National Science Education Science Standards Connection:
The National Science Education Standards has said that making observations is key to inquiry-based and discovery-focused learning in science instruction. In order to do this students participate in inquiry-based learning that allows them to solve a problem in science through observation, discourse and using a science journal. Students will then be give a chance to share their findings with their peers and then reflect on their own understanding.
Next Generation Science Standards Connection:
In this unit students will learn that plants have external parts that help them survive in nature and then use that information to help them solve a human problem by mimicking plants. This is called Biomimicry - bio: life, mimicry - to copy. To learn more about Biomimicry check out this Ted Talks. This lesson will provide the prior knowledge necessary to meet the high demands of this standard.
NGSS Standard asks that student identify that all organisms have external parts. Plants have different parts (roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits) that help them survive and grow.
In this lesson students learn that flowers help plants produce by producing seeds. Flowers also make fruit and seeds that we can eat.
In order to support a high level of student discourse within my science lessons I have assigned two different student partnerships. Turn and Talk Partners are discourse partners that work together to share the deep thinking that happens throughout the day. Workshop Partners are partners who are matched together for the purpose of working during our independent times. In this lesson students will be engaged in both partnerships.
These cards include the vocabulary that it important for this unit on plant life. The standards covered by this unit are 1-LS1-1, 1-LS1-2, 1-LS3-1. You can choose to use these cards in different ways. I like to print all vocabulary words on card stock and hang them on my science bulletin board as a reference tool throughout the unit. You can also use these cards as flashcards or a concentration matching game.
KLEWS - How do plants survive and grow?
Books about plants and flowers
Structures and Functions of Plants - Anchor Chart
Science Journals: I just use blank paper in my journals so my students have space and freedom to experiment with graphic organizers, illustrations, etc.
Science Journal Prompt: How do flowers help plants survive?
Plants Vocabulary anchor chart
A KLEWS anchor chart is described as a tool that allows students to track their learning throughout an investigation, building up to the understanding of a scientific principle. Our KLEWS chart will track the learning about the plants for our next lessons.
Boys and girls, let's look back at our KLEWS chart. Let's reread our over-arching question: How do plants survive and grow?
Today we are going to explore flowers. When I say the word flowers, what do you think? I allow my students to share their ideas. I confirm their responses. You are right. Flowers are the part of the plant that is colorful and bright? Do you have any questions about flowers? Are you wondering why plants have flowers? Are you wondering what they do? After giving my students a few moments to think on this I ask them to share their wonderings with their turn and talk partners. I allow my students a few moments to share and I listen in on conversations and guide questions to support our investigation.
My students say things like:
I am wondering how flowers grow?
I wonder why some plants get flowers and some don't?
I wonder why the flower dies?
Why are flowers all different colors?
What do flowers do?
I bring my students back together. I am wondering the same thing as all of you? Will you please take a moment and write your question on this sticky note? Once you have written your question, you will come over to our KLEWS chart and stick it under the "What -What are you wondering?" column.
I use different color sticky notes so I know what questions are about flowers.
After the students have placed their sticky notes on the KLEWS chart, I read over the questions in a whole group setting.
The standard addressed in this unit requires students to make observations and identify how different plant structures help them to survive. They will learn that flowers help plants reproduce. In this lesson my students get to observe and collect data on the important purpose of flowers!
I have set up a few flower explorations that will allow my students to discover that flowers are the colorful part on the plant that produce both seeds and fruits. The seeds are baby plants that can grow when planted.
EXPLORATION #1 - Nature Walk:
The NGSS asks that students learn science by doing science so for this lesson we head outside to observe flowers. We take a nature walk through the neighborhoods observing all the different shapes, sizes, and colors of the different flowers in our environment. We observe that flowers grow on trees and bushes too.
EXPLORATION #2 - Observing Flowers:
Prep work: Collect books about flowers and plants from your school library or local library
The CCSS asks that students ask and answer questions about key details in a text. For this exploration my students read texts and use media to determine that plants reproduce and have behaviors that help offspring survive.
Boys and girls today you will be researching books to study flowers and recording your observations on your Investigation Worksheet - Flowers. Your job is to try to find the answer to this question, "How do flowers help plants survive?
As my students work, I walk around and confer with each student naming and noticing the smart thinking happening. Conferring is the process of listening and recording the work the student or students are doing and then compliment the work. As I listen, I research a teaching point and then work to provide clarification through questioning, modeling and re-teaching. I ask questions like:
What do flowers make?
How to flowers help make new plants?
How do flowers help people?
What is the main purpose of a flower?
The Science and Engineering practice 8 requires our students to obtain, evaluate and communicate information. By students sharing their evidence and explaining results students are allowed to engage in scientific reasoning. After our explorations, I bring my students to our meeting area and ask them to help me fill in our KLEWS chart.
Evidence: Flowers are really pretty and colorful. The flower part is where the apple grows. Sunflowers have seeds in the flower part and then the flower dumps the seeds into the ground so they can make more flowers.
Learning: Flowers make seeds and new plants grow from seeds. Flowers make fruit and seeds for people to eat.
Did you say Biomimicry? In this section I ask my students to start thinking about ways that flowers have been used to solve human problems.
The Common Core Standards for English Language Arts asks that students ask and answer questions about key details in a text as well as explain major differences between books that tell stories and books that give information, drawing on a wide reading of a range of text types. During and after our read aloud we have discussions that allow my students to learn from both illustrations and words. We pull out information that is factual and information that is made up by the author. In our discussion we refer back to the book to help answer questions about its key details and the author's message.
I reread the book: From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons
I ask my students questions like:
*What are the parts of a flower?
*What do bees do to help plants survive?
*What do you think happens to the seed? How does it change and grow?
*What do flowers need?
*What do flowers make?
In order to develop a culture that encourages student engagement, curiosity and a desire to understand the world through scientific exploration, I elaborate on student learning by allowing them to brainstorm different human inventions created from studying roots. We fill in our Anchor Charts - Plants.
The Science and Engineering Practice 4 asks students to analyze data. At the K-2 level this involves students collecting, recording, and sharing observations. In this lesson the students are recording information, thoughts and ideas in their science journals. I send my students back to their science journals and ask them to write the answer to our big question: How do flowers help plants survive?
I encourage my students to include both illustrations and words that describe how flowers make seeds for new plants and the flowers make fruit and seeds that we can eat. I am hopeful that my students may start mentioning Biomimicry in their journals.
On our Plants Vocabulary anchor chart I record, "We can eat flowers, seeds, and fruit."
Have Need Give
seeds water Roots we eat (carrots, radish, onions)
roots soil Stems we eat (celery)
leaves sun Leaves we eat (lettuce, spinach)
stems air Flowers we eat (broccoli)
flowers space Fruit