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Indiana Wesleyan University

Science Lesson Plan 2 – Inquiry


Plant Roots

Student: Ellie Stemple School: Northwestern Elementary


IWU Supervisor: Professor Hanson Co-op teacher: Mrs. Carrell
Teaching Date: N/A Grade Level: 1st Grade

LESSON RATIONALE
Because this is first grade, I am doing a unit on plant parts and their external functions. Though
this lesson is only focusing on the function and properties of roots, I will also be including a
lesson on stems, leaves, and flowers in future lessons to complete this plant unit. The students
will be making a plant flip book that includes each of these parts, but we will only add the roots
part of it in this lesson. Students will be observing the patterns they notice in the plant parts,
specifically in the functions of the roots as they observe the process of water absorption. They
will look for patterns in the way plants function and what they need to grow to discover
important properties of plants.

READINESS
I. Goals/Objectives/Standard(s)
a. Goal: Students will understand the significance of plant roots.
b. Objectives:
i. By using inquiry-based instruction, students will hypothesize prior to the
experiment and observe and analyze their actual findings after conducting
the investigation.
ii. After observing the process of water absorption, students will understand
the primary function of roots for a plant.
c. Standard:
i. 1.LS.2 Develop a model mimicking how plants and/or animals use their
external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs.
II. Management Plan
a. Materials
i. What Do Roots Do? By Kathleen V. Kudlinski
ii. Blue and yellow food coloring
iii. 3 tall glasses
iv. Paper towels
v. Paper for flip book
vi. Coloring supplies
b. Time: 35-40 mins
i. Anticipatory set: 5 mins
ii. Experiment: 15 mins
iii. Flip book activity: 10 mins
iv. Closure: 5 mins
c. Space
i. Anticipatory set: Nook
ii. Rest of the lesson: In their seats (I will allow them to get out of their seats
to get a closer look at what is happening to the water rainbow activity)
d. Behavior: Expectations will be set from the beginning for listening, speaking, and
using materials. They will be given their materials at their seats or have the
materials already at their desks. I will use attention-getters (“If you can hear me
clap once”) to bring their attention back to me when transitioning from one part of
the lesson to another. For the experiment, I will set clear expectations and have all
the materials near me so that students will not be tempted to reach for anything.
III. Anticipatory Set
First, I will call the students over to the Nook. Once they are settled down, I will begin
introducing my lesson.
Who can name a part of a plant? What do most or all plants have that helps them survive
and grow?
Allow time for students to respond with the knowledge that they already have. Record
their responses of the different parts of a plant on an anchor chart, drawing a picture as a
visual and labeling the parts that they mention.
Wow, you guys already know so much about plants! We are going to learn about all these
different parts of a plant, but today we are going to talk about one specific part of a
plant. I am now going to read you a book called, What Do Roots Do? by Kathleen V.
Kudlinski. As I read, I want you to try and figure out what part of the plant we are
learning about today. Don’t say it out loud or else you will give it away! Keep it hidden
in your head and we’ll talk about it after. Listen for new information that you did not
know before reading this book.
I will then read the book aloud to the students. After I am finished, I will ask for the
students to shout out their answer on the count of three. I will then have 3 volunteers raise
their hand to tell me 3 new things they learned about plants or roots specifically from the
book.
IV. Purpose Statement
Today we are going to learn about roots so that we will understand the main reasons why
plants need roots to survive and grow.

