Experiments with Plants

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					Experiments with Plants

    6th Grade Science
  Kyrene School District
           Before We Begin.
• We are beginning our plants unit with
  Wisconsin Fast Plants.
• You will need to do some background
  reading and research about plants.
• All information for this unit should be
  kept in your science notebook and binder.
• If you are absent, please review with
  your group about what you missed.
Science Notebooks
Early Efforts to Keep a
  Science Notebook
                  Science Notebooks
• A tool for scientists to record their thinking and their
  learning before, during and after a science investigation.
• It reflects a chronological accounting of the progression of
  an investigation as the student records questions,
  materials, procedures, observations, data, explanations
  and reflections.
• As a working document, the science notebook is a rough
  draft whose primary audience is the scientist.
• It allows the scientist:
   –   To organize thoughts and information.
   –   To reflect.
   –   Self-assessment.
   –   To see the developmental progression of an investigation.
   –   To keep for future study or inquiry.
   –   A resource for the creation of a final product.
   –   To help develop a habit of mind.
              Types of Entries
•   Drawings
•   Tables, Charts, and Graphs
•   Graphic Organizers
•   Notes and Practice Problems
•   Reflective and Analytical Entries
•   Inserts
•   Investigation Formats
•   Writing Frames
Tables, Charts, & Graphs
  Graphic Organizers
                       Writing Frame

Think of properties
you can see such as
                      I observed
size, shape, color,
lines, texture,
pattern, behavior…

Think of the other
senses of smell,
                      I noticed
sound, touch, and
perhaps taste!

Connect it with
something that you
                      It reminds me of
already know.

Add more detail as
                      This is so because

Be curious and ask
questions you could
                      I am curious about

                      It surprised me that

                      I wonder what would happen if
Notes & Practice Problems
Reflective & Analytical Entries
                                                          Examples of
                                                           from the
                                                  REAL WORLD OF
The scientists’ notebooks featured in this section come from those working at Battelle Pacific NW National Labs.
             Computational Chemist
wrong with
               Computational Chemist

“will have
 all of
Reference graphs and tables pasted into notebook
                 Materials Scientist
Materials Scientist     sketch
Materials Scientist

           Results (crossed out)

 problem –
 the purpose
 of the study

   the site

   regarding the
   Elk Enclosures

Which of those things
do you think you
could incorporate in
YOUR notebook?
           LET’S GET STARTED…

 Cover or Title Page
Give your science notebook
a title.

This should give the reader
an idea of what this
notebook will be about.

Don’t forget to let your notebook reflect


2                              3

                   September 4

Let’s begin Our Plants Unit!
         Lesson 1
  What Do You Know About
 What is a fair test? It’s like a race.

• In order for a race to be fair, all participants
  must start from the same place and end at the
  same finish line. Other important variables
• The time that the runner begins the race
• The length and condition of the path
• If all these variables are held as constant as
  possible, the variable that is tested is the
  running ability of the racers.
        What constitutes a fair test?
• In your group turn to   • Best way to study for
  page 2 and select one     a spelling test
  of the questions from   • Best way to remove a
  # 6.                      spaghetti stain
• How would you           • Testing new dog food
  design a fair test?       brands
          Plants: August 20
In your group:
1. Discuss and record how scientists do
2. What makes something a good
What do we know about experiments?
• In your science notebook on page 1, write the
  title “What I know about Science Experiments”.
• Write 1- 2 paragraphs explaining everything you
  know about conducting a science experiment.
• Think about how you would set up an
  experiment to find out which flavor of gum lasts
  the longest.
• Suggested Word Bank:
  Experiment     Control      Variable
  Fair           Data         Observation
  Problem        Conclusion   Measurement
1.   Researcher develops a good plan and follows
2.   Topic of experiment is interesting and
3.   Researcher makes careful observations over
     a period of time.
4.   Researcher keeps accurate, honest, and
     regular records.
5.   Something is measured.
6.   After experiment, researcher draws
     conclusions based on data.
7.   Findings are communicated.
        Plants Pre-Assessment.
• On the 2nd page in your science
  notebook, write the title “A Flowering
• Write down today’s date.
• Draw and label all the parts of a flowering
  plant that you know.
• This drawing is a record of your current
  knowledge and will be used as a basis for
  comparison at the end of the unit.
• Do not go back and add to this drawing
  at any time.
       Fast Plants for Fast Times
• Read Fast Plants for Fast Times (pages 4 & 5) in
  your student book.
• List 5 things you learned about Fast Plants in
  your student notebook.
• Read What Do Wisconsin Fast Plants Need to
  Grow Best (page 6 & 7).
• List the 6 items Fast Plants need to grow best in
  your student notebook.
• Read and review the Calendar of the Life Cycle
  of a Normal Brassica Plant (page 8)
• Brainpop: Plant Growth
                  In closing:

