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     Supporting Changes in Thinking  Supporting Changes in Student Thinking

     

    Investigation 1: Origin of Seeds Investigation 2: Growing Further
      1.1 Seed Search
    1.2 The Sprouting Seed
    1.3 Seed Soak
      2.1 Germination
    2.2 Hydroponics
    2.3 Life Cycle of the Bean
           
    Investigation 3: Meet The Crayfish Investigation 4: Meet the Land Snail
      3.1 Meet the Crayfish
    3.2 Crayfish Habitat
    3.3 Crayfish at Home
    3.4 Crayfish Territory
      4.1 Land Snails at Home
    4.2 Comparing Crayfish and Snails
    4.3 The Snail Pull
    4.4 Choosing Your Own Investigation

     


    Investigation 1: Origin of Seeds

    Students conduct a seed hunt by opening fresh fruit and locating the seeds. They describe and compare seed properties. Students examine and sort a selection of seeds—bean, pea, sunflower, and corn. They investigate the effect water has on the seeds by setting up seed sprouters and observing and recording changes over a week. Students systemically find out how much water lima beans soak up in a day.

    1.1 Seed Search

    Key Activity - What Students Do

    Students embark on a seed hunt, delving into an assortment of fresh fruits. They open fruit, locate the seeds, describe seed properties, and count or estimate the number of seeds in the fruit.

    Key Learning/NGSS Connections - What do Students figure out?

    Seeds develop in the plant part called a fruit.
    Different kinds of fruits have different kinds and numbers of seeds.
    Seeds have a variety of properties.

    Big Idea - Focus Questions

    Where do seeds come from?

    Where are seeds found on plants?

    Connection to Anchoring Phenomenon

    Plants and animals have lifecycles.  Plants grow from seeds, animals from eggs (or at this level: “babies.”)

     

    1.2 The Sprouting Seed

    Key Activity - What Students Do

    Students use two kinds of sprouting devices to find out what effect water has on seeds. They water the seeds daily for a week and record their observations.

    Key Learning/NGSS Connections - What do Students figure out?

    Seeds undergo changes in the presence of water.
    A seed is an organism, a living thing.

    Big Idea - Focus Questions

    Can a seed grow without soil?
    What effect does water have on seeds?

     

    Formative Assessment Task

    Science Notebooks:

    Students draw and write observations in their science notebooks.

    1.3 Seed Soak

    Key Activity - What Students Do

    Students compare the mass of seeds that have been soaked in water overnight to the mass of dry seeds. They determine how much water the seeds soaked up.

    Key Learning/NGSS Connections - What do Students figure out?

    A seed contains the embryo plant and stores food and water.
    When seeds are soaked in water, they become bigger and heavier.

    Big Idea - Focus Questions

    How much water does a seed soak up?

     

    Formative Assessment Task

    Science Notebooks:

    Students show they are able to use the scales.


    Investigation 2: Growing Further

    Students examine germinated seeds to determine similarities and differences in the way the organisms grow. They set up a hydroponic garden to observe the life cycle of a bean plant.

    2.1 Germination

    Key Activity - What Students Do

    Students compare four seeds as they germinate in minisprouters. They identify and describe emerging plant structures such as seed coats, cotyledons, stems, leaves, and roots.

    Key Learning/NGSS Connections - What do Students figure out?

    Germination is the onset of a seed’s growth.

    Big Idea - Focus Questions

    What effect does water have on the seeds in the minisprouter?
    How do the plants change over time?

    Connection to Anchoring Phenomenon

    This investigation is about the life-cycle of the bean.  The Video of the Leafy Sea Dragon was chosen as it shows various stages of the Sea Dragon life-cycle.  All organisms have a life cycle.  All organisms have “parents.”

    Formative Assessment Task

    Science Notebooks: Students draw and label the emerging parts of a germinating seed.

    2.2 Hydroponics

    Key Activity - What Students Do

    Students continue to grow the bean seedlings in a hydroponic setup.

    Key Learning/NGSS Connections - What do Students figure out?

    Plants need water, light and nutrients to grow.
    Plants grow in water if nutrients are added.

    Big Idea - Focus Questions

    How can you grow plants without soil?
    What conditions do plants need in order to grow?

     

     

    2.3 Life Cycle of the Bean

    Key Activity - What Students Do

    Students grow seedlings in nutrient solution and observe them throughout their life cycle, watching for the emergence of flowers, fruit, and new seeds. They sequence illustrations that depict different stages in the life cycle of a bean plant.

    Key Learning/NGSS Connections - What do Students figure out?

    The life cycle is the process of a seed growing into a mature plant, which in turn produces seeds.
    The fruit of the plant develops from the flower.

    Big Idea - Focus Questions

    What is the sequence of the bean plant's life cycle?

     

    Formative Assessment Task

    Science Notebooks: Students sequence the life cycle of a bean plant. (Bean Life Cycle master


    Investigation 3: Meet the Crayfish

    Students observe and record some of the structures of a crustacean, the crayfish. They establish a feeding and maintenance schedule for the organisms. Students investigate crayfish behavior by creating an enriched crayfish habitat. They map where the crayfish spend their time within their habitat. Students investigate crayfish territorial behavior.

