Monday, December 5, 2011

Lesson 1 – Growing Plants

National Curriculum Links
All lesson plans link to the National Curriculum for Science in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Specific Curriculum Links are as follows:
  • Sc 2 Life Processes and Living Things
  • Science – QCA Unit 3B Helping Plants Grow Well
    QCA Unit 5B Lifecycles
Key Learning Objectives
By the end of this lesson children will learn that:
  • Plants need a healthy stem, roots and leaves to grow well.
  • Plants need light and water for healthy growth.
  • Flowering plants reproduce.
  • The lifecycle of flowering plants includes pollination, fertilisation, seed production, seed dispersal and germination.
  • Plants can provide food for human consumption and some plants are grown for this purpose.
The lesson plan has been designed for use with mixed ability groups and most students should be able to respond well to the suggested activities since much of the content involves student-centred, activity-based learning.
Below are some suggestions for making the lesson an effective learning tool for the whole class:
  • Years 3 & 4 - Less able children should name the parts of the plant using the vocabulary list to help them. More able children should try to explain what each part of the plant does.
  • Years 5 & 6 - Less able children should draw a simple diagram of a lifecycle (Activity Sheet 2a).
  • More able children should consider each stage of the lifecycle carefully and write about what happens, using the vocabulary list as a prompt. (Activity Sheet 2b).
Some Useful Websites

Lesson Plan - Growing Plants

Introduction (5 – 10 minutes)
Tell the children that today the class will be thinking and talking about plants – what a plant needs to become strong and healthy and about how each part of the plant has a different job. The children will also be thinking about how some plants are grown for humans to eat and how important plants like these are for us.
In their Science books or on paper, ask the children to draw or write any questions they have about this topic that they would like to find answers to.
First give the children a brief presentation that will help them start thinking about this topic and will start to answer some of their questions.
For the presentation, children will need whiteboards and pens and will need to sit with talk partners or in groups.
The Basics of Plant Growth Animation (20 minutes)
Go through the animation 'Plant Growth' on the interactive whiteboard allowing time for the children to talk through the questions and share answers – in their groups or as a class. See teacher guidance sheet PDF for more information on how to use this resource.
Follow-on Printable Activities (10 – 15 minutes)
  • Activity Sheet 1: 'The parts of a plant' Years 3 & 4
  • Activity Sheet 2: 'The lifecycle of a flowering plant' Years 5 & 6
Plenary (5 – 10 minutes)
Talk through what the children have learnt in this session. Look back at the questions they wrote at the beginning. Have any of them been answered? If so, which ones? Tell the children to keep the questions as they will be looking back at them through the topic and will be assessing what they have learnt at the end of the Helping Plants Grow / Lifecycles topic.

Assessment and Extension

Multiple Choice Quiz
As the questions get progressively harder, this quiz can be used as an assessment tool at the end of the session to see what the children have understood. It can also be used as an extension activity for the more able children, or just for fun!
VAK (Visual Auditory Kinesthetic) Opportunities
Drama really helps some children to understand difficult concepts because they are presented in a different way. For this activity, children could act out the lifecycle of a flowering plant by being the plant, flower, insect, seed, etc.
Once they have chosen the part of the plant they would like to be, the children can think about the processes that their plant part goes through in its lifecycle.