1.   What would
     happen if you did
     an experiment in
     which you put a
     cactus in a pool
     and a water lily in
     the desert?
2.   What changes
     would you observe
     in each plant?
       Lesson 2

Identifying Variables and
  Planning a Fair Test
•   Review pages 6 and 7, then record
    this question and write down your

    1.What are all of the
      things that
      Wisconsin Fast           Answer
      Plants need to
Variables that Wisconsin Fast Plants
            need to grow
•   Light
•   Water
•   Fertilizer
•   Space         Make corrections in
•   Pollination   your notebook at
•   Temperature   this time.
            Refer to reading
          selection on page 6
• What are all of the things that Wisconsin
  Fast Plants need to grow best?

• Light: Needs 24 hours of continuous
  light. Not only that, the light must come
  for cool, white, fluorescent bulbs.
• Fertilizer: Regular dose is three fertilizer
  pellets per planter quad cell.
• Space: 1 plant per planter cell si the
  spacing recommendation.
• Pollination: In order for the plants to
  produce seeds, pollen must be
  transferred form one plant to another.
  This is called cross-pollination.
• Temperature:70degrees F to 80
  degrees F.
• Water: Plants require a continuous
  supply of water. Must not be allowed to
  dry out for more than a few hours.
            Your Job is to:
1. Design an experiment by changing one
   of these variables.
2. Which one would you like to work with?
3. Remember, the first step in planning a
   good science project is asking a good
   question which can be experimented on.
In closing…discuss in your group
these questions:

• Do you think that changing one variable
  would make a difference in the life cycle
  of the plant?
• How would they be different?
• How might their cycle be slowed down or
  speeded up?
• Would they still produce flowers?
• Would they produce seeds?
       August 22:In your group….
• Decide which variable to test in this
• Each person is responsible for making
  careful observations and recording
• Decide who will take care of the control
  plants and who will take care of the
  experimental plants.
In your group, your next challenge is
• Decide which question or problem to

• Remember to develop a question with a
  narrow focus so that you investigate a
  specific topic.
     Good Question example….
• What happens to the number of seeds a
  plant produces if we double the normal
  amount of fertilizer?

 Question that is too broad
          or vague….
  What happens if we
  give the plant a lot of
    Use the illustration of page 18
• This illustration will help you to formulate
  good, specific questions.
            Identifying Variables
• Look in your notebook where you listed the 6
  items Fast Plants need to grow best in your
  student notebook.
• What variables do Wisconsin Fast Plants need to
  –   Light
  –   Water
  –   Fertilizer
  –   Space
  –   Pollination
  –   Temperature
• Variable: a component or part of an
  experiment that can change.
Start Activity Sheet 1A by listing all the
variables that you could possibly change






      Planning Your Experiment
• In your groups, you will each receive four
  complete quads, or 16 plants to work
• Two of the quads will be the control
  – Grown under ideal conditions to represent the
    normal stages of growth & development
• Two of the quads will be your
  experimental group.
  – Must decide on the ONE variable you will
    change for your experimental group.
  MMMMM….What would happen if
• The plants were shielded from the light
  for 3 hours a day?
• The plants received no fertilizer?
• The plants got twice as much fertilizer?
• The plants were overcrowded?
• The blossoms were not pollinated?
• The plants were under a different color
• The plants were given Red Bull in addition
  to water?
                  Getting Started
• Read Lesson 2 (pages 9 & 10)
• Read The Life Cycle of Wisconsin Plants (12-15)
• Think about the variable you would like to
  –   Light (change amount of light or light color)
  –   Fertilizer
  –   Space
  –   Pollination
• The following variables might be too hard to
  change in our classroom. You would have to
  come up with a good plan.
  – Water (or type of liquid)
  – Temperature
         Variable: FERTILIZER
• Sample Big Question: Will the
  experimental plants grow taller/have
  more leaves/produce more seeds with
  2x/3x/4x the amount of fertilizer?
• Sample Big Question: Will the
  experimental plants be shorter/have less
  leaves/produce less seeds with no
• Control group – 3 pellets of fertilizer per
• Experimental group – more or less than 3
  pellets per cell
            Variable: SPACE
• Sample Big Question: If we do not thin
  out the experimental plants to one plant
  per cell, will the plants be shorter/have
  fewer leaves/produce fewer seeds than
  the control plants?
• Control group – Plant 2 seeds per cell and
• Experimental group – plant 2 or more
  seeds per cell and do not thin
             Variable: Light
• Sample Big Question: What will happen
  to the number of leaves/height or the
  plant if the type or amount of light is
• Control group- UV light 24 hours a day.
• Experimental group – create a colored
  light cover or deprive plants of light for a
  part of the day.
          Variable: Pollination
• Sample Big Question: Will a plant
  produce seeds if it is not pollinated?
• Control group – Make a bee stick and
• Experimental group – do not pollinate
  with the bee stick.
How Each Variable Affects the Plants
  Lesson 3
  Outlining the
Experimental Plan
         Include the following in you plan

• Choose one variable to change and list the other
  variables as constants
• Identify a specific testable question involving that
• Identify something to measure
• Identify any foreseeable difficulties with
• Choose a project that is possible to do
• Identify some observable features to monitor,
  such as height, color, time of flowering and
  number of leaves and pods.
         Fertilizer Predictions

1. Will the experimental plants grow
   taller (have more leaves, produce
   more seeds), if we give them 2, 3, or
   4 times the amount of fertilizer?
2. Will the experimental plants be
   shorter than the control plants if we
   reduce or do not give them any
   fertilizer at all?
           Space Predictions

• If we do not thin out the experimental
  plants to one plant per cell, but leave
  them over- crowded with two (or more)
  plants per cell will they be shorter (or
  have fewer leaves or produce fewer
  seeds) than the control plants?
            Light Predictions
• What will happen to the number of leaves
  (or the height of the plant) if the
  experimental plants are in the dark for 5,
  4, 3 etc. hours per day every school day?
         Pollination: Predictions
• Will a plant produce seeds if it is not
• Will a plant produce seeds if it is self
  pollinated and not cross pollinated?
    Lesson 4

Planting Procedures
        Planting Procedures: Step 1

•   Pick up all of your supplies from the
    distribution station (front lab table). Be
    sure that you and your group have
    these items in your tray before you
    begin planting.
•   There are enough wicks, seeds, and
    fertilizer for all of the classes today. Use
    only the amount indicated in your
    material list.
                  Step 2
• Note that I have numbered and labeled
  your planter with the following
  – Period number and table number
  – C C which is your control plants numbered
  – E E which is your experimental plants
    numbered 3 & 4
                 Step 3
• Place one wick in each cell of the planter
  quad. Use your forceps to pull the wick
  through the hole until the tip sticks out
  about 1 centimeter. Use the ruler that we
  are handing out.
                  Step 4
• Using the spoon, fill each section of the
  planter quad halfway with potting mix.
                    Step 5

• If you are not experimenting with fertilizer,
  add three fertilizer pellets to each cell. Look
  closely. The fertilizer pellets are much larger
  than the seeds.
* If you are experimenting with fertilizer, add to
  each cell the number of pellets called for in
  your experimental plan. Only add to the
  experimental plants. The control plants do not
  Add 3 pellets.
                  Step 6
• Fill each cell to the top with potting mix.
  Press down a little with your fingers.
                        Step 7
• Put a drop of water on your tray using the dropper and
  dip your toothpick in it.
• Use the wet toothpick to pick up one seed.
• Place the seed just below the top of the potting mix in
  one cell and cover it.
• Plant a second seed in this cell in the same way.
• Repeat until there are two seed in each cell of the
** If you are experimenting with overcrowding,
  plant in each experimental cell the number of
  seeds called for in your plan. **
                 Step 8
• Using the dropper, water very gently, a
  drop or two at a time, until water drips
  from the bottom of each wick.
                Step 9
• Write your period number, and today’s
  date on the label and place it in the
                Step 10
• Place your quad under the lighting
  system with the label facing out.
• Be sure that your quad is about 5 to 7.5
  centimeters (2 – 3 inches) form the light
• Double-check to ensure that your planter
  is completely on the water mat.
  How to complete
   the daily data
 record and how to
complete the graph
                Completing the
               Daily Data Record

• Observations are done daily for your plant
• Include a detailed sketch
• Written description of appearance
   – Height, color, number of leaves and buds
   – Note of any changes, new developments
   – Or a “no change” notation
                Completing the
         Daily Data Record Continued

• Things that can be measured or
  – Number of seeds germinated
  – Number of leaves, buds, flowers, and length
    of leaves
  – Time it takes for developments to occur
  – Dates of germination, appearance of true
    leaves, first flowering and pod formation
      Graphing Plants









      1    2   3   4     5

          Daily Growth
        Lesson 5

Thinning and Transplanting
Why is it important
 to thin plants?
       What is a plant? Answers
1.  B and D
2.  True
3.  Cell Wall
4.  Cellulose
5.  a) cell wall, b) nucleus, c) cytoplasm,
    d) cell membrane, e) vacuole, f) chloroplast
6. False
7. Tissue
                Answers cont.
8) a. Have ways to obtain water and other nutrients
   b. Retain Water
   c. Transport materials within their bodies
   d. Support their bodies
   e. Reproduce
9) Soil
10) Because there is more water in plant cells than
    in air, water from the plant evaporate into the
    air causing the plant to dry out.
               Answers cont.
11. C
12. Vascular tissue
13. True
14. A sperm cell unites with an egg cell.
15. D
16. They study fossils and compare the
  chemicals in modern plants to the those in
  other organisms.
            Answers cont.
17. Chlorophyll
18. Plants and green algae have the same
  form of chlorophyll.
19. Sporophyte, Gametophyte
20. False
21. a) sperm cells b) egg cells
            Answers cont.
17. Chlorophyll
18. Plants and green algae have the same
  form of chlorophyll.
19. Sporophyte, Gametophyte
20. False
21. a) sperm cells b) egg cells
          Angiosperms: Answers
1.   Angiosperms
2.   B
3.   A. Produce flowers   B. Produce fruits
4.   C
5.   B
6.   D
7.   A
                  Answers cont.
8. A. stamen
    B. anther
    C. filament
    D. petal
    E. stigma
    F. style
    G. pistil
    H. ovary
    I. sepal
             Answers cont.
9. Stigma
10. Ovule
11. False
12. Animals get coated with pollen and
    brush pollen onto the stigma from one
    plant to another.
13. A) monocots B) dicots
14. Cotyledon
          Answers cont.
15.   A          20.   A
16.   B          21.   B
17.   B          22.   a
18.   A          23.   A&B
19.   B          24.   True
      Characteristic of Seed Plants:
I.    B) Seeds            1.   C, D
II.   A) seed structure   2.   Sporphyte, gametophyte
      B) Seed Dispersal   3.   A. Supports the plants
      C) Germination           B. Transports water,
                                  food and minerals

                               4. b
5. A                     10. B
6. Leaves                11. C
7. Roots                 12. A
8. A plant structure     13. Light, water and
    that contains a         nutrients
    young plant inside   14. False
    a protective         15. Animals, water,
    covering                wind, shooting out
9. false                    of a plant
16. The sprouting of    18. A) anchors the
  the embryo out of a                plant
  seed                     B) absorbs
17. B, d                        water and
                                from soil
                           C) stores food
• Select the
  variable you will
  want to change      We predict that the experimental plants will grow taller with
                      2 times the amount of fertilizer because they will receive
  for your            more of the nutrients needed to grow.

                             Fertilizer                 Light
• Cross off the
  variable from the
  list you will not     The 2 control group
                        plants will receive 3
  change to the         pellets of fertilizer per
                        quad cell.                      Space
  variable you will     The 2 experimental
  change                group plants will receive
                        6 pellets of fertilizer per    Pollination
• Complete the rest     quad cell.

  of the form.
                        We will measure the            Water
                        height of the control
                        group plants and the
                        height of the
                        experimental group             Temperature
                        plants in cm.

   Will the experimental plants grow taller with 2 times the
   amount of fertilizer?



                     We will measure the height of the
                     experimental plants and the height of the
                     control plants

    We will count the number of seeds, leaves, and flowers of
    the experimental plants and the control plants.
                     We will observe the height of the
                     experimental plants compared to the height
                     of the control plants

     We predict that the experimental plants will grow taller
     with 2 times the amount of fertilizer because they will
     receive more of the nutrients needed to grow.
Planting Your
Wisconsin Fast
   Lesson 4
Read How To Plant Brassica
        Pages 19-22
Keeping a Daily Record

Monitoring Your Experiment
Each day you
 will need to
 keep a daily
record of your
plant growth.                             In cm
                 #   of   plants/ Stems
                 #   of   leaves

Observations     #

 should be

  Include the
   number of
leaves, seeds,
 flowers, and

should include
 height of the
Thinning & Transplanting
The Brassica Flower
     Getting a Handle on your Bee
• 12 days after planting
• 13 days after planting
 Harvesting & Thrashing the Seeds
• 40 days after planting