What Do Plants Need-Part II

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Student will be able to identify some needs of plants by completing an investigation.

Big Idea

In the previous lesson, students participated in a planting investigation. Now it is time for them to draw conclusions from the investigation.


10 minutes

This lesson is a continuation of What Do Plants Need.  The students are determining what plants need to survive.  To begin the lesson, I pass out the prediction sheet that we completed in that lesson.  I then ask the students to summarize what we did.  The students share how the investigation was set up and what was manipulated with each plant (no water, no sunlight, no soil).  It is important that the students are able to express how the investigation was set up, so they are able to draw conclusions from it. 

After the students have shared about the experiment, we begin to look at our results. 


20 minutes

To begin this portion of the lesson, I pass out the prediction sheets that the students completed in the previous lesson.  On these sheets, the students recorded what they thought would happen to plants if they were not given, sunlight, water or soil. Once everyone has their prediction sheets in front of them, we begin to look at the plants.

I first show the students the control plant.  This is the plant that had soil, sunlight and water.  I ask the students to circle their prediction if it looks like the plant.  After I show the students the control plant, we move on to the plant that did not get any water for a week.  I ask the students to again circle their prediction if it matches what happened to the plant.  We do the same with the plants denied sunlight and soil. 

After the students have compared their predictions to the investigations results, we begin our discussion about how to interpret what happened.  I ask the following questions:

  • Which plant grew the best?
  • What plant grew the least?
  • Why do you think this happened?
  • Based on our investigation, what things does a plant need to survive? (I record their responses on the board)
  • Is there something else that the plants need?  (I am hoping someone comes up with air, we did not include this in the investigation, but I want the students to understand that air is a need that plants have, if they do not come up with this, I ask some leading questions and then share this information with them).

After we have answered the questions, I summarize the finding for the students by saying, From our investigation, we have determined that plants need, sunlight, soil, water and air to survive.  Now it's time to apply what we have learned from our investigation.


Direct Instruction

15 minutes

Material Needed

I distribute the activity sheet to the students and have them write their name on the top.  I say to the students, Now it is your turn to show me if you know what plants need.  On the bottom of the page, you will see some different things.  Some are things that plants need.  Some are not.  You are going to sort them.  If it is something a plant needs, you put it on this side of the page.  If it is not, it goes on this side of the page.  If you have difficulty reading any of the words, let me know and I can help you read it*.  I want to remind you that a part of a plant is NOT a need.  When you have everything sorted, raise your hand and I will check your work before you glue it down.

*My kindergarteners are strong in reading this year and are able to read the majority of these words.  I will most likely need to make a pictorial version of this activity sheet for future years.

The students begin working and I monitor their work and assist as needed.  See video.  After I check the students' work, they glue the items to the sheet.  The students put their work in their mailboxes and we prepare for the lesson closing. 



5 minutes

To wrap up the lesson and review the needs of plants, I play a quick round of Up and Down with the students.  I explain how to play to the students.

We are going to play Up and Down.  If I say something that is a plant need, I want you to stand up.  If it is not a plant need, stay sitting or sit down.  It is just that simple.

This activity not only serves as a review, but also as an informal assessment for this unit.  I say the following things:

  • water
  • clothing
  • house
  • sunlight
  • rice
  • lightning
  • friends
  • air
  • soil