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This lesson looks at Plants compared to Trees, Edible Parts, and involves a Celery Analysis


Computers & Internet, Science  


1, 2, 3, 4  

Title – Probing into Plant Parts
By – Sean Kathryn O’Connor
Primary Subject – Science
Secondary Subjects – Computers, Multidisciplinary
Grade Level – 1-4
John Hydock Elementary School
Mansfield School District
Burlington County, New Jersey

Meets the following NJ Core Curriculum Standards:

Standard 3.2: All Students Will Listen Actively in A variety Of Situations To Information From A variety Of Sources.

Standard 5.2: All Students will develop Problem-Solving, Decision-making And inquiry Skills, Reflected By Formulating- Usable Questions And Hypotheses, Planning- Experiments, Conducting, Systematic Observations, Interpreting And analyzing Data, Drawing Conclusions. And Communicating Results.

Standard 5.6: All Students Will Gain An Understanding of the structure, characteristics and basic needs of organisms.

Standard 5.7: All Students Will Investigate The Diversity Of Life.

Students will obtain a better understanding of a plant as an organism with needs, and how the various parts of the organism help it to meet its needs.
Students will gain a higher comprehension of making predictions, setting a hypothesis, Conducting an experiment, waiting for data/collection, and drawing conclusions/analyzing the data.
Students will understand how some plants are alike and different.

Students will use a Venn diagram to identify the similarities and differences between trees and other plants.
Students will identify various parts of plants and determine which parts people eat. (Carrot – root, apple – fruit/seed, celery – stem, lettuce – leaf)
Students will conduct a celery stalk experiment in which they determine the value and use of the stem, and how it helps the plant to meet its needs.

Materials Needed: Laptop computers (mobile lab), digital camera, plant and tree part diagram, paper, apple, celery, carrots, lettuce, dip, carrot/celery sticks, baby food jars (6), food coloring, plant part cut&paste; homework sheet, chart paper, markers, chart sheets for students, paper towels, water, newspaper, Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert

Procedures / Activities:

Whole group discussions of what plants need to survive and grow. (soil, air, water, sunlight)

Pose the question, ‘How do plants get what they need to survive?’

Show students the cover of Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert. Students make predictions, set purpose (parts of a tree) and read aloud.

Discuss parts of a tree and how they help it to survive. Show students two diagrams-. Plant parts and Tree parts.

Make a Venn diagram and students compare similarities and differences between both.

Pass around carrots, celery, lettuce, and an apple. Ask students to notice similarities and differences between them.

Create a 4-column chart on chart paper titled, Which Part Do We Eat?

Students construct charts at their desks (see chart below) and identify answers: leaf=lettuce, root=carrot, stem=celery, fruit/seed=apple

Groups discuss what each part does-. (root gets water and food from the soil, etc.)

Focus on the stem, ask students what the stem does. If celery is a stem, what would happen if we gave it different colored water? Would it change, stay the same, die?

Students are given their laptop computers (Our school has a mobile computer lab) and their predictions are drawn in Paint Artist. (Microsoft)

Students continue to draw predictions while small groups are called to the science center to conduct experiment with teacher assistance.

Take digital pictures of experiments when groups are completed to use for comparison later on.

Students eat celery sticks, carrot sticks, and dip.

Discuss plant part cut and paste homework sheet.

Student Outcomes:
Through observation, interviews consisting of open and closed-ended questions, and reviewing the students’ work, it will be evident that the students have achieved the following; knowledge of plant parts and tree parts, a comprehension of how the parts of an organism help it to survive, an understanding of the scientific process, the use of a Venn diagram, the different parts of plants that people eat, and how to integrate technology into science.

Suggested Changes: I will most certainly use this plan again next year!

What went well? I feel that the lesson was very effective, because the students met and exceeded all of the objectives. They were able to relate to the material, have hands-on experience, and have fun. The lesson ran smoothly because of how prepared the classroom was. The science center materials were ready to use, laptops were ready, as were the assignment papers and the digital camera.

What should be changed for next time? The next time that I facilitate this lesson I would like to create a rubric to use for assessment. Students will give input of what they think the rubric should consist of: participation, teamwork, correct answers, etc. This will make the outcomes a lot more clear. I would also like to integrate a student evaluation to find out how they feel. More time will be needed in order to do these things.

E-Mail Sean Kathryn O’Connor !

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