Day 4: Adding Color For Detailed Observations

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SWBAT draw, label, and color plant structures.

Big Idea

Today your students will continue to observe and record plant structures. The use of colored pencils to enhance and add specific detail to the observations will be introduced.

Advanced Preparation

1 minutes

For today's lesson, you will need:

  • Each student's science notebook
  • A small plant for each team of two students.
  • hand lenses for each student
  • colored pencils for each student
  • Anchor Chart that was created in a previous lesson.

Setting the Stage

1 minutes

I start today's lesson by having the students gather in a circle on the carpet.  The lesson starts with a quick review of observations made during the previous lesson.  The students share their observations to the group and take questions or comments from their peers.  Before observing the plant today, they students discuss what they observe and discuss it with a peer.  The students also identify how they record their observations as well.

During the lesson introduction, I introduce the idea of using labels and the benefits of using formal vocabulary to identify parts of the plant structure.  I also introduce the idea of using colored pencils to create more detailed diagram representations.

NOTE:  Although these standards are tagged, this lesson will not lead to mastery but rather serve as an introduction to the standard and begin to build a foundation that will lead to mastery.  

Creating the Fourth Entry With Color

45 minutes

I will start today's lesson by having the students gather in a circle on the carpet.  I take out the poster (that I made on day 1).  I add the new ways of recording observations that students have identified in Day 2 & Day 3. I then lead a quick review of observations made during the previous lesson.  The students will then be placed in groups of three or four.  

"In your groups, I would like you to discuss the different ways that you have recorded your observations so far.  You can look back through any of your entries.  As you are sharing, I want you to explain to each other how you recorded your observation."

I model this by having a student share one of their entries with me.  This way I can make sure how specific the conversation needs to be.

After each groups shares, I turn the focus to the diagrams of the plants diagrams of plants.  

"What information might be gained from a diagram of a plant?  Did you notice how easy it is to represent the plant with a diagram?  What else might help you record diagrams of the plant structure (I guide them toward the idea of labels to show the various parts of a plant)."  

"I also noticed that people are using the hand lenses and drawing what they see.  What does a hand lens do?  How can I illustrate the magnification?  Let's draw an example on the chart.

"Let's think and discuss what parts you might draw and label while you observe today.  Before you go off on your own to observe, I want to introduce you to another tool that you can choose to use during your observations (I hold up the colored pencils).  How could these make our diagrams more detailed?  Why would we use the colored pencils?  

I now want you to work with a partner and observe a plant.  You can use hand lenses, colored pencils, and regular pencils."

As students work, I circulate around the room checking in with each group.  I note which students are using labels with their diagrams and/or using colored pencils.  I will use this information later in the lesson (Noticing Leaves With A Hand Lens.m4v).  I also look for any students that are adding observations that are not really there.  For example, if a students draws in something to decorate their diagram that isn't really there.

"I would like you to all grab a chair and make a circle back on the carpet area."  

I want a sense of formality and structure to accompany the discussion and having the students sitting in chairs instead of the floor helps promote this desired outcome.  

"I would like you to sit next to someone that you didn't work with today.  Once you have found a partner, go ahead and share your observations from today."


Lesson Wrap Up

5 minutes

After the share, I refocus the students and have them sit back in their chairs in a circle.

"How did people record their observations today?  Who would like to share?  What did you learn from someone else's work (Presenting During Science Circle.m4v)?"

After the discussion, I add any new ideas to the Anchor Chart (also see: anchor chart.png) that was started in a previous lesson.

After the lesson or after school, I look through the science notebooks.  I want to see if students are using color to be more specific and detailed with their observations.  I also look at which students are suing or attempting to use more scientific vocabulary.  I take note of the students who are struggling with detailed observations and touch base with them during the next lesson.