This unit lends itself beautifully to discussing seed dispersal. The jungles are full of all the ways that seeds can be moved and spread to continue plant life. Unfortunately, my students do not live in a tropical jungle to demonstrate this concept first hand, but our playground can substitute the concept nicely.
In this lesson, the students use socks on their feet to become a part of the seed dispersal process. In fact, they create a model to demonstrate one method of seed dispersal.
After the walk, it is easy to move into learning about the other types of dispersal methods because of the first hand experience of the students.
I ask the children to share with me how they believe trees or plants can be the same in certain biomes, but not be close to each other (SP1).
Because we have just completed the lesson on habitats, ecosystems and biomes, they know what I am asking. I want to establish with the students that plants can grow, survive and share biomes. The question becomes how can this happen?
I ask the children to look at the screen and look at the title slide, We're Going For a Walk. Until now, we have not left our classroom for science lessons. When the children see this, I anticipate them asking questions like, "how will we do this?"
I explain that we are going to go for a real walk this time. I click to slide two and allow the words to lead the children to the activity that will hook my students into the lesson...
Slide three leads to the actual walk, a sock walk...."What is a sock walk?" Slides four through six explain how the walk will happen and explain what we will be doing.
I went to my local thrift store and purchased large white socks, enough for each child to wear one over their shoe.
I pass out the socks and help any children that have a difficult time securing the sock on their shoe. When all the children are ready, I have them look at slide seven. It instructs them to carefully take off their sock. I explain that when we are finished with our walk, they will need to take the sock off so we can complete the lesson. Slide eight says, "Let' go!"
After our walk, the children sit down and carefully take their socks off. I instruct them to turn the sock inside out when they remove it from their shoe. I explain that if they take it off in this way, anything that has stuck to the sock and may get dislodged will fall inside the sock.
We go back into the class and I have our observation plates and discovery sticks ready. (The observation plates are really plastic picnic plates. The observation sticks are really party toothpicks I purchased at the local Dollar Store. The beauty with these toothpicks is the parallel sticks that are connected to the handle. They work just like tweezers; which enables the children to easily pull any articles they find on their socks).
Slides nine and ten instruct the children to remove anything they have on their sock and ten explains to sort their discoveries. I use both slides to explain to the children what to do.
When all the children have finished sorting their findings, I ask them to look again at the screen. Slide twelve asks the question...."How did they get there?"
The children have many theories about the different ways seeds and whatever they discovered arrived at their destinations. I listen to all their ideas.
After sharing their ideas, I show them the last slide in the power point....it explains that each team will become an expert on the different ways that seeds can move. I also explain to the children that we are going to use the scientific word, dispersal when we discuss the movement of the seeds.
I pass out each of the seed dispersal pages. One different page per team. I have printed the page with colored ink to enable the children to see the photographs. I laminate them and allow the teams to read each card. I ask the team leaders to read them to their teams.
I point out to the children the website on the top of the page under the title. I remind the children that it is important to cite the source you find your information.
When all the teams have read their cards, I allow a few minutes for them to talk about what they have read and listened to. Realizing that not all students will become or feel confident in their reading and comprehension skills from reading the passage. I pass out copies of each teams page in black and white for each team member.
I ask them to read it one more time, individually and then to discuss what they have read as a team again. I explain that when they have their discussion, the question they must focus on is what is the most important idea about what they have read (SP7).
When all the discussions have ceased, I ask the team leaders to find the small post it note pads we use from our writing tool boxes. They pass out enough post its to their team members.
I explain that the children will read the passages individually and use their post it notes to write the most important detail about each paragraph on the post it.
I allow the children approximately ten minutes to read and document their ideas.
I ask, "How do scientists research new information and document that new information when they need to learn more about a subject?"
I explain to the children that when they are finished with the details of the reading, it will be important to pull all that information together. I offer another resource for the students to use. It is a graphic organizer that will allow the students to take the key ideas of their reading and put it together in a logical way.
When they are finished, they will be able to share their learning with other teams (SP8).
The teams will take the information they have written down on their organizer and agree upon the most important details. Each team leader will take a turn and share with the class how their method of seed dispersal helps plants to continue to grow.