the differences and similarities of the plants.

4.      Ask for volunteers to share what they learned from their research and group discussions. Review what students have learned about the needs of plants and the parts of flowering plants.

 

 Assessment:
Use the following three-point rubric to evaluate students' work during this lesson.

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LESSON TWO: Plant Adaptations

Goals and Objectives: Students will understand that each plant has special adaptations that allow it to thrive in its environment.

Content Standards Addressed:

 Science

A INQ.1     Read, write, listen and speak about observations of the natural world.

A INQ.2     Seek information in books, magazines and pictures.

A INQ.3     Present information in words and drawings.

Language Arts

1A.Students use appropriate strategies before, during and after reading in order to construct meaning.

1B.Students interpret, analyze and evaluate text in order to extend understanding and appreciation.

1C.Students select and apply strategies to facilitate word recognition and develop vocabulary in order to comprehend text.

1D.Students communicate with others to create interpretations of written, oral and visual texts.

1D.Build sight word vocabulary.

 

Introduction: Students will view various habitats and the plants that live in each.

Materials: Laptops with Internet access, copies of plant worksheet, pencil, colored pencils, crayons, markers.

Procedure:

  1. Assign each student a partner and each partnership a laptop.
  2. Partners will access the following sites; deserts, water plants, rainforests, forests, paying special attention to the habitat and plants that live there.
  3. Partners will each complete their own copy of the plant worksheet.
  4. Students who finish early may access this site to increase their knowledge about plant habitats and adaptations. Where In The World?.
  5. Students will regroup and share their results.

Assessment:

Students will be assessed in the following ways:

a)     Time on task for investigating literature resources and web site.

b)     Ability to work successfully with a partner.

c)      Accurate completion of plant worksheet.

d)     Feedback provided for oral presentation.

 

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LESSON THREE: Plant Parts

 

Goals and Objectives: Given plant models, students will be able to identify the various plant parts and describe the function of each.

 

Content Standards Addressed:

 Science

A INQ.4      Read, write, listen and speak about observations of the natural world.

A INQ.5      Present information in words and drawings.

Language Arts

1D.   Students communicate with others to create interpretations of written, oral and visual texts.

3B.    Students prepare, publish and/or present work appropriate to audience, purpose and task.

 

 

Introduction: Introduction: The teacher will motivate the class by reading a poem called Tommy by Gwendolyn Brooks. This poem talks about a boy who plants a seed and how he takes the appropriate measures in making sure the seed grows into a healthy plant. This will motivate the students to think about all the necessary elements needed in making sure a plant grows healthy. A discussion should take place to see how much prior knowledge students have on this particular topic. Once the discussion is over, the teacher will introduce parts of a plant and their functions.

 

Materials:  Poem Tommy by Gwendolyn Brooks, journal, pencil, crayons, hand-held lens, newspaper, ten houseplants and worksheets, computer with Internet access.

 

Procedure:  
1. The teacher will read the poem Tommy to the class.
2. The teacher will lead a discussion to get some feedback from the students about plants. This will show how much prior knowledge they have on plants and their maintenance.
3. The teacher will give the students a handout that describes the parts of a plant and tells the functions of each part.
4. The students will receive two plants, which they are to observe, in groups, using a hand-held lens. They will compare and contrast the different plants they observe and write their findings down on a Venn diagram.
5. The students will then proceed to draw each plant in their journal and label each part of the plant and its function.
6. The teacher will remind the students that the plants are alive and they are to treat them very delicately when they observe the plants.
7. The teacher will have the students describe their plants and share what they have learned with the rest of their classmates.

8. As a follow-up activity, students can visit The Great Plant Escape.

 Assessment:  The students will demonstrate their understanding by presenting their information after they have observed the plants. Each group will have observed a different plant; therefore they will share information about all the diverse plants. Each group will mention the parts of their plant and its function.

 

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LESSON FOUR: How We Use Plants

 

Goals and Objectives: Given an introduction to the various ways that people use plants, students will be able to describe and illustrate uses to create a class book.

 

Introduction: Read the book The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein, discuss the things the tree gave the boy.

 

Content Standards Addressed:

 Science

A INQ.6      Make observations and ask questions about objects, organisms and the environment.

A INQ.7      Use senses and simple measuring tools to collect data.

A INQ.8      Read, write, listen and speak about observations of the natural world.

A INQ.9      Present information in words and drawings.

Technology

-develop cognitive and psychomotor problem-solving skills through applied research design, production, operation and analyses of technical systems.

-safely and effectively use resources, processes, concepts and tools of technology.

 

 

Materials: The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein, laptops with Internet access and Kid Pix software.

 

Procedure:

1. Working with partners, students will access the following sites for an overview of the various uses of plants; The Different Uses of Plants, Plants.

            2. Students will choose one use of plants to write about and illustrate.

3. Using Kid Pix, students will work independently to write about and illustrate one way that people use plants.

4. Students will print out pages and teacher will compile them into a class book titled The Many Uses of Plants.

 

Assessment: Students will be assessed on completed pages (sample rubric), ability to work with partners, and time on task.

