3-D Fast Plants Life Cycle Investigation Lesson Plan
This comprehensive Open Source lesson plan is designed for Kindergarten through Middle School level students to learn about life cycles, plants needs, and plant structures & their functions through hands-on investigations with Wisconsin Fast Plants. Depending on the grade level, students engage at an appropriate depth with developing models and constructing arguments that plants have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
This lesson is available as a Google Doc in the Gather, Reason, Communicate instructional model. You may copy the lesson Doc to your own Drive and edit/adapt for your own use--it is shared by the Fast Plants Program as an Open Education Resource; therefore, you are free to use and adapt for noncommercial purposes, provided you attribute the Wisconsin Fast Plants Programs website (www.fastplants.org) as your source and share openly (for noncommercial purposes) any materials you develop with ours.
- NGSS.1.LS3.1 Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that young plants and animals are like, but not exactly like, their parents. [Clarification Statement: Examples of patterns could include features plants or animals share. Examples of observations could include leaves from the same kind of plant are the same shape but can differ in size; and, a particular breed of dog looks like its parents but is not exactly the same.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include inheritance or animals that undergo metamorphosis or hybrids.]
- NGSS.2.LS2.1 Plan and conduct an investigation to determine if plants need sunlight and water to grow. [Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to testing one variable at a time.]
- NGSS.3.LS1.1 Develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death. [Clarification Statement: Changes organisms go through during their life form a pattern.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment of plant life cycles is limited to those of flowering plants. Assessment does not include details of human reproduction.]
- NGSS.4.LS1.1 Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction. [Clarification Statement: Examples of structures could include thorns, stems, roots, colored petals, heart, stomach, lung, brain, and skin.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to macroscopic structures within plant and animal systems.]
- NGSS.5.LS1.1 Support an argument that plants get the materials they need for growth chiefly from air and water. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the idea that plant matter comes mostly from air and water, not from the soil.]
- NGSS.MS.LS1.4 Use argument based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation for how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants respectively. [Clarification Statement: Examples of behaviors that affect the probability of animal reproduction could include nest building to protect young from cold, herding of animals to protect young from predators, and vocalization of animals and colorful plumage to attract mates for breeding. Examples of animal behaviors that affect the probability of plant reproduction could include transferring pollen or seeds, and creating conditions for seed germination and growth. Examples of plant structures could include bright flowers attracting butterflies that transfer pollen, flower nectar and odors that attract insects that transfer pollen, and hard shells on nuts that squirrels bury.]
- NGSS.MS.LS1.5 Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms. [Clarification Statement: Examples of local environmental conditions could include availability of food, light, space, and water. Examples of genetic factors could include large breed cattle and species of grass affecting growth of organisms. Examples of evidence could include drought decreasing plant growth, fertilizer increasing plant growth, different varieties of plant seeds growing at different rates in different conditions, and fish growing larger in large ponds than they do in small ponds.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include genetic mechanisms, gene regulation, or biochemical processes.]