|Here you will find all of the work we have done on our unit covering growth and changes in plants. I will try to include a brief explanation of the lesson, as well as any worksheets we have used.|
Uses for Plants
We started our new unit by looking at a picture. In that picture there were a variety of things going on, each
of which showed us a use for plants. After looking at the picture for
a while, we recorded ways that we use plants. We then discussed with
our neighbour, and added some of their thoughts to our paper. We saved
the other side of our recording sheet to use as our unit title page. I
can not share the picture, as it was from a text book. I would look
for pictures of food, clothing, things made from wood, flowers for
Our discussion today started on one of our
units from last year. We talked about animals, and how animals can be
classified, but that most animals have similarities amongst them. This
led us to talking about similarities amongst different types of plants.
We focused on the many different parts that can be found on most plants.
We were given a research sheet and a recording sheet. We were to read
a short bit of information on six different plant parts, and then dot-jot
the role of that part of the plant.
Stems (Scientific Method)
Today we are setting up an experiment.
This experiment will help us look more closely at the function of the stem
of a plant. In doing this experiment we are also going to focus on the
"Scientific Method," which is a way a scientist records their experiments.
We were given our experiment sheet, and then we discussed each of the
sections of the scientific method (purpose, hypothesis, equipment,
procedure, observations and discussion). We then filled in the
required information on our lab report and set up the experiment.
Today's experiment involved placing a celery stalk into a beaker with
coloured water, then leaving it over night...
When we arrived back in class we took a look
at our celery stalks. To our surprise the leaves and tops of the
celery had changed colour! We completed our experiment by recording
our observations and answering our discussion questions. When we were
done, we talked about the answers to the questions as a class.
However, we were not necessarily focusing on the answer, but rather the way
the answer was conveyed. We looked at the level of detail used, and
discussed how we would be able to raise our answer up a grade level.
We all sat back down with our paper and tried to improve on what we had
Today we started looking more closely at
another part of a plant. Our topic for the next experiment is seeds.
We talked about the role of a seed, and how most plants originate from a
seed. We also talked about how we can not see the seed growth process
(known as germination) because it occurs under the soil. In today's
experiment we overcame that obstacle by planting our seeds in paper towel as
opposed to soil. Each of us was given four black eyed peas, a clear
plastic cup, and some paper towel. We situated the bean seeds such
that they were visible through the sides of the cup. Our job is to
record observations over the next three days, and to keep the paper towel
wet. We were each given a seed journal, in which we could record our
germination observations. The journal will then be used to continue
observations of the plant as it grows (we will put it in soil later).
Our seeds are really growing, we can already
see the roots reaching down to the bottom of the cup. The question is,
aren't they missing something to be growing? We talked today about the
things plants need to survive, and one of those things was soil. Our
seeds have no soil, so how are they growing? That will be answered in
our seed journal. For today we kept our focus on the needs of plants
(water, carbon dioxide, sunlight, warmth and space). We used a Venn
diagram to compare the needs of both plants and animals, and found them to
be quite similar.
We have seen that seeds can develop into
plants without soil, but for them to continue to survive and grow properly,
and more easily, it is necessary for them to get into the soil. So,
today we transplanted our bean seeds from their paper towel, into some
potting soil. We took this opportunity to look at the young plant, and
all of its parts. We also discussed the care needed to be sure we did
not damage the plant as we were transplanting it. Once we were done we
used the rest of class to finish up some of our work, and talk about the
care of our bean plant after we bring it home. We are to take care of
our plant, and make observations of it every weekend until our journal is
full. At that point we will bring them back to school to show to our
Today's lesson was run as an independent work
period. We were given an information sheet on maple syrup, on the back
of which there was a spot for us to make up a quiz. We read through
the information, and then wrote our quiz. Once done we brought it up
to be checked, and once approved, we had another student write our quiz.
We started class by talking about the human
life cycle. We then compared this to what a plant goes through.
We discussed that, just like humans, plants have stages of growth they go
through. A seed is planted, then grows to a seedling. Eventually
the seedling produces buds, that turn into fruit holding more seeds.
This is considered the life cycle of a fruit baring plant, because once the
seeds are produced, the cycle starts again. On our worksheet we looked
at the life cycles of an oak tree and a pumpkin.
Today's lesson was about distinguishing one
plant from another. The way we decided to look at it was through the
leaves of trees. We learned that every tree has its own distinct
leaves that are the same throughout the life of the tree. After
practising looking at leaves and classifying them, we played a memory game
using leaf pictures, trying to match simple leaves to simple leaves, and
compound leaves to compound leaves (see the worksheet for an explanation of
the two types of leaves).
Quiz - We will be having a quiz at the start of lesson 13. Today a note went home with all of the quiz concepts. Make sure you review any concepts you are unsure of.
We started today with one questions; "How do
we survive?" The obvious answers were; food, water, air and shelter,
however, we did not think of one thing...safety. This is true for
plants as well, plants need to keep themselves safe. We discussed how
it is difficult for a plant due to the fact that they can not move. We
then looked at several different areas of adaptation that plants have
undertaken, in order to help them survive threats in their life.
We used today's lesson to discuss the
questions from our worksheets to date. We focused on the key concepts that
will come up in our quiz and future work.
Today we wrote our plants quiz. If we
were done early we organized our folder.
There were a few of us who needed extra time
to write our quiz, so today each of us was handed back our quiz to look
over. When we felt we had our best answers on the paper we submitted
it and traded it for a worksheet about flowers. We did this worksheet
while others continued with their quiz. Once we were done we looked on
the internet to find pictures of the biggest flower, tree etc.
