This was my first time using the Structures of Life kit from FOSS, so I started off by following the provided lesson plan. I bought sugar snap peas for each student, and bell peppers, bananas, kiwi, oranges, cantaloupes, and plums for each group to cut open. I wanted them to have a variety, such as the the plum for the one large seed, but pretty much everything else was what was on sale.
Before going to the science lab, I had each student write the focus question and date in their science notebooks, then glue six seed observation sheets into their notebooks. I reminded them that they need to gather and record as much information as possible with all their senses except for taste, even though we'll be working with food.
In the Science Lab, we started with some guided practice by having everyone open up their sugar snap peas, count how many seeds were in each pod, and describe the seeds. As each student shared properties such as hard, round, and light green, I charted them on the white board, and reminded them to record this information on their seed observation sheet.
I also used this time to have a few students come add their data to the line plot I drew on the board. A quick explanation of how to add your X was all that was needed, even though most of them hadn't formally learned about line plots yet.
I had each table go up one at a time to add their data while everyone else was continuing to locate seeds and record data. This lesson served as a natural way to discuss estimation and benchmark numbers, and when it was appropriate to count or get an exact answer.
I brought the class back together, and explained that the fruit of a plant is the part of a plant that holds the seeds. I followed by asking them which parts they looked at today were fruits (all of them). Next, I explained that each of those seeds they found is a dormant plant embryo, which is a scientifically accurate way of saying sleeping baby plant, waiting for the right conditions to grow. Finally, I told them they needed to explain the function of fruits and seeds are in their science notebooks.