Science and Engineering Practices in NGSS
This lesson addresses SP 8: obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information. Students will have the opportunity to communicate their understanding of the parts of a plant and their functions. In the primary grade levels, students should have the opportunity to analyze and critique their work and others.
This lesson is important because it provides students a chance to be engaged in the writing process as they publish a book about the function and structure of the parts of a plant. Also, it permits students to incorporate writing into their science, so they can describe what they observe during their scientific investigation. This allows students to construct a deeper understanding of the science concept through self-reflection in expressing thoughts and ideas learned.
My students have learned about the parts of the plant and their function. My students have learned how to write in complete sentences and use capital letters and punctuation marks appropriately. However, my students have very limited prior knowledge of the writing process. This is part 3 of a 3 part lesson in which the students write an expository paper. My students will become publishers as they make final copies of their books and share their finished products.
In becoming a publisher, students are provided the opportunity to engage in the writing process to enhance their conceptual knowledge about plants. In creating their final draft, students can share their scientific knowledge from inquiry experiences and research in a finished expository book.
While students are at their desks, I pass out their writing folders. Students are informed that they will make final copies of their books about the parts of a plant and share their finished product with the school community.
In the students writing folders, there is a writing template to write about the parts of a plant. I say: You have four writing template sheets and construction paper for the cover of your book. You should notice the holes used to assemble your book. First, you must copy your information very neatly on the writing template, one sheet for each part. (The writing template has a box for the students to draw a picture that depicts what they have written. This is done so students can use lines and colors to create a picture. This also aids students in appreciating the arts.)
When you are finished, you can put the book together. Next, you should think of a title for your book and draw a matching picture. Your title should be short, catchy, and tell something about your book, but do not reveal too much about the book. I model to students how to construct the book. I monitor to make sure that students can successfully complete the task on their own.
Students are permitted to go to their groups and share their books. I listen to the students reading their books. I allow them to share in their groups due to time constraints. This gives all students an opportunity to share their creative work product. This also permits students to build on prior experiences in communicating new information to others while working on SP 8.
After the students share, I take up the books and evaluate them. I look for main idea/topic, capitalization, punctuation, content, legible handwriting, and appeal. Students' work is placed on the wall for others to acknowledge their finished product. Only quality work is displayed to boost students' self esteem.
Here are the students' books displayed outside in the hallway for others to view.