+ Mrs. Joy’s 3rd grade Botanists! What is our Botany Project all about?
+ Questions we will be addressing Essential Question Unit Questions Content Questions What is Life? • How do plants • Why do plants need grow and survive? sunlight? • Do plants help the • Why does a World? greenhouse help a • How is the plant life plant to grow? cycle similar to • What are the names other life cycles? of the reproductive parts of a flower? • How does pollination occur?
+ UNIT SUMMARY Our class’s botany project covers many of the 3rd grade science objectives in a fun and interesting way! At the beginning of the school year, we will talk about what we already know about plants, in hopes of learning more and understanding. We will use the greenhouse by the playground to begin growing our plants as young “botanists.” Students will be responsible for growing these plants and doing experiments to discover the importance of each element required for plant life. As our lovely plants grow, we will get to learn about the life cycle of plants, and how reproduction occurs. We will even help pollinate and collect seeds! Our class will enjoy a guest speaker from the Tuscaloosa Master Gardener’s Association and we will be working in groups and using journals to mark our progress. At the end of the year, each group will prepare a report or presentation for the class, and just before the school year ends, we will have a plant sale! So clear out some space in your child’s mind and your garden for an exciting botany adventure!
+ MY ROLE As your child’s teacher, my role will be to guide these students as they learn. I will have frequent meetings with the groups and monitor their progress through conferences and a project timeline. I will take special care to accommodate when appropriate. This is a project however, and I will encourage the students to think and learn on their own.
+ PARENT’S ROLE As a parent, your help is greatly needed and appreciated. Please encourage your child and participate in this project with them. There will be times during the year when we may need supplies and volunteers, or even audiences. It will be more impactful to your son or daughter’s education if you join the botanist trend with them!
+ STUDENT’S ROLE The students will be asked to brainstorm at the beginning of the unit. As they are broken into smaller groups, they will assign tasks to each member and be responsible for those duties. The class will agree on a reasonable project timeline and set goals for each day and week. It will be their responsibility to complete tasks and requirements by the appropriate dates. Students will be collecting data and applying information they have learned in class. They will be expected to be respectful, attentive, and responsible for their work load. They will also be required to complete and turn in journal entries. At the end of the project, each group will decide on whether to make a report or presentation to demonstrate what they have learned.
+ BENEFITS OF THE UNIT This unit will encourage students to be hands on in their approach to learning. Being “botanists” is a fun way to make meaningful connections to the outside world and how it works. Since the project will be conducted over a longer period of time, it will require students to retain knowledge and truly absorb it. Plus, we will grow some pretty flowers.
+ STANDARDS THAT WILL BE MET 3rd grade science objectives: Describe the way energy from the sun is used. Describe the life cycle of plants, including seed, germination, growth and reproduction. Determine habitat conditions that support plant growth and survival.
+ OBJECTIVES Students will be able to identify the different parts of a plant’s reproductive system. Students will understand why sunlight, water and soil are an important part of plant health. Students will understand how plants grow and reproduce Students will learn the necessary parts of a supportive plant environment and their importance. Students will be able to use 21st century skills and self-directed learning.
+ WHAT IS PROJECT LEARNING? Project-Based Learning is learning through...well...projects!. Its different from conventional teaching strategies in that it is hands on, and designed in an open-ended way to allow students freedom to discover and learn, not find the "right answer". It is student-centered, rather than teacher-centered, and it appeals to many more senses. PBL gives students an opportunity to develop meaningful understanding of a topic by actually performing an activity. It has the tendency to teach in a more effective way. Students will often work in groups and develop new approaches and ideas to solving a problem; PBL lends itself to effective and creative problem solving. We will be using this technique in our class to make science, one of the probably more difficult subjects, fun and inviting.
+ CONTACT INFORMATION If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me! firstname.lastname@example.org 334-806-5739
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