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In this lesson, students will learn the parts of a plant and the functions of each of those parts. Through the use of interactive video, students will identify the parts of plants that they eat. Then students will mathematically relate their learning to the food pyramid and their daily diet.
Take A Look: Plants # 101
Take A Look: Flowers and Seeds # 102
Students will be able to:

Per group:

For each student:

Pass out paper and pencils. Ask students to draw a plant and label its parts. Ask students to tell the names of the plant parts that they have included on their drawings. List responses on chalk board or chart paper. Ask, "Are there any other parts of a plant?" Say, "Today we will watch some video segments about plants. A woman named Kate is writing a book about plants She shows a variety of plants to a boy named Jeffrey. She explains to him about the different parts of a plant and what each part does for the plant."
Tell students to turn their paper with the plant drawing over onto the other side. To give students a specific responsibility while viewing, ask students to listen for the names of the parts of a plant and list them on their paper.

START the video at the point near the beginning where Kate and Jeffrey are in her garden and Kate is saying, "Thanks for helping me weed the garden, Jeffrey."

PAUSE the video when Jeffrey says , "Is the root the most important part of the plant?" to give students an opportunity to predict Kate's answer.

RESUME the video to hear Kate's answer and PAUSE to validate student responses.

RESUME the video so that students can write on their papers the names of the plant parts that are introduced next.

STOP the tape when Kate says, "Let's go into the house and see some of the pictures of plants that I am drawing for a book." Say, "What parts of the plant has Jeffrey seen so far? Add the names of any plant parts that are not already listed on the board or on the chart paper. Say, "Jeffrey wants to know which part of the plant is the most important part. Which part of the plant do you think is the most important? Let's vote".

Take a vote of who favors each plant part and write it on the list by the name of each part. Say, "Now I am going to fast forward the video so that you can see what Jeffrey decides is the most important part of a plant."

FAST FOWARD to where Kate and Jeffrey enter her studio and see the plant pictures on her drawing table. As a FOCUS FOR VIEWING, the students should watch carefully for the parts of a plant and note special details about the different parts such as root hairs on roots and veins on leaves.

PLAY the video through the part where Kate is explaining the functions of each part of the plant and is naming different vegetables that we eat which represent these plant parts.

PAUSE the tape after Jeffrey answers the question about which is the most important part of a plant. Check the student voting scores. Review fine details of the plant parts with the students.

RESUME the video and PAUSE when you hear Jeffrey say, "Do you remember the parts of a plant?" and you see a large question mark followed by a picture of a plant with a red flower. Ask for volunteers to come up to the television screen and write on the screen with a dry erase marker, identifying the parts shown.

STOP the video and ask students to recall which vegetables go with each plant part. Record this information on the chalkboard or chart paper.

REWIND the tape to the part where Kate and Jeffrey enter the studio. Review the information on the parts of a plant and the different vegetables we eat that represent these parts. Ask the students if they recall the functions of each plant part. Chart any responses. Say, "Now I am going to rewind the video so that you can write the functions of each part. This gives the students another specific responsibility for viewing.

PAUSE on each part, after the explanation of its function has been given, to highlight, clarify and enhance student comprehension. Bilingual teachers can take this opportunity to use the students' first language.

STOP the video and ask the students if they can think of any other parts of a plant that have not been discussed. Chart responses. Tell the students that they will now see a portion of another video which tells about these other parts and be able to verify their answers.

START the tape called "Take a Look at Flowers and Seeds" near the beginning where the title is being shown in yellow letters on a blue background. Jeffrey is saying, "Do you know that a flower has a more important job than just looking pretty?"

PAUSE the tape and allow students to verify their answers and predict the important job of a flower. To give students a specific responsibility for viewing, ask them to raise their hands as soon as they hear what job a flower does for a plant.

PLAY the video through the part where Kate says "seeds grow in there."

STOP the video to check comprehension and chart responses.Tell students that they will need to listen for one other part of a plant and its function.

FAST FOWARD to the part where Kate reaches for an apple and says, " Here, take a look in here".

PAUSE and ask students to make connections between the flower and the fruit. Ask students to tell what is inside the fruit and why.

STOP the video when Kate says, "Fruit is used by the baby plant for food". Review the list of parts of plants and their functions. Pass out a new sheet of paper. Tell the students that they are now going to do another picture of a plant . This picture should include all the parts discussed in the videos, labels of these parts and a brief description of the function for each part. After the students have finished with their drawings, the students can discuss their pictures and add any forgotten details.
Remind students that they have studied the parts of plants and their functions. They may also remember from the video that many foods come from plants. Say, "It is not always easy to identify which part of a plant we are eating. Now we are going to try to decide which part of a plant we are eating when we eat certain foods." Divide students into six groups labeled according to the parts of a plant (roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruit and seeds. Pass out one copy of the AIMS Foundation worksheet called "Plant Food" to each group.

Direct students to discuss the different plants represented on the sheet and look for ones that match their group name. When they have decided on all the plants that match their designated plant part, one member should fasten the plants under the proper heading on the butcher paper, forming a graph. Discuss the results of the graph and any misconceptions. Now that students are more familiar with the parts of plants that they eat, pass out a copy of a school menu for the month. Ask students to stay in their plant part groups and tally how many of their plant part they are being served in a month. After the students have tallied, ask for their reports and record them on the graph. Pass out calculators to figure out the percentages of each plant part served. For example, students should enter the number of roots, press the divide sign, then enter the total number of tallied foods. Compare the percentages with the daily recommended allowances on the food pyramid.

Sing a song that the students create using a familiar tune. For example, here are new lyrics for the tune "Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes". Parts of a Plant Roots and stems, leaves and flowers, leaves and flowers. Roots and stems, leaves and flowers, leaves and flowers. Collect water, give support, make food and make seeds. Roots and stems, leaves and flowers, leaves and flowers.

Creative Writing:
Have students write about how it would feel to be a root, seed or other part of a plant using the vocabulary that has been developed in the lesson.

Collect wild flowers, press them to use for notepaper. Another idea is to use various seeds to make mosaics.

Several ideas for incorporating math: keep plant growth charts, glue beans to tongue depressors in sets of 5, 10 and 20, estimate the number of beans in a jar.

Make a chart of the travels of Johnny Appleseed or assign students to look up the origins of many fruits and vegetables that are eaten in this country.

Language Arts:
Encourage language development in an entertaining manner by helping students make up riddles or jokes about plants. For example: Q: Why is the letter A like a flower? A: Because a bee (B) comes after it.

What is a Flower? by Jennifer Day

From Flower to Fruit? by Anne Ophelia Dowden

From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons

The Reason for a Flower by Ruth Heller

Seeds by Terry Jennings

Watch Them Grow by Linda Martin

Plants We Know by Irene O. Sevrey

Flowers, Fruits and Seeds by Jerome Wexler

Master Teacher: Sandy Stokely

Click here to view the worksheet associated with this lesson.

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