ALEX Lesson Plan

     

Photosynthesis: Let's Talk About It

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Hannah Bradley
System: Dothan City
School: Carver Magnet School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 35535

Title:

Photosynthesis: Let's Talk About It

Overview/Annotation:

This lesson will utilize the talking drawings strategy, in which students will begin the lesson by drawing a picture of a plant to illustrate how they think plants make their own food. Then, the teacher will introduce the process of photosynthesis using an interactive presentation to explain photosynthesis in a pictorial format. As the teacher describes the process, the students will create a scientifically accurate drawing of a plant engaging in photosynthesis. Lastly, students will create a writing piece that will describe the process of photosynthesis and construct a scientifically accurate illustration of the process of photosynthesis.

This lesson results from the ALEX Resource Gap Project.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 5
23 ) Write informative or explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly. [W.5.2]

a. Introduce a topic clearly, provide a general observation and focus, and group related information logically; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension. [W.5.2a]

b. Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic. [W.5.2b]

c. Link ideas within and across categories of information using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., in contrast, especially). [W.5.2c]

d. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic. [W.5.2d]

e. Provide a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented. [W.5.2e]


Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.5.23- Compose informative or explanatory texts by stating a topic, providing facts or details, and providing an appropriate conclusion related to the topic.


English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 5
38 ) Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking. [L.5.1]

a. Explain the function of conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections in general and their function in particular sentences. [L.5.1a]

b. Form and use the perfect (e.g., I had walked; I have walked; I will have walked) verb tenses. [L.5.1b]

c. Use verb tense to convey various times, sequences, states, and conditions. [L.5.1c]

d. Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb tense.* [L.5.1d]

e. Use correlative conjunctions (e.g., either/or, neither/nor). [L.5.1e]


Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.5.38- Demonstrate standard English grammar when communicating.
ELA.AAS.5.38a- Use conjunctions and prepositions correctly in sentences.
ELA.AAS.5.38b- Use correct verb tenses when speaking and/or writing.
ELA.AAS.5.38e- Use conjunctions correctly (i.e., and and or).


English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 5
39 ) Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. [L.5.2]

a. Use punctuation to separate items in a series.* [L.5.2a]

b. Use a comma to separate an introductory element from the rest of the sentence. [L.5.2b]

c. Use a comma to set off the words yes and no (e.g., Yes, thank you), to set off a tag question from the rest of the sentence (e.g., It's true, isn't it'), and to indicate direct address (e.g., Is that you, Steve'). [L.5.2c]

d. Use underlining, quotation marks, or italics to indicate titles of works. [L.5.2d]

e. Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed. [L.5.2e]


Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.5.39- Demonstrate standard English grammar when communicating.
ELA.AAS.5.39a- Use commas correctly in a sentence that contains a series of items.
ELA.AAS.5.39d- Use quotation marks to identify titles of written works.


Science
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 5
9 ) Construct an illustration to explain how plants use light energy to convert carbon dioxide and water into a storable fuel, carbohydrates, and a waste product, oxygen, during the process of photosynthesis.

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Crosscutting Concepts: Energy and Matter
Disciplinary Core Idea: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Construct and label an illustration that demonstrates the process of photosynthesis and the conversion of carbon dioxide and water into storable fuel, carbohydrates and oxygen.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • convert
  • carbohydrates
  • waste product
  • photosynthesis
  • carbon dioxide
  • produces
  • oxygen
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • What plants need to survive.
  • Parts of plants and their functions in the process of photosynthesis.
  • The sun is the source of energy.
  • Plants are producers.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Construct an illustration to explain the scientific phenomenon of photosynthesis.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • Plants are producers of energy through the process of photosynthesis.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Dynamics of Ecosystems

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.5.9- Using a given model, recognize that plants use light energy to make their own food during the process of photosynthesis.


Local/National Standards:

 

Primary Learning Objective(s):

  • Students will construct an illustration to explain how plants use light energy to convert carbon dioxide and water into storable fuel and oxygen during photosynthesis. 
  • Students will write an informative paragraph clearly describing the process of photosynthesis, using scientific vocabulary words. 
  • Students will demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. 

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 
 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

61 to 90 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Student Materials (per student)

Notebook paper

Pencil or pen

Art Supplies such as colored pencils/crayons/markers/etc.

Blank white paper

Website Links for Acceleration Strategy

"What Plants Need" Interactive Game from BrainPOP.com

Website Links for Intervention Strategy

“Introduction to Plants” from ck12.org

“Vegetation Transformation” by Crash Course Kids on youtube.com (2:59 minutes)

Teacher Materials

Teacher computer with internet access

Interactive whiteboard or projector

Timer

Photosynthesis: Let’s Talk About It Google Slides presentation

Photosynthesis Writing and Illustration Checklist for Summative Assessment

Technology Resources Needed:

Student Technology Resources

Internet capable devices for Acceleration and Intervention Strategies

Teacher Technology Resources

Teacher computer with internet access

Interactive whiteboard or projector 

Background/Preparation:

Student Background Information: As this lesson will serve as an introduction to the process of photosynthesis, students will not need background information on this concept.

