Monday, December 9, 2013

Teaching Science with Kidlit: NGSS Performance Expectation 1-LS1-1, Part 4

1-LS1-1. Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs. [Clarification Statement: Examples of human problems that can be solved by mimicking plant or animal solutions could include designing clothing or equipment to protect bicyclists by mimicking turtle shells, acorn shells, and animal scales; stabilizing structures by mimicking animal tails and roots on plants; keeping out intruders by mimicking thorns on branches and animal quills; and, detecting intruders by mimicking eyes and ears.]

So far, we’ve looked at three ways of addressing the animal portion of this PE, but don’t forget the plants. There aren’t as many great plant books out there as I’d like, but here are some suggestions for a lesson that focuses on how a plant’s parts help it live, grow, and make more plants.

Jack’s Garden by Henry Cole
Plant Secrets by Emily Goodman
The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart

Activity 1
Invite your students to create visual acrostic poems that describe how a plant’s parts help it survive. Here’s an example:

P [picture of a pea flower]

L  [picture of leaf collecting sunlight]

A  [picture of an apple cut in half to show seeds]

N  [picture of nut]

T  [picture of water moving up the trunk of a tall tree]

When the students are done, you can post their poems on a bulletin board.

Activity 2
Use Google Images to find an illustration of a plant that has lovely flowers and an extensive root system. Divide the class into two groups. Group A will pretend to be the plant’s flowers. Group B will pretend to be the roots. Encourage Group A to act as though they are proud of being so beautiful. Ask them what they think of the roots? Are they as lovely or important? Invite Group B to try to convince the flowers that a plant’s roots are just as important as its flowers. As the groups converse with one another, encourage them to back up their statements with evidence from the books they read. 

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