PLAN FOR INSTRUCTION


V. Adaptation to Diverse Students
a. Remediation: There will be multiple means of receiving the information,
according to the various multiple intelligences and learning styles. There will also
be many different forms of representation as well.
b. Exceptional Needs:
i. Student with Autism: I will work closely with this student, guiding him
through the process and encouraging him to stay on task. I will make sure
he is following along and keeping up with the rest of the class, as he
struggles emotionally when he falls behind. I will also remember to call on
him to share his findings during our closure, as he seems to get great joy
from sharing his successes with his friends.
ii. Student with behavior issues: I will use his behavior chart to reward him
with a star in one of his boxes when he stays on task. I will also have him
stand near me in the front so I can keep an eye on him, making sure he
stays on track with his peers. To keep him engaged, I will call on him to
make guesses and share observations as we go.
VI. Lesson Presentation
 Experiment/Investigation:
Students will go back to their seats while I show them a demonstration at the front of the
classroom. I will have 3 tall, clear glasses on a table – the left one with blue water, the
right one with yellow water, and the middle one with plain water. Each of them will be
filled a few inches high. I will then explain the experiment to them.
Here, I have two glasses with colored water in them and one without any color. Today, I
am going to use paper towels as a bridge between these glasses of water. Pretend each of
the glasses is a lake and we need a bridge to get from one to the other. Paper towels are
going to be our bridge today. I am going to put one end of my paper towel in the blue
water and the other end of the same paper towel in the plain water. Then I am going to
do the same for the yellow water with a different paper towel (visual below).
I will then show them what I mean by motioning how I will put the paper towels into the
water, but I will not actually place the paper towels in the water yet.
Before I put the paper towels in, I want each of you to guess what you think is going to
happen to the water in the middle cup.
o Question of Inquiry: What will happen to the water in the middle cup after I add
the paper towels as a bridge?
o Hypotheses: Students will then have a chance to talk to their partner and decide
what they think the colored water in the cups will do once the paper towels are
added. When they are ready, they will record their hypotheses on a piece of paper
to refer to later. I will provide them with the writing prompt, “I think the water in
the middle cup will…” Once everyone has recorded their hypothesis, I will ask
for a few volunteers to share with the class what they think will happen.
I will then complete the experiment by adding the paper towels as the bridge and we will
observe what will happen. The paper towels will absorb the water in the two outside
cups, bringing it to the middle cup and creating a green colored water in the middle cup.
This will take about 3-5 minutes of observing. I will have students carefully surround the
table for a closer look at what is going on.
 Input:
Do you see what is happening? Who can raise their hand and tell me what they notice?
I will then allow students to respond by raising their hand and sharing their observations
with the class. I will have the students go back to their desks and write their observations
on their piece of paper, describing either what happened to the water or what the paper
towel did to transfer the water.
Now that we have all observed and recorded our observations, go back and look at your
guesses. Were you right? Did your guess come true?
How do you think the water in the middle cup changed color? What happened to make it
turn green?
Allow time for students to respond in a group discussion.
This is called absorbing. Everyone say it with me: absorbing. Absorbing means sucking
up the water and storing it for later. The blue and green water was absorbed by the paper
towels and then sent to the middle cup. This is how roots help plants. The roots suck up
all the water in the ground so that the plant can get the water it needs. It is kind of like
our mouths swallowing water so that we can get the food and water we need to live and
grow. Plants also need water to live. But they don’t have mouths, so they have to get their
water through their roots, which sucks the water from the dirt and brings it to the rest of
the plant so that it can live and grow. Just like the paper towel absorbed the colored
water, roots do the same for their plant.
 Output:
Students will now make their plant flip book and color/write in the section about roots
(There will be 4 sections – roots, stem, leaves, and flower). After leading the students
step-by-step through the process of creating the book, I will then give them freedom to
color a plant on their flip book. I will then have them write a sentence describing the
function of roots in the roots section of their flip book, starting with, “Roots help plants
grow by…” After students write their sentence, they will then have the freedom to color
their flip books more as they wish. I will provide them with a visual example to help
guide them as they create their flipbook (visual below).

VII. Check for Understanding


 I will collect students’ flip books with their one-sentence summary of the function of
plant roots to make sure students can articulate the primary function of the roots.
 If students do not understand the instruction the first time, I will wait or pause the activity
and go back to the core concept of root functions, repeating anything necessary.
 I will ask questions and ask for hand signals throughout my lesson presentation to ensure
that the students are following along.
 My closure will also serve as a check for understanding.
VIII. Closure
For closure, I will magnet each of the flip books to the front board and I will ask for
volunteers to come share their sentence about roots to define their function.
See how many different plants we created as a class! That is because every plant is
different, but every plant still has roots that helps them get the water and nutrients they
need. The purpose of the roots always stays the same.
So, who learned something today about plants? We are going to keep learning about
other parts of the plant, so keep your flip book so we can add on to it later!

PLAN FOR ASSESSMENT


Formative: To assess my students, I will collect their flip books (thus far) with their one-
sentence summary of the primary function of plant roots. This will show me if the students
understand why roots are important to a plant’s life. I will also observe them as they make
hypotheses and discuss the results of the experiment, making sure they understand the process of
absorption before moving on. Finally, I will listen and observe their responses to my higher-level
questions throughout my lesson presentation.

REFLECTION AND POST-LESSON ANALYSIS


1. How many students achieved the lesson objective(s)? For those who did not, why not?
2. What were my strengths and weaknesses?
3. How should I alter this lesson?
4. How would I pace it differently?
5. Were all students actively participating? If not, why not?
6. What adjustments did I make to reach varied learning styles and ability levels?
7. Were my safety procedures sufficient for this particular lesson? How or how not?
8. How could I alter my students’ discovery? Should I provide more or less guidance?

Walking Water Rainbow Example:


Plant Flip Book Example: