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Lesson Plans Created by TeachNet Adaptor Grants
Plants: They Grow On You
Name: Josephine Gum
School: P.S. 124M
Address: 40 Division Street
City: New York, NY, 10002
Original Project: Plants: They Grow On You
Author: Terry Garcia
URL: http://teachersnetwork.org/teachnet-lab/miami/2003/garcia.htm

How did you modify this unit for use in your own classroom?: We started the unit by reading Jack and the Beanstalk. After our book discussion, I elicited students' prior knowledge by having them draw a picture of a plant, label its parts, then write 2-3 things they knew about plants. This helped me to devise subsequent lessons and activities for this unit. Songs, poems, and dramatic movement were incorporated throughout the unit to meet the different learning modalities of the students. It also helped to introduce content-based vocabulary, develop oral language skills, and enhance their understanding about plants. We also utilized the school yard to observe the plants in their different stages of growth. The unit ended with a fieldtrip to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden with their fourth grade buddies. Here they made further observations of the different species of plants.

List your primary instructional objectives for your students.

  Students will learn to use the Internet as a resource tool
  Students will learn about parts of a plant and its functions
  Students will learn about what plants need to survive
  Students will learn to chart the growth of a plant using non-standard measuring tools

What role did technology play in this curriculum unit?: With the help of their fourth grade buddies, the students used the Internet to research facts about plants. The student also worked in a partnership (or in a small group) to create a nonfiction book about plants using KidPix and/or word processing software. Websites: http://canteach.ca/elementary/songspoems22.html http://mbgnet.net/bioplants/parts.html http://urbanext.uiuc.edu/gpe/case1/c1f.html http://urbanext.uiuc.edu/gpe/case1/c1facts2a.html

How did you assess and evaluate student performance?: The students made a model of a plant using tissue paper, a milk carton, and pipe cleaners. They then made a presentation about the different parts of the plant to their buddies. Students were also be assessed on their contributions to their nonfiction book about plants.

Please tell us briefly about your background & teaching experience: Josephine Gum has been teaching at P.S. 124 for several years. She is currently teaching kindergarten.

What are your recommendations for other teachers interested in adapting this unit?: Since the students will be using the computer for various tasks, one recommendation would be to begin teaching computer skills earlier in the school year. It would also be beneficial to partner the kindergarteners up with older students to provide them with the extra support they may need while navigating the Internet. Another suggestion would be to incorporate observational fieldtrips throughout the unit, even if it’s to your neighborhood park or school yard.

Samples of Student Projects

  Flower model
  Parts of a flower


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