 

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LESSON FIVE: Edible Plants

Goals and Objectives: Students will determine what part of a plant they are eating when they eat different fruits and vegetables.

Content Standards Addressed:

Science

A INQ.10  Make observations and ask questions about objects, organisms and the environment.

A INQ.11  Use senses and simple measuring tools to collect data.

A INQ.12  Read, write, listen and speak about observations of the natural world.

A INQ.13  Present information in words and drawings.

Technology

-develop cognitive and psychomotor problem-solving skills through applied research design, production, operation and analyses of technical systems.

-safely and effectively use resources, processes, concepts and tools of technology.

 

Introduction: Let you students explore the "5 A Day Adventure Theater" on the Dole 5 A Day Adventures CD-ROM before introducing this lesson. (In the "5 A Day Adventure Theater" Pinellopy Pineapple and 41 other fruit and vegetable characters perform on stage to show students how fruits and vegetables were discovered, where they're grown, and what nutrients they contain. Movies show how each fruit and vegetable is grown and harvested.)

After your class uses the CD-ROM, reinforce what they have learned about edible plant parts through this activity.

Materials: Dole 5 A Day Adventures CD-ROM, computers, "What Part of the Plant Are We Eating, Anyway?" activity sheets

Procedure: Dole 5 A Day Site

Follow-up activity; Plant-Parts Salad

 

Assessment: Students will be assessed on participation and completion of activity sheet.

 

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LESSON SIX: From Seed to Plant (An Educators Reference Desk Plan).

 

Goals and Objectives: Students will be able to identify plant parts, where seeds come from and how they grow.

Introduction: Read From Seed to Plant, by Gail Gibbons.

 

Content Standards Addressed:

 Science

A INQ.14  Make observations and ask questions about objects, organisms and the environment.

A INQ.15  Read, write, listen and speak about observations of the natural world.

A INQ.16  Seek information in books, magazines and pictures.

A INQ.17  Present information in words and drawings.

Language Arts

1A.Students use appropriate strategies before, during and after reading in order to construct meaning.

1B.Students interpret, analyze and evaluate text in order to extend understanding and appreciation.

1C.Students select and apply strategies to facilitate word recognition and develop vocabulary in order to comprehend text.

1D.Students communicate with others to create interpretations of written, oral and visual texts.

1D.Build sight word vocabulary.

 

Materials: Assorted fruit, various seeds of different types, art and writing paper, construction paper, clear plastic cups, magnifying glass, lunch box, card stock, straws and paper cups, magazine pictures of plants, seed labeling worksheet.

 

Procedure:

Day 1: What is a seed?

1.  Look inside a seed. "You wear a coat to keep you from the cold. Seeds from flowering plants have seed coats to protect them."

A. Soak a lima bean in water over night. Use a hand lens to examine the outside of the seed. Try to peel off the seed covering. Split the seed in halves. Look for the parts showing the chart. Draw the lima bean. Write the names of the parts of the seed.
B. Have children complete a chart of a seed, noting the seed coat, root, leaves, food storage, and embryo.

Day 2: Seeds come in all shapes and sizes.

1.  Most plants come from seeds. Display seeds that come from all kinds of plants: acorns, poppies, carrots, lettuce, rice, watermelon, nuts, etc.

A. Measure the bulk of different kinds of seeds. Do an estimating activity allowing the children to guess which seeds will fill more of a small cup. (Sunflower, watermelon and marigold seeds are great for this project because they are easy to handle).
B. Some seeds grow from other plant parts (tubers). Onions makes parts that turn unto bulbs and new plants. The bulbs are the part we eat. Show the children some of the foods that we eat that are bulbs. (potato, onions etc.)
C. Show the children a lunch box and a peanut. Ask them what the two things have in common. Explain that the shell of the peanut is the box and the inside is the lunch.
D. Create seed collages.
E. Roast pumpkinseeds.

Assessment: The students will be able to correctly identify all seed parts on a worksheet.                    

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LESSON SEVEN: Seeds Travel

Goals and Objectives:

Introduction: Read The Tiny Seed, by Eric Carle. Have the children take off their shoes and then go on a hike around the school or park. When you get back to class, have the children examine their socks to see what kind of seeds are stuck to the socks.

Content Standards Addressed:

 Science

A INQ.18 Make observations and ask questions about objects, organisms and the environment.

A INQ.19 Use senses and simple measuring tools to collect data.

A INQ.20 Read, write, listen and speak about observations of the natural world.

A INQ.21 Seek information in books, magazines and pictures.

A INQ.22 Present information in words and drawings.

A INQ.23 Use standard tools to measure and describe physical properties such as weight, length and temperature.

Use nonstandard measures to estimate and compare the sizes of objects

Materials: Computers with Internet access.

Procedure:

1.      Collect and display seeds students have pulled off their socks.

2.      Can the students guess the means of seed dispersal for each of the collected examples in the room?

3.      Students will work with partners to visit the following Web sites: How Seeds Get Around, All About Seeds, Seed Dispersal.

