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Discovering Plants

A Plant’s Life
Introduction

The purpose of this STEM unit, specifically for second grade science, is to get students
excited about planting seeds, observing the growth of bean plants, and understanding what
plants need to sustain life. Many educators feel that making connections between students and
nature is very beneficial, especially at this age. There are three 2nd grade benchmarks that have
been targeted as the focus of this unit, which will be listed below. There are a variety of activities
incorporated within this 5-day unit and they all have a central theme-what plants need to
survive.

Science Benchmarks Addressed

 2.4.1.1.1 “Describe and sort plants into groups in many ways, according to their
characteristics and behaviors”
 2.4.2.1.1 “Recognize that plants need space, water, nutrients, and air, and that they
fulfill those things in different ways”
 2.4.3.1.1. “Describe the characteristics of plants at different stages in their life”
Taken from MN STEM Teacher Center Online

Table of Contents
Day 1: Students will brainstorm in a large group, begin writing observations in science journal of
plants on “nature walk” outside, and create a foldable book to illustrate the survival needs of a
plants water, food, space.
Content Objective: The student will be able to define plant and understand the survival needs of
a plant (water, food, space).
Benchmarks Met: 2.4.1.1.1, and 2.4.2.1.1
Day 2: Students will work with small groups to complete the celery activity with food coloring to
demonstrate how a plant absorbs water. Students will also complete the “What Happens After
Planting” activity in which they are asked to match pictures of the 5 main stages of plant growth
to the description of each.
Content Objective: The student will be able to arrange the stages of plant growth in
chronological order.
Benchmarks Met: 2.4.2.1.1, and 2.4.3.1.1
Day 3: Students will be conducting an experiment with small bean plants (already planted) and
the effects of being watered with water, soda, and milk over the course of days 3-5 (and the
weekend). They will be asked to form a hypothesis in their science journals for the experiment
and then divided into three groups based on the three liquids. They will then discuss in small
groups for wrap-up.
Content Objective: Students will be able to observe the effects of various liquids on plant
growth.
Benchmarks Met: 2.4.2.1.1, and 2.4.3.1.1
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Day 4: Students will be continuing with experiment from previous day. They will be asked to note
any observations in the three groups of plants and record the measurements of any plant
growth. They will then water the same plant using same liquid as previous day.
Content Objective: Students will be able to observe the effects of various liquids on plant
growth.
Benchmarks Met: 2.4.2.1.1, and 2.4.3.1.1
Day 5: Students will be continuing with experiment from previous day. They will be asked to note
any observations in the three groups of plants and record the measurements of any plant
growth. They will then water the same plant using same liquid as previous day. They will then
complete the “Create a Plant” activity individually.
Content Objective: Students will be able to observe the effects of various liquids on plant
growth.
Benchmarks Met: 2.4.2.1.1, and 2.4.3.1.1

Potential Assessments:
 Short quiz, 5-10 questions (multiple choice)
 Brief one-on-one presentation of science journal and findings to instructor
 Presentation of “Create a Plant”
 Observation during experiment
 Small and large group discussions
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Stage 1: Desired Results

Established Goals (Standards): 2.4.2.1.1 “Recognize that plants need space, water, nutrients, and air, and that they fulfill these needs in
different ways

Enduring Understandings Essential Questions

 Plants are living beings  How is the way a plant gets water different from the way people drink water?
 Plants grow, and have stages of growth  Do you think a plant’s growth will chance if it is watered with coke instead of plain
 A plant’s growth can measured and water (or milk, etc)?
recorded to use in the future  Where do you think a plant gets its nutrients from?
 Plants can live in almost any climate on  What is a hypothesis and how can we test it?
earth, just like people
 There are many different kinds of plants
Stage 2: Assessment Evidence
Performance Task Other Evidence
- One of the main performance tasks is the three day  Small group discussions
experiment in which the students are split into three smaller  Large-group sharing and brainstorming
groups to test a liquid (either water, soda, or milk) on four of  Individual observations
the 12 bean plants.  Small group work within the experiment

Stage 3: Learning Plan


What teaching and learning experiences will equip students to demonstrate the targeted understandings?
 Incorporating as many senses as possible will help the students to demonstrate understanding of the targets. The unit begins with an activity
in day 1 that involves the students walking around the school to observe, record, and illustrate at least 5 plants in their science journals.
There are also activities like creating a flipbook with main concepts, and creating their own plants at the end of the 5th day that are very
hands-on. This is in addition to the three days the students will be conducting an experiment.
Lesson Themes
 Growth, Survival Needs, Measurement, Observation
Title Discovering Plants-Day 5
Grade Level nd
2 grade
Standards Addressed 2.4.1.1.1 “Describe and sort plants into groups in many ways, according to their physical
characteristics and behaviors”
2.4.2.1.1 “Recognize that plants need space, water, nutrients, and air, and that they fulfill
these needs in different ways
2.4.3.1.1 “Describe the characteristics of plants at different stages in their life”
Central Focus Plant growth and needs
Content Objective/ Learning 1. Students will be able to determine the three basic things that a plant needs to survive.
Target 2. Students will be able to form a hypothesis about the plants and test it on days 3-5.
Academic Language Air, Water, Space, Nutrients, Stage, Growth, Observation, Hypothesis
Materials
Instructional Plan Activity Description/Teacher Does/Teacher Talk Students Do Reflection/Research
 Class will begin with a general review with in  Students will participate in
large-group setting. Previous day’s large group discussion
experiment involved 12 bean plants (planted pertaining to previous
about 2 weeks prior) and testing a different day’s experiment.
liquid (of three total) on 4 of the plants to  They will review notes and
observations made from
determine which produce the best plants.
days 1-4 in their science
 What did we observe in the plants yesterday?
journals.
 Did we see any changes in growth or general
appearance after each of the liquids (water,
soda, milk) were added to their group of
plants?
Part 2: Instructor will have class divided into 3  Students will record
Teacher Input/Inquiry smaller groups based on the liquid they are notes of observations
 Intro of learning target testing. At the same time each day students made with their plants
 Explanation/procedures should have (and will) “water” bean plant  Students will then
tour the room to
 Teacher Demonstration with one of the three liquids. The teacher will
observe and record
 Teacher think aloud then ask the class to point out new
the findings of the
observations from that morning.
other 2 groups
 Does the plant “watered” with coke look
 Students are asked to
any different than the one with plain
share their hypothesis
water?
with 3 other people
 What can you conclude after three days of
(not in their original
watering and observing plants? group)

Check for Understanding


Part 3: Instructor will ask students to put away all  Students will work
Guided Support/Practice materials from this experiment. Approx. 5 individually using any
 Paired/collaborative work minutes needed coloring utensil to
 Indiv. work & partner check illustrate the plant
designed
 Teacher roam & assist Instructor will then explain the next activity,
 If time allows,
“Create a Plant”.
students can
volunteer to present
their plant to the class
Check for Understanding
Part 4: Discussion and Wrap-Up of key
Closure academic language: Air, Water, Space,
 Restate Learning Target
Nutrients, Stage, Growth, Observation,
Hypothesis
Assessment The students will be graded on the content of their science journals, which will be turned in following the lesson.