Saturday, March 5, 2011

Elements for Plant Survival

This past week, our class has been learning about plants and the elements that they need to survive. We started the lesson by creating a circle map and students named the elements that they "believed" plants need to be healthy. Some of their ideas were sun, soil, water, air, space, bugs, rocks, and vitamins. As I listed them on the circle map, I made sure to state that their idea could be true or false. 

I then let students know that we would use the {scientific process} to determine which elements plants actually need to survive. I showed the students 3 plants. One plant was labeled A, the second was labeled B, and the third C. I explained to students that each plant would receive certain elements.

Plant A would only receive sun.

Plant B would receive sun and water.

Plant C would only receive water. That meant that Plant C was going to be placed in a dark cabinet.

Using a {question and hypothesis page}, the students listed their question as: “What will happen to plants A, B, and C?” Then students had to list each plant's allotted elements and write a specific hypothesis for each plant.

Over the next 2 weeks, students will make observations and record them on their {observation page} and store them in their {plant journal}. As students collect data and test their hypotheses, they will be able to draw and record {conclusions} about the elements that plants really need for survival. We can then return to the circle map and cross out the incorrect assumptions that students held prior to the experiment.

Our next experiment involves the question: “Can plants grow without soil?"


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