Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Science--Plants Unit

Note: for the vast majority of the Core Knowledge science objectives I found the online lesson plans were terrific just as written. For most I simply got library books and materials for the experiments to perform as written. If there is a Magic School Bus book and/or video on the topic I try to use one or the other depending on availability.

I found materials and specific books for studying plants so I’m including them here.

Parts of Plants and Water Transport
I used this work sheet and we examined a plant we pulled out of the ground by it’s roots.

We ran the celery experiment here to talk about water transport. This could fit in other parts of this plan perhaps better than this lesson but I used it on this day.


We read the book A Seed is Sleepy to introduce this lesson.

We performed and discussed this experiment or here is another.

Seed Dispersal
I read Eric Carle’s book The Tiny Seed
Note: this covers only a seed flowing through the wind—so it can be used as an introduction here or as an introduction to talking about how a plant needs certain conditions to thrive. We tied this to the biblical parable about the farmer’s seeds.

You can run a little experiment to emphasize the points by placing seeds in various hospitable and inhospitable conditions.

I also used the book to introduce seed dispersal and followed up with this video clip which shows various ways seeds are dispersed. It’s really interesting! Note that a rhino does poo at the end--dispersing seeds of course!

Go exploring to find seeds and talk about how those seeds might disperse.

Plant Growth

Frog and Toad Together has a fun story—The Garden--which works nicely to introduce this lesson. Toad tries to get his seeds to grow in Lobel’s typical silly Toad fashion. I used this as an introduction.

Then we used The Magic Schoolbus Gets Planted for the meat of this lesson. Either the book or the video will enjoyably explain conditions seeds need to grow and photosynthesis.

Plant some seeds—talking about conditions to grow, how they will grow, etc.


I integrated some core knowledge art and music objectives into this unit by using flowers.

I used the wonderful book The Gardener to introduce this lesson on flowers.

I played Tschaikovsky's "Waltz of the Flowers” using this clip as we moved to the music.

We talked about Vincent van Gogh and his love for sunflowers. We also talked about sunflowers and measured how large the biggest blossom on record, 32 inches, would look—reviewing ruler use. Then we looked at this panting and talked about what we liked and didn’t like about it. We talked about using thick paint techniques.

We ended by painting our own flowers talking about textures as we applied more or less paint.

Farming/Plants as Food

We talked about the parts of plants we eat (with real examples—here are pictures though) and here is a quick video on the topic.

I then used the Little Red Hen (this one by Jerry Pinkey is really nice) to introduce the next part of today’s lesson.

Farming Process video—From Wheat to Bread

If there is grain mill near by it would be a good field trip. We made bread for our activity today.

No comments:

Post a Comment