Plant Parts: Leaves Day 2

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SWBAT explain how plant leaves create food from the sun's energy.

Big Idea

Students know that plants need food energy to survive. Today they will learn how leaves help create the food that plants need to survive.

Setting the Stage

1 minutes

Advanced Preparation:  Use video of guest speaker or line up your own guest speaker to present on photosynthesis.  

The students start by looking at the progress of two plants that have been subjected to two different living conditions (from a previous lesson).  The guest speaker then presents about the concept of photosynthesis and the importance of leaves in creating food for the plant.  The students then create diagrams to demonstrate their learning and understanding of the concept.

Our district expects students to understand that a plant is a system that goes through a natural cycle and the parts help the plant survive and reproduce. By focusing on the parts and needs of a plant, I can teach them how the parts have a role that helps a plant get the things it needs to survive.  The unit will end with the class spending 4 days int eh school garden and applying their learned knowledge to the work being done in the garden.  


Students demonstrate their understanding of Reproduction by…

  • Drawing and labeling the stages of development in the life of a familiar plant.




10 minutes

I start the lesson by pulling out Plant 3 and 4 from the lesson Plant Needs.  Plant 3 is the plant that has not been receiving light. At this point the plant will be more yellowish than green.  The reason being that the plant lacks chlorophyll from being in the dark.  I want the students to think of reasons why the leaves have turned yellow.  

"I want to show you two plants from our plant needs experiment.   What do you notice about the two.  How do they look different? Why do you think they look different?  Today you are going to learn about how light and the leaves of plants are vital to a plants survival."


25 minutes

I have invited a guest speaker to come into the classroom for this part of the lesson.  The guest speaker is a 6th grade teacher in our school.  He loves science and is a very knowledgeable science resource.  I have asked him to come in and present to the class about photosynthesis. His focus will be on the concept that plant leaves take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen and a simple sugar. The leaves send this sugar to the stem which is then distributed throughout the plant.

I have recorded the presentation so that you can use it in your own classroom. Please see the following video clips: video (1)video (2)video (3), and video (4)

"Today we are very fortunate to have a scientist come in and visit our class.  He will be talking to you about a process called photosynthesis.  When he is finished, I will ask you and your partner to create a diagram about how the photosynthesis process works."

I have chosen to use a guest speaker for two reasons.  First of all I enjoy having colleagues interacting with my class and find it beneficial for both the students and the teachers.  I also wanted to present the concept at a very basic level.  Instead of me just talking about the process, I find it more engaging to use a guest speaker.  


5 minutes

I finish today's lesson by playing the following video.  Although the video has some information that might be above some of the students, I feel it contains the right information to act as a review of for today's lesson.

"I want to finish today's science lesson with a quick video.  It will review some of the concepts that we talked about today."



15 minutes

I have the students make a circle on the carpet and have them bring a pencil and their science notebooks.  I want them to create a diagram focusing on how leaves take in sunlight and create a sugar that feeds the rest of the plant.  I am not looking for the chemistry aspect but rather a generalization of how food energy is created.

"I would like you to open up your science notebook and set it up for today's entry.  Our focus for today is photosynthesis.  Now I would like you to create a diagram of how leaves turn the sunlight into food and oxygen. You can work together but I want each of you to draw your own diagram in your own notebook.  You can use colored pencils to enhance your diagram.  Make sure to include labels."


1 minutes

As I look through the students diagrams, I am looking to see that the students understand that leaves take in carbon dioxide and use water to convert it into oxygen and food for the plant.