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Photo courtesy WFP Plant Growth & Development Initial Use Training for WA LASER prepared and presented by Mary Moore Goals for Plant Growth & Development: Concepts • Many plants follow a life cycle that begins with growth from a seed and proceeds through the production of seeds. • Plants have distinct stages in their life cycle. • To live and grow plants need light, water, and nutrients from the soil. • Flowering plants must be pollinated in order to produce seeds. • Many plants are pollinated by bees. • A flowers pollen sticks to a bee, but some rubs off when the bee feeds at other flowers. • One seed produces one plant; one plant can produce many seeds. Goals for Plant Growth & Development: Skills • Planting and caring for Brassica plants. • Observing, describing, and recording changes in plants. • Comparing and discussing changes occurring in plants over time. • Measuring and recording the growth of plants. • Using graphs to display and compare growth patterns. • Predicting future growth from observations and measurements. • Reading to learn more about plants. • Communicating results and reflecting on experiences through writing, drawing, and discussion. Goals for Plant Growth & Development: Attitudes • Developing interest in studying the life cycle of plants. • Developing sensitivity to the needs of plants. • Developing an awareness of the interaction between plants and animals. What Is Inside a Seed? Students observe how the bean seed has changed after being soaked in water overnight. Students record their observations, open the bean seed and observe the inside, and draw and label the parts of a bean seed. Graphic courtesy WFP Day 0 Each seed contains a tiny, new plant, called an embryo. The outside of the seed is called the seed coat. A seed can remain dormant (sleeping) for years, as long as it stays dry and cool. Photo courtesy WFP Planting the Seeds Students collect and organize their own materials for planting. Students set up their planters with wicks, fertilizer, potting mix and seeds. Planting the Seeds - continued Students pick up the tiny Brassica seeds with a damp toothpick and place them in the soil. Students write their names on plant markers and insert them into the soil near the edge of the quad. Day 1 - 2 Photos courtesy WFP A day or two after planting and watering, the tiny seed germinates. During germination, the seed takes up water and swells until its seed coat cracks. The embryonic root emerges first, followed by the stem and two cotyledons (seed leaves). Day 2 - 3 Photo courtesy WFP The stem pushes through the soil, pulling the cotyledons along with it. No longer needed, the seed coat drops from the cotyledons to the soil. Day 4 or 5 Photo courtesy WFP The stem elongates as the plant reaches upward for light. Students discuss the purpose of thinning and transplanting and learn how to carry out these two tasks. Day 5, 6, 7, or 8 Photo courtesy WFP The true leaves emerge once the plant has used up the energy stored in the cotyledons. Students learn how to measure their plants to the nearest centimeter. Students begin keeping records of their plant growth on a bar graph Day 7, 8, or 9 Photos courtesy WFP Stems elongate at the internodes, which is the space between the nodes (where the leaves attach). Students observe two major developments: the true leaves and the flower buds. Students record their observations in their notebooks and review the life cycle of a plant through this stage of development. Observing the Growth Spurt Days 9 to 13 Students measure plant height in centimeters and record it on a graph every day for one week. Students predict how much their plant will grow each day and analyze their data on the growth spurt. Why Are Bees Important? Students use a hand lens to observe dried bees. Students make bee sticks to be used as a tool for pollination. The Anatomy of a Bee Looking at Flowers Photo courtesy WFP Students observe details of the flower’s anatomy and identify the major parts. Students learn more about the crucifer family. Pollinating Flowers Day 12 -18 Students use the bee sticks to cross-pollinate their plants. Students read more about the interdependence of bees and flowers. Observing Pods Day 17 to 35 Photo courtesy WFP Students observe the development of the fertilized pods between Day 17 and Day 35. Students record their observations by drawing, writing, and graphing. Harvesting and Threshing the Seeds Photo courtesy WFP Students harvest and thresh the seeds. Students count the seeds and compare that number with the original number of seeds planted to determine their profit or loss. Students think about additional questions they have about plants and experiments that might help answer them.
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