Project Plan Builder 2: We Need Plants: Photosynthesis

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Project Information
iTELL: integrating Technology for English Language Learners
Session:Santa Clarita Valley 6-14-10
Title:We Need Plants: Photosynthesis
Access Level:Public
One Sentence Project Abstract
Students will explain that, through the process of photosynthesis, plants are a major factor in sustaining life on Earth.

Production Team

Sabol, Sarah


Grade 4
Life Sciences
2.0 All organisms need energy and matter to live and grow. As a basis for understanding this concept.
2.a Students know plants are the primary source of matter and energy entering most food chains.

National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS)

1.0 Creativity and Innovation Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.
1.b Students create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
1.c Students use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.
3.0 Research and Information Fluency Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
3.b Students locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.

Other Standards
Apply knowledge of content-related vocabulary to discussions and reading. Read text and identify features, such as the title, table of contents, chapter headings, diagrams, charts, glossaries, and indexes in written texts.

Essential Questions
Where do plants get their energy? How do plants make their own food? Why do people and animals need plants to survive? Compare and contrast different plants and their structures. How can we use diagrams to explain plant processes?



Hands-On- Looking at plant structures and functions: -Students collect a variety of leaves from different kinds of plants and make a chart to compare and contrast their texture, color, size, and shape; infer what each of these leaf traits might do for survival of the plant. -Go on a nature walk and compare different stems (tree trunks, flower stems, etc.); discuss how these particular stems support these particular plants in the best way -Obtain several small flowers and plants from a nursery or garden and inspect the roots; compare and contrast them and discuss how they help each plant survive and grow.


Performing Arts: Have small groups of students create skits that act out the process of photosynthesis; they should take the parts of the sun, carbon dioxide, oxygen, leaves, stem, roots, water, nutrients; they can make simple props or labels and come up with creative ways to act out what happens in photosynthesis.


Investigation/Experiment: Obtain a couple of plants with large leaves. Wrap one plant's leaves with foil and leave the other uncovered. Give them the same amount of sunlight and water. Uncover foiled plant after a week and record observations. Repeat if you don't see much difference between the two. After you begin seeing the differences, talk about how what a plant needs to carry out photosynthesis, and where in a plant this takes place. Why did the two plants look so different?


Technology: After reading/discussing the chapter, students can use the internet to locate pictures of foods or objects that make use of plants. Classify the findings in as many ways as possible. Use Power Point or Photo Story (or even KidPix) software to create a slide show of the importance of plants. Have students record their voices to add to the words and pictures to create a photo narrative.


Vocabulary: Use "Plants are Important" Inspiration-created content dictionary (see Upload Files) to introduce vocab, supplement textbook, and review concepts



MacMillan/McGraw Hill CA Science Grade 4- Reading and Writing in Science Page 6: Lesson Cloze Test (or comparable science series component)

Extension Activities

Collaborative Project- Plant Features and Survival: Create a collaborative "World's Weirdest Plants" book: have students research "record-holding" plants such as tallest, deadliest, stinkiest, tiniest, fastest/slowest-growing, etc.); students should explain what traits of such plants allowed them to capture that "record". Each student creates a fully-illustrated book page for a class book. Alternately, use a presentation software and have each student create a slide for a collaborative slide show.

Media & Web Resources

URL Description
Know Plants many links to websites about plants specifically for kids
Nature Hills Pictures and info about strange plants
Web Urbanist Weird plants

Instructional Materials / Resources / Technology

Source Description
California Science Grade 4 textbook MacMillan/McGraw Hill Life Science Chapter 1 Lesson 1 or comparable chapter about plants and sunlight from a science textbook
California Science Grade 4 Interactive Text MacMillan/McGraw Hill consumable simplified version of science textbook; may use any similar component of a science program
Power Point Microsoft Presentation software
Photo Story Microsoft Creative software