Lesson Plan : Aztec Farming Technology

Teacher Name:
 W.Bell
Grade:
 Grade 4
Subject:
 Science

Topic:
 Plants, Life cycles of plants as part of Aztec Thematic Unit
Content:
  Vocabulary: flower Definition: The bloom or blossom of a plant; the reproductive organ of an angiosperm plant Context: Flowers come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. leaves Definition: The main organs of photosynthesis and transpiration in plants Context: When you look at a forest in summer, you can see the green leaves of trees. photosynthesis Definition: A process used by plants to convert water, carbon dioxide and sunlight into carbohydrates and oxygen Context: Photosynthesis allows plants to make their own food. roots Definition: The usually underground part of a seed plant body Context: Roots hold the plant in place. seed Definition: A fertilized and mature ovule containing a plant embryo Context: A new plant will come from the seed. stem Definition: Stalk; a slender or elongated structure that supports a plant Context: The stem pokes up through the soil. Chinampas
Goals:
 Science: Life Sciences Understands the structure and functions of cells and organisms;Life Science: Characteristics of organisms; Life cycles of organisms Life Skills: Working With Others Displays effective interpersonal communication skills Language Arts: Writing Gathers and uses information for research purposes; Reading--Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of informational texts
Objectives:
 Objectives Students will Identify and describe the parts of a flowering plant. Differentiate between types of plants. Describe the needs of plants. Define the term photosynthesis.
Materials:
 How Would You Survive As an Aztec? ISBN: 0531153045 Franklin Watts(April 1997) Crayons, colored pencils, or markers Paper and pencils Encyclopedias, gardening books, textbooks or magazines with images and descriptions of plants Computer with Internet access (optional) http://plants.usda.gov http://www.botany.com http://www.plantkingdom.com/ http://www2.bgfl.org/bgfl2/custom/resources_ftp/client_ftp/ks2/science/plants_pt2/light.htm
Introduction:
 As part of Aztec thematic unit students will learn about Aztec technology and inventions. Teacher will read the book: How Would You Survive As an Aztec? Inspired by the book, students will create a "chinampa" in the schoolyard. Students will then plant maize(corn), peppers, and tomatoes to "feed" themselves and the class. Students will observe and record the growth of the plants, then harvest their crops to donate to the local soup kitchen.
Development:
 based on illustrations in book, teacher will demonstrate the life cycle of plants: seed, growth, reproduction, death/harvest. Teacher will use animations to demonstrate process. Students will be asked what things they think plants need to grow? What happens if they get too much ______? Not enough _________? Based on student answers, teacher will explain how Aztecs overcame these challenges and developed "Chimapas" to grow their food. Depending upon time, the teacher can ask students where Aztecs lived. What was the climate like? Would plants grow well there?
Practice:
 Students will be given a packet of worksheets with vocabulary terms ( listed below) and illustrations detailing the plant life cycle, types of plants common to Mexico such as maize, tomato, peppers, and beans, data sheets, as well as information about what conditions these plants grow best in. Students will work in groups of 2 or 3 to create their own "chiampas" in a paper plate using supplies provided. Groups will be given 5 unidentified seeds to plant in their chiampas. Groups will grow 5 different plants from seeds to seedlings ( approx 1 week). Groups will make observation records in their data sheets detailing what they observe every three hours throughout the week.
Checking For Understanding:
 Rubric: 10pts Three points: Students were highly engaged in class and group discussions; used research materials appropriately; produced a complete paragraph that included all requested information; and correctly identified all parts of a flowering plant. Two points: Students participated in class and group discussions; used research materials with little assistance; produced an adequate paragraph, including most of the requested information; and correctly identified at least three parts of a flowering plant. One point: Students participated minimally in class and group discussions; were unable to use research materials without teacher assistance; created an incomplete paragraph with little or none of the requested information; and identified two or fewer parts of a flowering plant.
Closure:
 Teacher will list on board combined data from student observations. Information about the types of plants distributed will be given, and students will share what they knew about the plants: did you think the shriveled red kernel was corn? Did you think the little black speck would grow into such a large plant? Groups will then move to the school yard where the class will work to make a "real" chiampa, then transfer their own plants to it to grow outside. Groups will continue to care for the "crops" and keep daily records of growth, rain, sunlight, and observations about pests, etc. Produce grown will then be harvested by class and donated to local soup kitchen.
Evaluation:
 Rubric: 10pts Three points: Students were highly engaged in class and group discussions; used research materials appropriately; produced a complete paragraph that included all requested information; and correctly identified all parts of a flowering plant. Two points: Students participated in class and group discussions; used research materials with little assistance; produced an adequate paragraph, including most of the requested information; and correctly identified at least three parts of a flowering plant. One point: Students participated minimally in class and group discussions; were unable to use research materials without teacher assistance; created an incomplete paragraph with little or none of the requested information; and identified two or fewer parts of a flowering plant.
Teacher Reflections:
 Reflection/adjustments:

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