    3.1 Meet the Crayfish

    Key Activity - What Students Do

    Students observe and record the structures of crayfish through direct interaction with live crayfish. They learn firsthand how to handle them carefully so that no harm will come to the crayfish.

    Key Learning/NGSS Connections - What do Students figure out?

    Crayfish have observable structures such as legs, eyes, antennae, a carapace, swimmerets, a tail and mouth parts.

    Big Idea - Focus Questions

    What are the structures of a crayfish?

    Connection to Anchoring Phenomenon

    Organisms have structures that help them survive.  The Leafy Sea Dragon has appendages all over its body that make it look like the plants in its environment.  This helps the Sea Dragon hide from its predators.

    Formative Assessment Task

    Science Notebooks: Students identify crayfish structures and suggest how they may help the crayfish survive.

    3.2 Crayfish Habitat

    Key Activity - What Students Do

    Students set up two crayfish habitats (home trays) and learn to care for and feed the crayfish in the classroom.

    Key Learning/NGSS Connections - What do Students figure out?

    Crayfish have requirements for life, including clean, cool water; food; and shelter.
    Habitat is where an animal lives.

    Big Idea - Focus Questions

    What do we need to think about in order to build a suitable habitat for crayfish in the classroom?

     

    3.3 Crayfish at Home

    Key Activity - What Students Do

    Students investigate crayfish behavior by observing what crayfish do in a bare container with water, and how behavior changes when the habitat is enriched with shelter and when crayfish meet each other.

    Key Learning/NGSS Connections - What do Students figure out?

    Behavior is what an animal does.

    Big Idea - Focus Questions

    What do crayfish do when something happens to them?

     

    Formative Assessment Task

    Science Notebooks: Students make comparisons between crayfish and other animals. (Including the Leafy Sea Dragon maybe?)

    3.4 Crayfish Territory

    Key Activity - What Students Do

    Students set up a long-term observing and recording system for investigating territorial behavior in crayfish.

    Key Learning/NGSS Connections - What do Students figure out?

    Some animals claim a territory that they protect from other animals.

    Big Idea - Focus Questions

    Does each crayfish have its own house that it always goes to?
    How can we keep track of crayfish movements over many days?

     


    Investigation 4: Meet the Land Snail

    Students become familiar with snail or beetle structures and behaviors and set up an appropriate habitat for the animals. They compare the structures and behaviors of the snail (a gastropod) or the beetle (an insect) to the crayfish (a crustacean). They investigate the pulling power of the organisms. Students plan and conduct their own projects to find out more about the structure and function of animals.

    4.1 Land Snails at Home

    Key Activity - What Students Do

    Students observe land snails and learn how to handle them carefully. They become familiar with snail structures and behaviors. They set up an appropriate habitat that will provide for the needs of the snails in the classroom.

    Key Learning/NGSS Connections - What do Students figure out?

    Land snails have a coiled shell, a large foot on which they glide, and a body with a variety of structures.
    Land snails need water, vegetables or fruit, air, and space to survive.

    Big Idea - Focus Questions

    What structures do land snails have?
    What does a snail need in its habitat?

    Connection to Anchoring Phenomenon

    Similar to the previous investigation.  Structures help the organisms survive.  While it is not obvious in the video, Sea Dragons have sharp spines down the sides of their bodies to protect themselves – just like the snails have shells to protect themselves.

     

    4.2 Comparing Crayfish and Snails

    Key Activity - What Students Do

    Students observe and record the snail’s structures and behaviors. Using a Venn diagram, they compare crayfish and snail structures. Finally, they discuss the functions of the various structures they observe.

    Key Learning/NGSS Connections - What do Students figure out?

    An organism’s structures have functions that help it survive in its habitat.
    The structures found on different kinds of organisms show some similarities and some differences.

    Big Idea - Focus Questions

    What functions do land snail structures serve?
    How are the structures of the land snail and crayfish alike, and how are they different?

     

    Formative Assessment Task

    Science Notebooks:

    Students read student entries in a hypothetical snail log and interpret the students’ observations to determine what they learned about snails.

    4.3 The Snail Pull

    Key Activity - What Students Do

    Students attach loads to snails using a harness and sled apparatus. They discover how much mass a snail can pull and compare that load to the mass of the snail itself.

    Key Learning/NGSS Connections - What do Students figure out?

    Land snails can pull loads many times their own mass.
    We must take care not to harm animals as we learn about them.

    Big Idea - Focus Questions

    How much mass can a land snail pull?
    What is important to consider when planning investigations of animals?

     

    4.4 Choosing Your Own Investigation

    Key Activity - What Students Do

    Students look over a list of questions about animals and plants to decide which could be answered by research and which could be investigated directly. Each student or small group chooses a question to pursue as a project.

    Key Learning/NGSS Connections - What do Students figure out?

    Using student questions and ideas from projects they suggest throughout the module, students choose a project to research and investigate.

    Big Idea - Focus Questions

    What is the question or the project that you are proposing?
    What materials or references will you need to complete the project?
    What steps do you need to take to  complete the project?