Lesson Title: Plant Adaptations
Curriculum Area: Science
Technology Strand: Keyboard Util./Desktop Pub./Word Processing
Grade Level: 3
Essential Question: How do rainfall, temperature, light, and soil affect plant growth and survival in different environments?
A Activity Summary Research various plants with adaptations for survival and create a plant trading card.
C Curriculum Science
1.02 Observe and describe how environmental conditions determine how well plants survive and grow in a particular environment.
T Technology Keyboard Util./Desktop Pub./Word Processing
3.03 Use word processing as a tool to write, edit, and publish sentences, paragraphs, and stories.  
Activating Strategies
Display pictures of three environments, with labels on the board: desert, forest, tropical rainforest. (See files for each environment in Resources.) Have students draw/label plants that they know might live in a desert, forest, and tropical rainforest (10 minutes). After 10 minutes, ask them to turn to their partner and share what plants they drew/labeled and why they listed them in a particular environment. (Examples: plenty of rain, warm temperature, shade, etc.)
Technology Vocabulary: 
Detailed Technology Instructions:
Cognitive Teaching Strategies
We will first begin the lesson in the classroom by asking, What is a plant? What things do plants need to survive? Then, I will introduce the terms adapt, adaptation, and adaptations. I will give examples of how we as humans adapt to our changing environment by using examples of the seasons and how we dress accordingly. Also other things such as heating and air conditioning in our homes according to our needs in our environment.

However, as for plants in different environments, most have developed some kind of adaptation that allows them to continue to survive in the environment in which they grow.

Listen for examples of adaptations by plants or even animals, in a desert environment, as I read the book Cactus Hotel to you. Raise your hand to let me know you have identified an adaptation so we can share it aloud with the other students. (Students will find or be prompted to find several examples of plants that have adapted to live in the dry desert environment as well as several examples of how animals use plants for their own survival.)

In the computer lab, we will be researching plants with special adaptations. We will be paired with a classmate to research the plant that was given to us on a yellow sticky note before we left the classroom. Once in the computer lab, we will sit with our partners. (One computer per every two students)

In the Computer Lab:
The teacher will demonstrate to the students how to access the template for the trading card (Filename: Plant Trading Cards). This demonstration will be done on the Smartboard. Students will double click "student activities", then double click "1 Templates", then double click the name of the plant they are assigned to research. Once every pair has opened the template the teacher will demonstrate how to access the file/website the students will be using by clicking on the hyperlink in the document.

The teacher will explain/show how student will go to the website and read about their assigned plant. Students will be researching a plant to find out how it has adapted to its environment. The adaptation is often easiest found in the "discussion" passage on the website. The teacher will model reading the discussion section and any other pertinent data for one of the plants and use inquiry to get the students to draw conclusions to identify the plant’s adaptation. Students will complete their trading card by filling in the plant name, the environment it lives in, the plant's adaptation, and both partner's names.

***Note: This lesson is written with the assumption that all students will be able to access a shared folder for that school, as well as access the template from shared files using the smart board or a large monitor. These files (see resources) should be downloaded from Resources ahead of time and copied to the shared folder or a separate disk for each student.

If time allows, students may copy the picture of the plant from the eNature website. (Right-Click on the image and choose copy from the pop-up menu.) The image can then be pasted onto the Trading Card.

As each pair finishes, two copies of their collaborated trading card will be printed. Students must not return to the home screen until they have their printed copy in hand. With their own printed copy they may write a paragraph about their plant on notebook paper or provide a labeled illustration of their plant's adaptation if they finish the assignment early.
Summary Strategies
Back in the classroom, the teacher will divide students into two equal groups. Since two students researched the same plant, make sure they are in separate groups. Line up the two groups so they are facing each other in parallel lines. With their copy of the plant they researched in hand, they will tell the classmate directly across from them the adaptation for that particular plant. When the signal is given by the teacher, students rotate their place in line, eventually ending up at the other end of the line they started in. To rotate, one line will always remain stationary. The first person of the opposite line will “dance” down the center and take a place at the end at the signal or sound of the music. The other participants in the rotating line will move forward one space. As this process happens, it would be nice to provide the "Line Dance" with music.
For directions on how to download files choose: Mac (Kid Pix or Microsoft  Works), Windows (Kid Pix or Microsoft Works or Office), or Mac/PC (AppleWorks).
Microsoft Word Files for display with the Activating Strategy

Microsoft Word Templates for Trading Cards

The main enature site: http://www.enature.com

Book: Cactus Hotel by Brenda Z. Guiberson, ISBN# 0-8050-2960-5, Published by Henry Holt and Company
Re-teaching and Enrichment Activities

The concept for this lesson plan was submitted by

Dana  Garnett

 Sedalia Elementary, Data last modified: 7/7/2006