Students will need to have background knowledge regarding the external structure of plants, which is related to the Fourth Grade Alabama Course of Study Standard 9:

9.) Examine evidence to support an argument that the internal and external structures of plants (e.g., thorns, leaves, stems, roots, colored petals, xylem, phloem) and animals (e.g., heart, stomach, lung, brain, skin) function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.

Students will also need to have background knowledge regarding the growth of plants, which is related to the Third Grade Alabama Course of Study Standard 6:

6.) Create representations to explain the unique and diverse life cycles of organisms other than humans (e.g., flowering plants, frogs, butterflies), including commonalities such as birth, growth, reproduction, and death.

If remediation is needed for these concepts, students can read the article “Introduction to Plants” from ck12.org.

Teacher Background Information: In all food webs on Earth, plants are producers, which means they can make their own “food”. Plants take in energy from the sun and carbon dioxide from the air through their leaves. Plants take in water and other nutrients from the soil using their root systems. Plants use these substances to produce a storable form of fuel, called carbohydrates. These carbohydrates help the plant grow. During this process, plants also release a waste product, oxygen, which is essential to life on Earth.

This lesson will make use of the “Talking Drawings” strategy. Teachers who are unfamiliar with this research-based strategy can review this document to learn the procedures to implement this strategy, as well as helpful tips. The teacher should preview the presentation, Photosynthesis: Let’s Talk About It, to ensure he or she is familiar with the content and will be able to fully explain the concept of photosynthesis.

  Procedures/Activities: 

Before Strategy/Engage: 10 minutes

1. The students will need a blank sheet of paper and a pencil for the first part of the lesson.

2. The teacher should explain to students that they will have five minutes to draw a picture to show how plants create their own food. The students can add words to their picture, and students can add color to their picture as well. The teacher should be sure that students understand that this is their “before” drawing, so it is perfectly acceptable if they don’t know much about this process.

3. The teacher should use a timer to time students for five minutes as they create their drawing. The teacher should encourage students to continue to add to their picture until the five minutes have elapsed. 

4. After the time expires, the teacher should instruct the students to flip their papers over and to put down their pencils.

During Strategy/Explore & Explain: 25 minutes

1. The teacher should present the Google Slide Presentation, “Photosynthesis: Let’s Talk About It".

2. As the teacher presents the information, the students should draw the diagram on the blank side of their paper. The teacher should be sure to encourage students to add additional notes or other important ideas to the drawing.

Note: The teacher should be sure to thoroughly explain to students what to draw, while also explaining the scientific concept of photosynthesis. The teacher should feel free to add to and expand upon the basic explanation of photosynthesis depicted in the slide show. 

Example script: "First, draw a line going across the middle of your paper. Color everything below this line brown. This represents the soil that plants grow in. Now, draw a picture of a tree. Be sure to label the roots and the leaves of the tree. Now, this process that we are going to learn about today, called photosynthesis, happens with any green plant, but our picture is going to focus on this orange tree." 

After Strategy/Explain & Elaborate: 45 minutes

1. After the teacher has presented the slide show, the teacher should ask the students to flip over their paper and examine the drawing they completed at the beginning of the lesson. Then, the students should flip their paper over to review the drawing they just created. After comparing and contrasting their two drawings, the students should write five things they learned about photosynthesis during this activity on their "before" drawing.

2. Next, the teacher should allow students to meet with a partner to discuss the five things they learned. The teacher can allow students to choose their partner or assign students to partner groups. During this time, the students can add to their written information or change any of their information, if needed.

Note: If the teacher determines that students require additional instruction on the concept of photosynthesis, the teacher can show students “Vegetation Transformation” by Crash Course Kids on youtube.com.

3. Lastly, the students should write a five-sentence paragraph describing how plants use light energy to change carbon dioxide and water into a storable fuel (carbohydrates) and a waste product (oxygen). In addition to writing a five-sentence paragraph, students should also add a diagram or drawing to their writing piece to aid their explanation of photosynthesis. Before students begin writing their paragraphs, the teacher should discuss the Photosynthesis Writing and Illustration Checklist with students to clarify the requirements of the writing and illustration piece.


  Assessment  

Assessment Strategies

Formative Assessment: The teacher should informally assess students in the before strategy as students create their first drawing. This will allow the teacher to determine the students' current background knowledge regarding the process of photosynthesis. The teacher should review each student's drawing notes that are taken as the teacher presents the information about photosynthesis. The teacher should informally assess students as they discuss the five things they learned about photosynthesis with their partner. In addition, the teacher can review each student’s list of things they learned during the lesson as a formative assessment.

Summative Assessment: The teacher should formally assess students at the conclusion of the lesson by reviewing each student's five sentence paragraph and illustration explaining the process of photosynthesis. The teacher should determine each student's achievement of the lesson's objectives by assessing the student's writing and illustration using the attached checklist.

Acceleration:

Students who require acceleration strategies can visit “What Plants Need” on BrainPOP.com. This interactive game will encourage students to apply the information they learned about the needs of plants to revive a virtual plant.

Intervention:

Students who require intervention strategies can read the article “Introduction to Plants” from ck12.org to review background information on plants and the cycle of photosynthesis. The students can also view “Vegetation Transformation” by Crash Course Kids on youtube.com to review the process of photosynthesis.


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.