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Lesson: Homophone Graphics

Lesson: Arctic Writing

Unit: Animal and Plant Adaptations

Unit: Plants and Seeds

Video - Exploring Fruit

Lesson - Exploring Fruit

Video - Eggshell Activity

Lesson - Eggshell Activity
Lesson: American Flag & Pledge of Allegiance
Lesson: Tangrams 2
Assessment
Student Work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seeds and Plants

~ Life is Found in Layers ~

This unit is adapted from a kit - Foss Structures of Life

 

Introduction
Goal
Rationale
Objectives
Activities
Resources
Assessment
Student Work

Introduction

Subject: Science

Grade: 3rd and 4th grade

Time: 6 weeks

Goal

The goal of this unit is to promote the understanding of seeds and the structure of their growth into plants. Some of the ideas that will be explored include "where do seeds come from?" and "how does a seed grow into a plant?"

In the combined 3rd and 4th grade class there is room for both levels to grow deeply in the knowledge of plants. The topics that are covered revolve around the exploration and observation of growing bean plants from seeds. Students are able to make strong connections about plants by first observing their own plant, and then applying what they see to what they discover through class discussions led by the teacher and filled with student contribution.

My personal goal for the students is for growth in their comfort of being scientists and making hypotheses, and being responsible for their growing plant.

 

 

 

Rationale

The topics that are included in this plant unit are very accessible to all students in a multi-age classroom. At this age students are learning to more easily express what they observe. Third graders are fairly accomplished at speaking their observations and are learning how to be clear in their writing, while 4th graders are often able to make clear written observations. The plant unit will be a vehicle for practicing these important skills. Students at this level are also ready to make more scientific observations about the world around them. They're familiar with fruit and seeds and plants (the parts) and they're ready to see these parts in a more whole value.

Many of the Maharishi School science standards and benchmarks (which were modeled on the National Science Standards and Benchmarks) were closely related to topics covered in this unit. They are as follows:

  • Physical Sciences, standard XII: Understands basic concepts about the structure and properties of matter.
  • 4.12.1 Knows that objects can be classified according to their properties
  • Nature of Science, standard XVII: Understands the nature of scientific knowledge.
  • 4.17.1 Knows that although the same scientific investigation may get slightly different results when it is carried out by different persons, or at different times or places, the general evidence collected from the investigations should be replicable by others.
  • Life Sciences
  • 4.5.2 Knows that plants (and animals) progress through life cycles of birth, growth and developments, reproductions, and death.
  • 4.5.4 Knows that animals and plants have a great variety of body parts and internal structures that serve specific functions for survival.

 

This unit is a student-centered design that allows students to learn not only through their own experimentation and observation of plant growth, but also through constant observation and discussion with the rest of the class. A community of learners is established through student groups. This allows easy observation of many plants by all students. Students work fairly independently from the teacher, allowing them to take more responsibility for their work and their knowledge and help to make them more self-sufficient learners.

I have chosen this design because I think it is important for students to feel control within boundaries set by the teacher in a classroom. I feel that they are more receptive to learning in an environment that they feel comfortable in and which they can have many successes.

 

Unit Objectives

At the end of this unit the students should be able to:

 

  • Understand the order that a plant grows from seed to a plant
  • Appreciate the time and effort it takes for seeds to develop into plants
  • Compare and sort seeds using a variety of properties
  • Understand where seeds come from
  • Recognize through smell and sight moldy seeds
  • (How to) Estimate and count seeds
  • Make observations about seeds and plants
  • Measure curved objects
  • Illustrate and label a plant
  • Construct a line graph showing the plant's growth

 

Activities

1. Seed walk

- Finding seeds in nature (or at least the school grounds)

2. Properties

- Categorizing seeds

3. Where do seeds come from?

- Exploring fruit

4. The mini-sprouters (sprouting different seeds)

- Observation for approximately 10 days

- Recording observations on the My Seed sheet

- Caring for seeds in the mini-sprouter

5. The class-sprouter (sprouting beans for growing)

- Observation for up to 4 weeks (preferably until the plants have flowered)

-Recording observations on the My Seed sheet

- Take measurements of the plant

- Make a line graph of the growth of the plant

- Caring for the plants

- Labeling an illustration of the plant

 

Resources

Foss Structures of Life science kit

Books

Bean and Plant -- Barrie Watts

Dandelions -- Kathleen Kudlinski

Exploring Plants -- Ed Catherall

Garden -- I. Sanchez

How a Plant Grows -- Bobbie Kalman

Plant -- David Burnie

Videos

All about Caring for Plants

Harold and His Amazing Green Plants

 

 

 

Assessment

At these grades students do not receive letter grades. However I will use the following rubric to put some value to the students' work and achievement. The rubric focuses on all of the main aspects of the unit. Third and 4th graders will be held to different standards regarding the quality of the work. However the amount of work (e.g. "Still has to explore at least 4 fruits") does not change.

Student Assessment for Plant Unit

Name_______________

Excellent
Satisfactory
Needs Improvement
Comments
The Sprouting Seed sheet. Seed/plant observations
Student has clear written observations, detailing all or most points of interest.
Student has written observations, detailing some points of interest.
Student has poorly/ insufficient written observations.

The Origin of Seeds. Fruit exploration.
Student has explored at least 4 different fruits. She has used effort to completely and accurately fill in the worksheet.
Student has explored at least 3 different fruits. The worksheet has been filled in fairly accurately and is complete.
Student has explored less than 3 different fruits. The worksheet has not been filled in accurately and is incomplete.

Group and Class Participation
The student has actively participated in class and group discussions, contributing with thoughtful insights.
The student has participated in class and/or group discussions.
The student has not participated in class or group discussions.

 

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