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Impact II: Projects & Lesson Plans: A Planting We Will Go/Grow

HOW IT WORKS
A Planting We Will Go/Grow is an interdisciplinary project in which multiple learning styles of the students are stimulated with a variety of techniques. Students explore the process of germination and the parts of a plant, create a slide show depicting their findings, and learn some valuable life lessons. 

Students read The Empty Pot by Demi, a modern-day folk tale that explores Chinese culture and geography. Appreciation of other cultures  is developed and nurtured. In the story, an emperor gives one seed to every child to plant. They do not know that the seeds were cooked already, and will not grow. The theme is “Honesty is the best policy.” The students discuss the language arts/reading aspect of the folk tale, and identify with the character learning a valuable lesson: no matter who you are or from which culture you come, certain values remain constant. A reading/writing connection is developed and strengthened as the project progresses. Children also choose a life  lesson that they will illustrate in a short story.

The students go on a field trip to Forest Park (several blocks from the school) to observe and record the process of germination. These trips are planned in advance with the Forest Park Rangers. Several trips are made to observe, record, draw, and measure the growth pattern of the plants. Students make and revise predictions based on their previous findings. The measurements are converted using both metric and customary units. Graphs are created to illustrate the growth pattern of the plants. Research is done to further explain the parts of a plant and the process of germination.

Students create the graphics depicting the different growth stages using Kid Pix Studios and ClarisWorks, and create a slide show with narration explaining the process of germination. A graphic illustration of a plant is produced and labeled, and the students construct graphs of the growth stages in germination.

THE STUDENTS
There are thirty fourth graders involved in this program, which is adaptable for all elementary grades. Students work on the classroom-based computers on a daily basis. There are many different instructional strategies used for this project: whole group, cooperative groups, and independent work that address the variety of learning styles in the classroom. 

THE STAFF
Lisa Jimenez is a fourth grade teacher at PS 90Q. Catherine Donaruma-Canzoneri, a staff developer at PS 90Q, also assisted on this project. 

WHAT YOU NEED
This program can be done in a regular classroom using computers equipped with Kid Pix Studios and ClarisWorks. The books are borrowed from the school and public libraries. Several walking trips are necessary in order to make observations about plants and plant growth. Measurement tools are needed on the trips.

OVERALL VALUE
A Planting We Will Go/Grow is an all-inclusive project that incorporates all disciplines of learning, making it a truly meaningful experience for the students. It fosters a sense of unity and tolerance among the children, teaching them major life lessons as well as life skills, i.e., human relations, recording data, investigating, making predictions, etc. Students read and comprehend informational material, write a response to literature using critical processes, participate in group meetings, and demonstrate a basic understanding of the rules of the English language. It can be adapted to any grade level by simplifying or intensifying the project to meet the needs of the students. 

CURRICULUM AREAS
Technology
Language Arts
Social Studies
Science
Mathematics

GRADES
1 - 6

MORE INFORMATION
Lisa Jimenez
PS 90 Q, CSD 27
86-50 109th Street
Richmond Hill, NY 11418
Principal
Barbara A. Embriano

IMPACT II Catalog 2000-2001
(pdf file: requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).

 

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