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Plant Growth Lesson Plan

Unit

Natural Resources

Lesson Title

What affects plant growth?

Grade

8

Estimated Time

1.5 hours plus 15 minutes each day for 1 month to record observations

Need

Participants have a need to learn the components affecting the growth of healthy plants. This knowledge will enable them to provide healthy plants for their environment.

Objectives

Following the hands-on learning exercise, students will be able to correctly list all 9 factors needed for plants to grow healthy and properly.

Motivation

We all know how important plants are to our lives. What are some ways plants affect your lives?

(Have students call out their answers one at a time.)

Transition

(Show the What is Needed to Make Plants Grow overhead.)

What is needed to make plants grow?

(List the students' answers on the chalk board, then show the Plant Growth Factors overhead.)

Now, let's compare and contrast your answers to this list.

Presentation

In our study of what makes plants grow, we will conduct seven experiments. Before we begin, you will all need to break into seven equal groups.

(The teacher could form the groups, students could choose partners out of a hat, etc...)

Now, each group will choose a question out of this hat. Each group will research the topic, develop an experiment based on the scientific method, and complete oral and written reports on the results.

(Hand out the report requirements. Let the groups choose a question. See sample questions and experiments.)

You will have the rest of this class period to do research in the library and start to develop your procedure and tests. The only limitation for your experiments is that you need to use the supplies that I have gathered. If you need special equipment, just discuss it with me and we'll see what we can do. There are also a couple of guidelines that you should know. Please write these down.

(Write this on the chalk board.)

  1. Plant at least 10 seeds per tray so that you have quite a few plants for your tests.
  2. Test only the element involved in the question that you drew. Keep ALL other elements the same. This includes the amount of light, water, type of soil, etc...
  3. Observe your plants daily and record information for at least three plant growth indicators such as number of seeds that germinated, time to germinate, and plant height.

Equipment and Supplies

  • Bean seeds
  • Clamps
  • Fertilizer
  • Funnel
  • Heating pad
  • Labels
  • Large box
  • Magnifying glass
  • Markers
  • Mulch
  • Overhead projector and markers
  • Plant Growth Factors overhead
  • Potting soil without fertilizer (loam)
  • Refrigerator or equipment for an ice bath (tray and ice)
  • Rulers
  • Scissors
  • Screw driver
  • Small diameter tubing
  • Soil (clay, silt, and sand) for several plantings
  • Tall, fairly large plastic container
  • Thermometers
  • Trays for planting seeds (25-30)
  • Watering cans
  • What is Needed to Make Plants Grow overhead

Visual Aids

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Plant Growth Factors overhead (PDF; 62 KB)
What Is Needed to Make Plants Grow overhead (PDF; 90 KB)