ALEX Lesson Plan

     

Hydroponics: Can Plants Grow without Soil?

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Jackie Smith
System: Madison City
School: Mill Creek Elementary School
The event this resource created for:ASTA
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 34428

Title:

Hydroponics: Can Plants Grow without Soil?

Overview/Annotation:

In this hands-on investigation, students will utilize the hydroponic method to grow a bean plant from  a bean seed. Over the course of a 2 week time period, students will make detailed observations and sketches of the actual bean growth and make predictions about growth patterns over the weekend time periods.

Students will create a cartoon to defend the position that plants obtain materials needed for growth primarily from air and water.

This lesson results from a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and ASTA.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
Science
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 5
8 ) Defend the position that plants obtain materials needed for growth primarily from air and water.

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Crosscutting Concepts: Energy and Matter
Disciplinary Core Idea: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Support an argument that plants get the materials they need for growth chiefly from air and water.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • claim
  • evidence
  • hydroponic
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • How plants obtain nutrients.
  • How to measure growth of a plant.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Collect and analyze evidence about plant growth.
  • Determine whether evidence supports the claim that plants do not acquire most of the material for growth from soil.
  • Use reasoning to connect the evidence to support the claim. A chain of reasoning should include the following:
    • During plant growth in soil, the weight of the soil changes very little over time, but the weight of the plant changes a lot. Additionally, some plants grow without soil at all.
    • Because some plants don't need soil to grow, and others show increases in plant matter but not accompanying decreases in soil matter, the material from the soil must not enter the plant in sufficient quantities to be the chief contributor to plant growth.
    • Therefore, plants do not acquire most of the material fro growth from soil.
    • A plant cannot grow without water or air. Because both air and water are matter and are transported into the plant system, they can provide the materials plants need for growth.
    • Since soil cannot account for the change in weight as a plant grows and since plants take in water and air, both of which could contribute to the increase in weight during plant growth, plant growth must come chiefly from water and air.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • Matter, including air and water, is transported into, out of, and within plant systems.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Dynamics of Ecosystems

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.5.8- Recognize that plants obtain materials needed for growth primarily from air and water.


Local/National Standards:

 

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will use the hydroponic method to grow a bean plant and utilize data from this activity to defend the position that plants obtain materials needed for growth primarily from air and water.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 
 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

Greater than 120 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

science journal/notebook, pencils, colored pencils or markers, clear plastic cups, spray bottles with water, paper towels, copies of the Plants without Soil Journal sheet, copies of Growing Plants without Soil, and bean seeds

Technology Resources Needed:

electronic device with internet access

Background/Preparation:

Students will work in small groups of 3 -5 students.

Discuss with students that plants need air and water to grow.

Hydroponics is a way to grow plants without soil using only air and water. In this activity, students will use a paper towel to help keep the seed moist, but the paper towel is not required to make the plant grow. 

Remind students that they will be making observations for 2 weeks, but that they will not be at school on the weekends. Ask them to make a prediction about how their seed will look over the weekend and share these observations with their group.

  Procedures/Activities: 

Engage: Begin with  a whole group discussion to help students  activate background knowledge on plant growth and photosynthesis. Working in small groups, students will use an electronic device to research hydroponics. Each group will do a brief 1-minute verbal presentation to share their findings with the class.

Explore: Working in small groups of 3-5, students will follow the procedure in Growing Plants without Soil. Students will collect data on the Plants without Soil Journal Sheet.

Explain: Working in pairs, students will create a cartoon to defend the position that plants get materials needed for growth primarily from the air and water. 

Elaborate: Have student groups present the cartoon and their findings to the whole class.  The groups will defend the position that plants obtain materials needed for growth primarily from air and water.


  Assessment  

Assessment Strategies

Teacher observation - Throughout the activity, the teacher will monitor Plants without Soil Journal Sheet. The teacher will observe the students' documentation of plant growth over the 2 week time period and notice predictions about the weekend growth patterns. 

Use the  Cartoon Grading Rubric to assess if the argument defends the position that plants obtain materials needed for growth primarily  from air and water.  The cartoon should also use data from the Plants Without Soil Journal Sheet to support their claim.

Acceleration:

Comparing Bizarre Plants - working in small groups, students will use an electronic device with internet recess to to research the Venus Flytrap and compare the structures and needs of the Venus Flytrap to those of the bean plant. Students will share their findings with the class.

Intervention:

ELL: The student handouts could be translated into the native language of the student. The ELL teacher can also provide assistance to students.

 

Students with disabilities: Students can work with a peer helper or with the pull-out teacher.


View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.