Plants Make New Plants

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SWBAT describe a fruit seed and identify the stages in a plant's life cycle

Big Idea

Where do you think the seeds in plants are located?

Setting the Stage

National Science Teaching Standards:

According to National Science Teaching Standards, students need to understand characterization of organisms. In this lesson, students learn the parts of a plant which are the root, stem, leaves, and flowers. Each part is needed in helping a plant function properly.  This lesson is essential because students learn about the stages of a plant's life cycle. They understand the life cycle of a plant starts with a seed. Seeds need oxygen, sunlight, water, and food in order to grow.

Crosscutting Concept:

This lesson focuses on the Crosscutting Concept, Systems, and Systems Model. In K-2, students can express thinking using drawings and diagrams and through written and oral descriptions. Students create a flow chart that depicts the life cycle of the plant. They use pictures and write an explanation to demonstrate their understanding.

Science and Engineering Practices in NGSS:

This lesson addresses SP4: analyzing and interpreting data and  SP 8: obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information. This lesson permits second grade students to collect and analyze data while observing and analyzing an apple. This is imperative because students need to gain experience in collecting and sharing observations. In using an apple, the students are using a familiar object but go above and beyond just looking at the smell and structure. Students will have the opportunity to communicate their understanding of how to describe the life cycle of a plant. 

In the early grades, students should have the opportunity to analyze and critique their work and others. This lesson is important because it provides students a chance to communicate information to others in oral and written form in order to share their scientific ideas.

Background Knowledge:

Students have learned that living things need food and water, carry out respiration, reproduce, grow and move. They also have learned parts of a plant: roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and fruits. This lesson permits students to learn the life cycle of a plant, infer how fruit protect seeds, and why animals can be attracted to fruit.



10 minutes

With students at their desks, as a class, we read aloud Plant Life CycleStudents are allowed to read aloud to support their reading fluency.  Teacher note- only provide the students with the reading passage,not the questions. You should cut the sheet in half.  

Then, I ask the students to highlight one sentence that stood out to them, tell why, and have approximately five students share out.  Teacher note- If you have a document camera, you can highlight what the students share and display it on the camera.

Students are asked the following questions: What is the process of living, growing, changing, and dying called?; How do many plants begin?; What two things does a seed need to have in the ground to be able to grow?; and Where can you usually find the seed in an adult plant?  Students should highlight the answers in the passage.

When the students share they should say, "Scholars paragraph 1, sentence 2 says....." and cite the evidence. This strategie is used to make sure that students cite evidence from the text. Also, it serves as a motivator for students and it keeps them engaged. 


20 minutes

While students are in their groups, they are informed that they will conduct an investigation. I then ask the students: what is inside fruit? This is essential in engaging the students in the investigation process. Students collaborate in groups.  Students are placed in 4 groups of five to begin the experiment.  I assign the leader, an advanced student, but the group decides who will record, manage, report, and measure.  The students are provided with their group labels and lab sheet at their table. The students are given the opportunity to work in groups to work on team building skills. This skill is needed as they move towards college and career readiness. 

I discuss the following safety rules with the students- 1. Think Ahead  2. Be neat. 3. Be careful. 4. Do not eat or drink materials used in the experiment. The rules are discussed to make sure that they understand a sense of what is and not appropriate during their investigation. 

Groups are seated at the table. They have an apple, plastic knife, lab sheet, and hand lens. 

Groups are encouraged to write two questions about the materials at their table. I remind groups to formulate questions that refer to the items in front of them.  I permit some groups to share their questions.  

Groups are permitted to observe the fruits. I ask them to predict what is inside the fruit. I provide the groups with half an apple.

Groups are invited to use their hand lens to observe half an apple. The students used an apple because it was an object that would be familiar to the students but goes above and beyond simply just observing smell and structure.  Groups record how many seeds they see; how it smells, and feels.  

Here is the What inside the fruit?, video.

Also, I challenge groups to infer how the fruit protects the seeds and why animals are attracted to the fruit. It is important for students and animals are attracted to fruit, just like people, however, animals can help disperse seeds through bowel movement and spitting out the seeds. If seeds get the right conditions, they will grow and make a new plant.

Science process skills are in bold. These skills are used so students can continue to use the skills that scientists use.

The main objective of this investigation is for students to understand that fruit is the first stage of the plant life cycle and that the seeds within the fruit can make new plants.

Here is the What inside the fruit?, lab sheet.




10 minutes

While at their group tables, the students share their observation of the fruit.  We discuss the findings from the chart on the lab sheet. Also, they discuss: How many seeds?; Why animals are attracted to fruit?; and How animals help disperse seeds?  It is imperative that students share their findings to better understand how scientists communicate their results to others.

The lab sheet is taken up to ensure that groups successfully completed the chart. 









15 minutes

Differentiated Instruction

Students are provided with grade level appropriate work to demonstrate their learning of the scientific content.  There are three levels, Achievers (below grade level), Super Stars (on-grade level), and All Stars (Advanced). Grade level appropriate work aids students with excelling on their level while meeting the same goals. Each student receives the Frequently Misspelled Word list. This was done to assist students with spelling and increasing word recognition.

Achievers complete a flow chart to describe the life cycle of a plant. Students draw a picture of the stages and they are provided with the word stems next, then, and last to write a caption with their pictures. SEE: Plant Life Cycle-Achievers' student work

Super Stars complete a flow chart to describe the life cycle of a plant. Students draw a picture of the stages and they are required to write a caption with their pictures. SEE: Plant Life Cycle-Super Stars' student work

All Stars complete a flow chart to describe the life cycle of a plant. Students draw a picture of the stages and they are required to write a paragraph based on their pictures. SEE: Plant Life Cycle-All Stars' student work

If students complete assignment before time, they are provided with books or on-line computer game.

The work is taken up in order to evaluate student learning outcomes. I observe the flow chart and student captions or paragraphs to make sure that they comprehend the life cycle of a plant.