Growing Great Gardens for Grade School Third Grade Integrated Science Unit By: Holly Pusok, Amanda LeGalley, & Melissa Calhoun Statement of Major Learning Goal for the Unit Target TEKS: (3.8) Science concepts. The student knows that living organisms need food, water, light, air, a way to dispose of waste, and an environment in which to live. The student is expected to: (C) describe environmental changes in which some organisms would thrive, become ill, or perish Our unit is designed to demonstrate how a garden works as a system to support, or hinder the development of plants within the garden. Components of the system include sunlight, soil, water, insects, pollution, and weather conditions. The unit includes lessons on the following concepts: 1) Plant Anatomy - Students identify the anatomy of a plant & create a plant print with paint. 2) Soil - Students examine, explore, & dissect different samples of soils to discover the important materials & components in soil. Students make their own simulated soil. 3) Environmental Factors - Students will work in teams to record & measure environmental factors, create a graph to represent findings, & express those findings to the class. 4) Sunlight – Students will explore the role of sunlight through direct observations, reflections, & ultimately describe how they would want their environment if they were a plant. The unit includes lessons on the following concepts: 5) Water – Students will determine the optimal type of water that is best for plants & write their own “Tips and Tricks” for gardening. 6) Water Pollution - Students will predict, observe, record, & describe the changes in plants sprayed with two different solutions. 7) Bugs - Students will read about a variety of different insects, match different types of harmful insects that attack plants, compare effects of two different insects, & chart the findings as a whole class. 8) Photosynthesis - Students will read about photosynthesis, participate in class charting activity, & work in a group to create an effective PowerPoint explaining the process to a younger grade. 9) Model Garden – Students build & maintain a real garden. Final Learning Product Students create a final school garden based on their prior learning experiences with plants and their needs; including their experiences on the field trip and with a guest speaker from Urban Harvest. Materials are determined by the students based on their prior knowledge. Students self-assess their learning over the course of the unit by a rubric that they score for themselves. Also, students will write a short essay detailing their garden building experience and future plans to maintain that garden. Science Content Plant anatomy & function including: leaves, seeds, roots, flower, stems, & fruit Leaves-the food making factory of a plant, usually green, flat to catch light, & attach to the stem Seeds- a packaged little plant with food around it (endosperm) & a covering protecting it (seed coat) Roots-anchor the plant in the ground & soak up water Flower-beginning stage of seeds Stems-main body of a plant that holds up the leaves, limbs, & flowers; transports the water from the roots Fruit- eaten part of the plant that contains seeds Science Content Photosynthesis – process by which plants gain food and release waste Plants take in carbon dioxide, through the leaves, and water, through the roots. Fuel is made in the leaves by the chlorophyll cells and release oxygen as a waste product. Recognize the difference between bottled water and rain water. Bottled water has been purified and will be missing many of the necessary nutrients that will be present in the rain water. Be familiar with different kinds of insects that attack vegetables Know the important components of soil – dirt, worms, dead plants, & rocks. Types of Learning Activities Guided Activities: # 1 Plant Anatomy # 3 Environmental Factors # 4 Sunlight # 7 Bugs # 8 Photosynthesis Inquiry Activities: # 6 Water Pollution Challenge Activities: # 2 Soil # Water # 9 Model Garden Table of Contents for Lesson Plans # Title Topic Author 1) What’s in a Plant? plant anatomy Holly Pusok 2) Soils, Soils, Soils of Fun soil Holly Pusok 3) What’s the Weather, Heather? environmental factors Amanda LeGalley 4) You are My Sunshine sunlight Melissa Calhoun 5) I’m Thirsty water Melissa Calhoun 6) Mystery Spray water pollution Amanda LeGalley 7)) A Bug’s Life harmful bugs Melissa Calhoun 8) The In’s and Out’s of Plants photosynthesis Amanda LeGalley 9) How Does Your Garden Grow? garden building H.P., M.C., and A.L. Informal Science Connection The following Houston schools have been supported and assisted by the independent, non-profit organization, Urban Harvest: Browning Elementary, Cedar Brook Elementary, and McDade Elementary. The class can take a field trip to one or all of these schools. During these visits, children can learn about ideas and tips for a great school garden prior to making their own garden for their school. Questions that children have can be answered while on these trips. Annotated Unit Resources, References, & Websites Lesson One Lesson Tutor—A Plant Overview—Grade 3 http://www.lessontutor.com/lw3.html Lesson Two Kidsgardening.com http://www.kidsgardening.com/ Lesson Tutor—A Plant Overview—Grade 3 http://www.lessontutor.com/lw3.html Lesson Three Excel tutorial for teachers http://www.microsoft.com/Education/Excel2002Tutori al.aspx Lesson Four Reference Book Backyard Science by Chris Maynard p.7 Lesson Five Example Quotes http://www.gardendigest.com/water.htm Lesson Six Lesson Plan http://www.ec.gc.ca/acidrain/kids-5-8.html Lesson Plan http://www.teachers.net/lessons/posts/349.html Annotated Unit Resources, References, & Websites Lesson Seven Home and Garden Information Center http://hgic.clemson.edu/ Vegetable-eating insects http://entweb.clemson.edu/cuentres/cesheets/veg/ Lesson Eight Content information for the teacher and students http://www.lessontutor.com/lw3.html Website students visit during Explore phase of lesson http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/gpe/case1/c1facts2c.html Lesson Nine Classic Literature that describes gardens beautifully The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett Urban Harvest Website http://www.urbanharvest.org/homepage.html Additional Unit Resources: A Beginner’s Field Guide: Watching Nature by Monica Russo Ecology for Every Kid: Easy Activities that Make Learning Science Fun by Janice VanCleave Nifty Nature by Shar Levine and Leslie Johnstone Play and Find Out about Bugs: Easy Experiments for Young Children by Janice VanCleave The Kids’ Nature Book: 365 Indoor/Outdoor Activities and Experiences by Susan Milord Now it’s time for What’s in a Plant?
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