Reflection: Student Ownership Designing a Salt Water/Fresh Water Experiment - Section 6: Drawing Conclusions


Students became very possessive of their plants during this experiment. They were excited when their plants showed growth, which all did initially. As the salt water plants began to wilt, some of the children showed great concern. These were their plants. These were the plants they had watered, measured and cared for and now they were dying. 

More than once a child came to me and said, "our plants didn't grow with salt water. We know the salt water doesn't work. Can't we give them regular water now and save them?" These children had taken ownership of the project, seen it through to completion, and now wanted to reverse the experiment and save their plants.

We decided that the best thing to do was to put all of the plants in the garden outside where they would get fresh air, lots of sunshine, and of course fresh water. The students seemed content with that option. It was one that they came up with, and one that they felt would save their plants.

It may not have been what I intended as an ending of the experiment, but I didn't expect the students to really care about the plants. I found that they were invested in the plants and wanted to change the outcome. 

  Can't We Save Them Now
  Student Ownership: Can't We Save Them Now
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Designing a Salt Water/Fresh Water Experiment

Unit 5: Where Does It Live?
Lesson 12 of 17

Objective: SWBAT design an experiment to test whether all plants can grow in salt water.

Big Idea: By testing a hypothesis, students gain a clearer understanding of how plants must adapt to their environment

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4 teachers like this lesson
Science, experimental design, forest, ecosystem, drawing conclusions, survival, rainforest, habitats
  85 minutes
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