4.      Assign each group a different type of seed dispersal and have them create an imaginary fruit from an imaginary flower. They must explain how their plant disperses seeds with pictures of the flower, the fruit it becomes, and the way in which it disperses seeds. For more advanced students, have them label the picture or write sentences explaining the pictures.

a.      Parachutes: Design a seed that can use the wind to travel. Some examples are maple or ash tree helicopters, fuzzy milkweed, dandelion floaters.

b.      Floaters: Design a seed that could drop into the water and float to a better place. Some examples are sedges and coconut.

c.      Hitchhikers: Design a seed that could stick to a passer by before dropping or being pulled off and dropped in a new place. Some examples are sticktight and burs.

d.      Appetizers: Design a seed that might make a yummy meal for an animal. Some examples are tomatoes, raspberries, green peppers, and grapes.

e.      Poppers: Design a seed that could be snapped out a far ways by its fruity protector when ripe. Some examples are jewelweed and witch hazel.

5.      Students will go to the Traveling Seeds WWW Sheet and print it.

6.      Students will independently complete worksheets.

 

Assessment: Goal is 5/5 correct on worksheet

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Web Resources

The Adventures of Herman the Worm - Learn about worm history, anatomy, feeding, and care from Squirmin' Herman. University of Illinois Extension.

Basil Buy Us - Fourth and fifth grade students growing and selling basil.

BRIO Corporation - BRIO gardening toys - quality gardening utensils for children.

Dirty Dozen Garden Club - Kids and gardening, a wonderful way to grow!

Disney Online - NY - Kids' Garden (Basic) - Great gardening pages from basic to advanced from the people at Disney.

Gardening for Kids - A gardening site for kids of all ages. Kid-friendly plants, flower of the month, bulbs, Heaths & Heathers, gardening basics, favorite flower combinations and gardening links.

GLP Kids - Links for kids in the garden.

The Great Plant Escape - Help Detective LePlant and his partners Bud and Sprout unlock the amazing mysteries of plant life!

Growing Ideas Opening Page - The National Gardening Association is non-profit, offering National Gardening Magazine, educational and youth programs, gardening products, books, research, online content and showcases, and a gardeners buyers guide.

4-H Children's Garden - The 4 H children's garden is an online version of the real garden at Michigan State University. This site contains vibrant pictures, as well as QTVR pano to take you through an on line tour.

JOHN DEERE: Kids - Johnny Tractor and his pals entertains youngsters.

Just for Kids - Tucson Botanical Gardens - The TBG kids page offers fun in the garden quizzes and ideas.

Kid's Garden - Suite101.com - Information, articles, links, ideas for kids and gardening.

Kids in the Garden - Some simple ideas to make gardening fun including Cuke in a Bottle, Planting Initials, etc.

Kid's Valley Webgarden - Gardening resource for kids

kidzkorner - ICanGarden.com - List of gardening web sites of interest to children.

KinderGARDEN - There are many opportunities available for children to become involved with plants, gardens, or the outdoors in general.

Let's Get Growing! - Let's Get Growing Company Catalog is the best place to find Environmental Science and Nature Education Supplies for K-12 classrooms and children of all ages.

Linda's Garden - Resources, information and tips for kids gardening. Also an award for kids' gardening pages.

Little Sprouts - Gardening and Kids can go together. Here are some ideas on getting your children interested in gardening and plants.

Perma-Kids, permaculture for children - Permaculture means 'permanent agriculture' a natural way of growing healthy plants that we eat.

Ponds-at-schools Resource - Canadian site includes the Metro Zoo Adopt-a-Pond resource.

The Potting Shed - Free information for the novice & the advanced gardener with tips, how-to illustrations, & what to do in the garden right now! Visit "The Children's Corner"

Seeds of Change Garden - Through the garden children plan, cultivate, and harvest, they interact with nature and each other. The garden further helps students respect and nurture the Earth and its peoples.

The Yuckiest Site on the Internet - The Yuckiest Site on the Internet, a science education site that uses a laugh and learn technique that makes learning fun. Yucky info about the human body, bugs, and much more on this safe, fun site for kids.

Access Excellence: The Site for Health and Bioscience Teachers and Learners

Plants                                                                                                                                                                              I Wanna Know About Plants

Traveling Seeds

Quia Plants

Cool Science for Curious Kids

ProTeacher Plants

Thematic Unit

Dandelion Science Museum

Missouri Botanical Garden

 

Literature Resources

How a Seed Grows (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 1) by Helene J. Jordan

Jack's Garden by Henry Cole

Planting a Rainbow (Voyager/Hbj Book) by Lois Ehlert

The Tiny Seed (Aladdin Picture Books) by Eric Carle

The Reason for a Flower (World of Nature) by Ruth Heller

A Seed Grows : My First Look at a Plant's Life Cycle (My First Look at Nature) by Pamela Hickman

From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons