Scientific Drawings

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Students will be able to observe the details of a germinating seed and draw it scientifically.

Big Idea

Students need opportunities to observe carefully for detail. Scientific drawing is not only a skill to be enhanced, but it is also a way into the skill of observation for young scientists.


5 minutes

Yesterday, we explored germinating seeds in the lesson "Plant or Alien".  Today we begin with the question, "How do scientists keep track of objects that change their look over time?"

I will prompt students to consider this question and share with their shoulder partners.  I am expecting to hear that they take pictures, take video, and draw.


Mini Lesson

15 minutes

After the students list their ideas orally in our discussion, I explain to them that we are going to explore drawing in science!

I will hand out the first half of a graphic organizer which asks them to "Draw what you think a germinating seed looks like". I give them about 5 minutes to work on their task and then call them back to the community area with their illustrations. 

When the students bring their drawings to the carpet, I will ask them to share with each other.

I will then show a scientific drawings powerpoint of different butterfly images and ask them to share what they notice about the differences.

The question I will ask following the powerpoint is, "Which of these slides would most help a scientist keep track of changes? Why?"

Their answers to the above questions will guide us to create an anchor chart of Scientific Drawing.

Finally, I will choose a germinating seed from our sprouter and Model how to draw scientifically.  I will think aloud by making statements like, "this is a really long stem, I have to make it long in my drawing." or "How will I make this illustration of the root curve like it does on the seed?".  




Active Engagement

25 minutes

After creating the anchor chart, I send the students off with a seed data collection graphic organizer and explain that they will now work to scientifically draw each of their seeds.

As they observe and draw, I will circulate and work to push them to be detailed and realistic.  In this clip, you will notice the student being detailed.  I worked with her to be more "realistic" and accurate.  I prompted her to notice the length of the root and compare it to her drawing.  This is a gentle prompt, but it is important to work with students to be as accurate as possible. 

As you can see from the completed work below, each student improved in their drawing, becoming more observant and detail oriented. 

Sharing and Close

5 minutes

To close, I ask the students to place their first drawings next to their scientific drawings and share with a partner what they did in order to improve their work and make it more accurate and detailed.

I then will explain that every time we collect visual data in science, we will follow this protocol and be as accurate as possible.