We have a little bit of background knowledge
on flowers, but we needed to get a more firm grasp, so we turned to our
friend Bill Nye. Bill Nye's Flowers video helped us understand the
process of pollination, and even had us chanting "Stamen, pollen, pistil,
egg, seed, flower."
Today's lesson started with a review of
pollination - "Stamen, pollen, pistil, egg, seed, flower." However, we
didn't leave it at that, we added the stages of plant growth into it, so now
we have - "Stamen, pollen, pistil, egg, seed, seedling, buds, flower,
fruit." Once a plant flowers it takes on of two routes. It
either dies off, and new plants grow each year, or it could start a new
cycle, one in which it flowers every year. It is this second group we
focused on, as we discussed how the seasons affect plants (specifically an
apple tree.) An apple tree is dormant in the winter, then forms buds
that turn into flowers during the spring, then small apples form and grow
through the summer, and are ready to be picked, or fall off in the fall.
Who knew that we would look at molecular
chemistry in grade 3! At the start of the lesson we looked up at the
board and saw:
We were, of course, not expected to understand this, yet when we started talking about it we were able to figure some of it out. We know that the first part was talking about water, and the second was carbon dioxide. We then learned that the right side represents glucose, which is a type of sugar that plants make for their food. The next step for us was to represent these things with blocks:
We used connector blocks and actually build the parts. We found that we needed 6 waters and 6 carbon dioxides in order to have enough blocks to build the glucose. When we were done, we found we had a bunch of blue blocks (oxygen) left over, which we decided made sense because trees make oxygen for us to breath. We also talked about the fact that we were doing the sun's job - providing the energy to take apart the ingredients. When all was said and done, we decided we needed to change our original formula to be:
We concluded class by recapping - plants take water and carbon dioxide, the sun then provides the energy to take them apart and then reassemble them as glucose (plant food), and the left-overs, which are oxygen, are discarded.
Note: This lesson was designed as a higher level thinking lesson. All students were able to participate, and took the main concept from the lesson (the paragraph above this.) The students will not need to reproduce anything more than that.
Plants and Animals Helping Each Other
We reviewed the process of photosynthesis and
discussed the fact that without it, there would be no life on earth.
Not only does it make the oxygen we need to breath, it also makes energy for
all life on earth. Plants need to make this energy, and animals need
to eat plants to get the energy (or eat other animals who have eaten
plants). Today we looked more at some of the less important ways
plants and animals rely on each other. Five pictures were placed
around the room. WE got in small groups and took a recording sheet
with us as we rotated through all of the pictures, recording how plants and
animals were helping each other.
Uses of Plants
We started today's lesson by making a class
list of the ways we use plants (clothing, wooden chairs, etc). We then
were given some information to read and some questions to answer. We
read the info with a partner, then switched partners to answer the first
question. Each question was answered with a new partner, until we were
all done all of them. At the end we added more uses to our list.
Aboriginal Plant Use
Today's class started with a review of some
uses we have for plants. We then held a discussion with the topic "Do
we, as humans, use plants appropriately?" In our conversation we
covered the fact that we tend to over use plants, and do not always take the
time to replace what we use. We also talked about the fact that more
and more people are becoming environmentally aware. We then turned out
conversation towards Aboriginal peoples, and their philosophy about the
environment. The topic of our work today was then to look at how
Aboriginals use plants, and how they taught pioneers their methods.
At the start of class we were asked to take
out our lunch (or make a list of the things we ate, depending on which class
we were in, and the time we had science today.) We were then to start
filling in a chart. The first column was a list of all the things in
our lunch. items, such as a sandwich, were separated, i.e., bread,
lettuce, cheese and salami. In the next column we were to write the
plant from which each item came. In a case where multiple plants
contributed, we wrote all that we knew, i.e., chocolate - cacao and sugar
cane. In the last column we tried to list how we get these plants.
For example, apples come from an orchard, corn is farmed, etc. We
discussed that there are really only a few places from which we can get our
food - farms, orchards, greenhouses, home gardens or the wild (keep in mind
that animals eat from one of these, so they count here too).
During the second half of our class we discussed the advantages and disadvantages of both organic food and "home grown food" (locally grown.) We did this by placing four papers around the room, two for each of the types of food, and both with an advantages paper and a disadvantages paper. We then cycled through the papers, writing out our thoughts. We then discussed these thoughts as a class. Our true discovery was that both are a personal choice. Below are some of the ideas we came up with.
We did not get a good chance to discuss
organic and local foods during our last period, so we finished that
discussion today. We then used the remainder of the period to put our
worksheets in order and finish up any incomplete work.
Class started today with some discussion about the Earth, and scientifically how old it is (about 4.5 billion years). We then talked about the fact that the Earth has changed a lot in that time, and continues to change. Along with those changes, the living things on Earth have changed greatly as well. In fact, if we were to represent the lifespan of the Earth in 24 hours, humans would only appear in the last 4 seconds! We read through our worksheet, then began to think of things that could threaten the survival of plants.
During today's class we were told that we will be writing a test next week. We were given a review sheet with all of the things that we have learned about soils.
We used today's period to review for our test
next class. The test was used to make questions for a series of games
to help us study. The first game we played was a true/false game.
We were read a sentence and then had to move to a "T" sign, or a "F" sign.
We then had to explain why we went there. For the next game we were
put into small groups. We were then given a question and had to write
out the answer as quickly as possible. To follow that we stayed in our small
groups to answer some discussion questions, this time it was not a speed
round, but a detail round. The questions were asked and we tried to
write as much detail as possible. Each of the questions we talked
about in our group, was also discussed as a class.
Today we wrote out unit test on Growth and
Changes in Plants, proving how we have mastered this type of life form.
|This concludes our unit on Growth and Changes in Plants. Our next unit is Strong and Stable Structures.|