Subject: Science

#3001. Plant Power Integrated Unit

Science, level: Kindergarten
Posted Thu Dec 11 18:32:45 PST 2003 by Jasmine LaCue and Leslie Ferguson (
University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
Activity Time: 4 week Thematic Unit
Concepts Taught: What are the parts of a plant? What do plants need to survive? Identify the way people use plants

Essential Questions
1. What are the parts of a plant (stem, leaf, roots, fruit)?
2. What do plants need to survive and grow?
3. Identify the ways people use plants

Activity One

This is one thirty-minute lesson.

The teacher will encourage discussion by having the students share what they know about plants and what they want to learn about plants in a KWL chart. Teacher will introduce the song "Little Brown Seeds" and the students will learn about seeds and plant growth through song. The chart will be completed and discussed at the end of the unit.

Little Brown Seeds

Little brown seeds so small and round,
are sleeping quietly underground.
Down come the raindrops,
sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle.
Out comes the rainbow,
twinkle, twinkle, twinkle.
Little brown seeds way down below,
up through the earth they
grow, grow, grow.
Little green leaves come one by one.
They hold up their heads
and look at the sun.

Activity Two:

There will be one twenty-minute lesson to complete the activity sheet and two thirty-minute sessions to complete the flower.

The teacher will introduce to the students that on type of plant are flowers that grow from seeds. Flowers have four major parts that include roots, stems, leaves and flower buds. Explain that the root is used to take water and minerals from the soil. The stem is used to transport food and water to different parts of the plant as well as hold the plant up so that it does not fall. The leaves are used to make food for the plant from water, light, and air. The flowers make our world pretty and produce more seeds for more plants to grow. Once the students have discussed the parts of the plant they will be able to demonstrate their understanding by completing the "What are the Parts of a Plant" activity sheet by cutting out the four parts and pasting them in the correct box. Students will create their own flowers. The students will paste these items on to a sheet of construction paper in the appropriate places. The students will be provided flower seeds (sunflower seeds), roots (shredded brown paper), stems (pipe cleaners), leaves (can be collected from outside), and flower petals (pre made by teacher out of construction paper) in order to create their flower. Students will share their flowers with the class.

Activity Three:

This activity is ongoing the students will examine their plants at least once a week. The initial and final lessons are 30 minutes each.

Read aloud Jack and the Beanstalk. Students will plant their own seed in clear plastic cups in order to evaluate the growth. They will discuss what it needs to survive such as soil, seeds, water, and sunlight. We will discuss what area in our classroom would provide the best environment for the plants to grow (window sill). Students will determine whether the daily weather conditions (sunny, cloudy, rainy) will help or hurt the plants growth each day during the unit. Throughout a four-week period students will observe plant growth. Students will use nonstandard units of measurement such as string or unifix cubes to measure their plant each week. At the conclusion of the unit students will measure the plant and record it's height on a class graph.

Activity Four:

This first part of this activity will be conducted in the classroom for twenty minutes. The second part of this activity will be in the computer lab and requires forty-five minutes.

Have three plants in the classroom for students to observe. Discuss what plants need to grow (good soil, air, sunshine, and water). Conduct an experiment. Place one plant in the light without water, one in the dark without water, and one in the dark with water. Have students draw what they predict each plant will look like after two weeks. The students will draw using the program KidPix. This will require previous knowledge of KidPix and one other adult's assistance. Check the predictions after two weeks.

Activity Five:

This activity will require two thirty-minute sessions. During the first session will work on the illustrations. During the second session we will work on the interactive story.

Brainstorm the many things we get from plants (fruit, vegetables, wood, paper). Have the children fold a blank piece of paper into four squares. Let children illustrate four different things they know we get from plants. Graph all the items that the children illustrated onto a class graph. Tally the items. Ask students to tell which item was drawn the most and the least using the information on the graph. Ask the students to imagine the world without plants. What would we eat? Create an interactive story with the class about what the world would be like without plants.

Activity Six:

This will be one forty-five minute session.

Discuss with the children what types of vegetables and fruits they eat. Ask them where they think fruits and vegetables come from. Display various fruits and vegetables. Have students decide if each item is a fruit (usually has seeds and sweet) or vegetable. Encourage students to observe their characteristics. Have students taste the fruits and vegetables to help them determine weather it is a fruit or vegetable. Ask the students to raise their hand if they think the item is a fruit or vegetable. Students will complete the activity sheet "What Foods Come from Plants". Cut out the fruits and vegetables and place them in the appropriate column.

Activity Seven:

This activity will require one twenty-minute session for the read aloud and two thirty-minute session for the creating the poster.

Brainstorm for reasons why trees are important to our environment. Read The Kapok Tree. Discuss the story. Ask students the following questions. How are trees used in our environment? What do you think would happen if all the rainforests were destroyed? Students will create a "Save the Rainforest" poster. The student will have a handout with a tree drawn on it. The students will draw fruit on their tree and color it. The student will title the poster with a phrase that asks others to save trees. Students can hang posters around the classroom and school.

Assessment Criteria
Students will help put together a culminating assessment portfolio all the work the student completed during the thematic content unit. Students will also be evaluated on their active participation in class discussions that demonstrated reasonable understanding of the material presented. This rubric identifies the weight given to each area. This unit is worth a total of 70 points. Points given for each task assessed are as follows:

0 points- Student made little effort
1 point- Student can show improvement
2 points- Student clearly meets expectations

Glue sticks
Cardboard plant parts
Construction paper
Pipe cleaners
Shredded brown paper
Flower seeds
Styrofoam cups
Unifix cubes or string
White paper
Poster board
Activity sheets
KidPix software
Jack and the Beanstalk by Richard Walker
The Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry