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TeachNet Grant: Plants Talk Back!
Meryl Meisler
mmeisle@schools.nyc.gov

Institute for Collaborative Education

6th Grade: Earth Science, Art, Digital Art, English Language Arts
About the Grant:

Connect the Sciences and Arts with The Comic Life of Plants. Middle School Earth Science students conduct hands on scientific study of plant life by growing Lima beans. In their digital art component, the students create animated movies with audio voice to their plant's needs, wants and desires.

How This Grant was Adapted:

Connect the Sciences and Arts with The Comic Life of Plants. Middle School Earth Science students conduct hands on scientific study of plant life by growing Lima beans. In their digital art component, the students create animated movies with audio voice to their plant's needs, wants and desires.

Project URL

Campbell

http://youtube.com/watch?v=w9_ptRxJqHo

 

Leona

http://youtube.com/watch?v=jwdN7CSqeRo

 

President or Not!

http://youtube.com/watch?v=800QoW0PrZ4

 

Whatever!

http://youtube.com/watch?v=BqoePzf6FVg

 

Objectives

Objective 1: Students will be able to identify the parts of a lima bean plant.

Objective 2: Students will be able to identify nutritional and environmental needs to sustain plant life.

Objective 3: Students will be able to write a creative story about a plant.

Objective 4:  Students will be able to storyboard and write a script for an educational short with a voice over and sound track

Objective 5: Students will be able to create, integrate, and edit animations

Objective 6: Students will be able to constructively critique each other's work.

Websites Used

Link 1: http://urbanext.uiuc.edu/gpe/index.html
Description: The Great Plant Escape. A bilingual game in which the players help Detective Leplant and his partners Bud and Sprout unlock the amazing mysteries of plant life.

           

Link 2: http://library.thinkquest.org/3608/plantsgrow.html

 

Description: "All About Plants" is a Think Quest project by young people explaining how plants grow.

           

Link 3: http://nyu.edu/projects/mstep/lessons/howplants.html

Description: "How Plants Grow: What Do Living Things Need To Survive?"

A project plan for 6th grade Life Science.

           

Link 4: http://naturegrid.org.uk/plant/index.html

Description: "Plant Explorer", interactive explorations include: Find the flower!, Parts of the Plant, Eating plants, What do plants need, Plans for food, and Plant Glossary

           

Link 5: http://karenjlloyd.com/blog/free-storyboard-template-downloads/

Description: Free storyboard templates

           

Link 6: http://instructorweb.com/lesson/crwritingparts.asp

Description: Creative Writing Lesson: Parts of a Story

           

Link 7: http://awdsgn.com/HTML/EduClineCrit.html

Description: Evaluating student work: types of critiques.

            

Standards Addressed:

Standard 1: Information Systems - Students will access, generate, process, and transfer information using appropriate technologies.

Grade: 6

Subject: Science and Technology

 

Standard 2: Students will apply technological knowledge and skills to design, construct, use, and evaluate products and systems to satisfy human and environmental needs.

Grade: 6

Subject: Science and Technology

 

Standard 3: Interconnectedness: Common Themes

Students will understand the relationships and common themes that connect mathematics, science, and technology and apply the themes to these and other areas of learning.

Grade: 6

Subject: Science and Technology

 

Standard 4: Interdisciplinary Problem Solving

Students will apply the knowledge and thinking skills of mathematics, science, and technology to address real-life problems and make informed decisions

Grade: 6

Subject: Science and Technology

 

Standard 5: Creating, Performing, and Participating in the Arts

Students will actively engage in the processes that constitute creation and performance in the arts (dance, music, theatre, and visual arts) and participate in various roles in the arts.

 

Grade: 6

Subject: The Arts

 

Standard 6: Knowing and Using Arts Materials and Resources

Students will be knowledgeable about and make use of the materials and resources available for participation in the arts in various roles.

Grade: 6

Subject: The Arts

 

Standard 7: Responding to and Analyzing Works of Art

Students will respond critically to a variety of works in the arts, connecting the individual work to other works and to other aspects of human endeavor and thought.

Grade: 6

Subject: The Arts

 

Standard 8: Language for Information and Understanding

Students will listen, speak, read, and write for information and understanding.

Grade: 6

Subject: English Language Arts

 

Standard 9: Language for Social Interaction

Students will listen, speak, read, and write for social interaction. Students will use oral and written language that follows the accepted conventions of the English language for effective social communication with a wide variety of people.

Grade: 6

Subject: English Language Arts

 

Lesson 1:

Title - Survive and Thrive

Project Objectives - List the learning objectives for this lesson.

Please list at least two objectives per lesson. Leave areas blank if needed.

 

Objective 1: What do plants need to survive and thrive?

Objective 2: What do people need to survive and thrive?

Objective 3: What would a plant say if it had the ability to talk?

 

Materials 1: white board and marker or chart paper and marker

Materials 2: paper and pencil

Materials 3: optional creative writing handout: parts of a story http://instructorweb.com/lesson/crwritingparts.asp

 

Procedure 1: Teacher elicits from students what they learned about plants from their lima bean experiments. (The variables they used, results, parts of plants, what plants needed)

Procedure 2: Teacher elicits from students what humans need to survive and thrive (food, shelter, clothing essentials in addition to human wants, needs and desires)

Procedure 3: Teacher elicits from students to imagine what their plant could say or do if it had human qualities and could talk and perhaps walk. What would happen if their plant had human emotions?

Procedure 4: Students discuss and review the parts of the story (plot, setting, main character, supporting characters, conflict, resolution)

Procedure 5: Teacher explains that the students will work in small groups to plan and produce education animated shorts with voice overs in which the main character is a plant. In their story the plant has human and plant qualities, wants and needs, a conflict and a resolution. The story will be short and concise- between one and three minutes maximum.

Procedure 6: Individually or in teams of 2, students will brainstorm the idea for a story.

Procedure 7:  A representative from each group sums up their groups' brainstorm outcome.

 

 

Homework

Students write a first draft of a storyline based on their brainstorm outcomes.

 

Assessment

Was each group able to share the brainstorm idea to the whole class? 

Lesson 2:

Title - Research for Realism

Objective 1: Students will respond to each other's plant stories.

Objective 2: Students will research and incorporate plant facts to make their stories more "believable" and educational.

Objective 3: Students will begin to storyboard their movie

 

Materials 1: computer terminal with Internet connection

Materials 2: storyboard template

 

 

Procedures - List in a step-by-step fashion what the teacher and students are required to do in order to complete the lesson.

Leave areas blank if needed.

 

Procedure 1: Divide the class into groups of 4

Procedure 2: The members of each group will read aloud their plants stories to each other.

Procedure 3: Students will decide among themselves which of the story ideas they want to focus on for their animation project.

Procedure 4: The group gives critical feedback and suggestions to the author whose story they chose.

Procedure 5: Teacher calls the class to come back together as a whole. Class brainstorms the jobs necessary to create a short educational animation with voice overs (director, script writer, fact checker, editor, actors, titles/graphics, animator, sound etc.)

Procedure 6:  Each group is instructed to decide who will be responsible for each task

Procedure 7: Students are instructed to use the Internet to find at least 5 plant facts that they will include in their chosen story (Teacher has already bookmarked suggested sites--see list earlier in the unit).

 

Homework

Each student will be given a storyboard form.

Students will storyboard their idea for the major sequences of the "Plants Talk Back" and/or the title and credit graphics

 

Assessment

Did the students find at least 5 facts about plants to add authenticity to their "Plants Talk Back' story?

Lesson 3:

Title - Team Tactics

Objective 1: Students determine their workflow plan.

Objective 2: Students will finalize each member's responsibilities for their team.

 

Materials 1: storyboard templates

Materials 2: word processing software, printer and paper

 

Procedures - List in a step-by-step fashion what the teacher and students are required to do in order to complete the lesson.

Leave areas blank if needed.

 

Procedure 1: Each team will finalize their story idea.

Procedure 2: Each team will finalize who will be responsible for which job to produce their project (project director, script writer, animators, title and credit designers, voice over's, audio recorders and editors)

Procedure 3: Script writer(s) will word process the script and print out enough copies for each person who will read.

Procedure 4: Animators and designers will finalize storyboard plan

 

Homework

Each person will take home the printed out script. They will highlight their individual parts and practice reading them aloud.

Lesson 4

Title - Animation & Audio

Days 4-7 (more if needed).

 

Objective 1: Students will record their voice over

Objective 2: Students will create original soundtracks.

Objective 3: Students will begin creating animation.

 

Materials - Please list the materials or software needed for this lesson. Leave areas blank if needed.

Materials 1: Garage Band or other music creating instruments (analogue or digital)

Materials 2: internal computer microphone or external audio recorder (or video camera with microphone)

Materials 3: Animation software such as Flash.

 

Procedure 1: Actors and actresses chosen to do voice overs will practice reading their parts together at least two times before recording.

Procedure 2: Musical composers will create soundtracks using Garage band and/or recording real instrument tracks through their computer microphone.

Procedure 3:  Students will download their voice overs into their project folder on their hard drive.

Procedure 4: Animators and graphic designers will create their visuals.

 

Assessment -

Were the students able to record their voice over's and download it into their computer hard drive?

Were the students able to record digital or instrumental soundtracks?

Did the students create animation and graphics?

Lesson 5:

Title - Edit, edit and edit!

 

Objective 1: Each team will integrate their audio and visuals

Objective 2: Each team will edit their audio and visuals.

 

Materials - Please list the materials or software needed for this lesson. Leave areas blank if needed.

Materials 1: Software for integrating audio and visuals (example, Premiere Elements or iMovie)

Materials 2: Flash drive (pen drive)

 

Procedure 1: Each team will use a flash drive to take their audio and visuals created on separate terminals and combining them on one hard drive.

Procedure 2: Each team will use Premiere Elements or imovie to import their visuals and audio tracks into one project.

Procedure 3: The projects will be edited so they are between 1 - 3 minutes maximum. Remind the students to save both the original and each edited version with different names (e.g. plants_talk.1, plants_talk.2)

Meryl Meisler is an artist and an educator. She has taught art in the NYC Public School System since 1979. At the Institute for Collaborative Education, she is Admissions Director and teaches digital and traditional art. Meryl proudly serves as a teacher representative on the Board of Trustees of The Teachers Network. She has won numerous grants and awards for her teaching and personal artwork.


 

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