Sunday, February 13, 2011

Seed Dispersal Lesson Plan

Topic: Animals and Seed Dispersal (Grade 3)  


Purpose:  Grade 3 Science Scope and Sequence (Unit 4: Plant and Animal Adaptations)
·     Describe how plants must be adapted to their environment in order to survive (LE 3.1b, c; LE 5.2a; LE 6.1f):
o     Structures and their functions (e.g. roots, leaves, flowers, etc.).
o     Adaptations of these structures may include variations in size, shape, thickness, color, smell, and texture.
o     Plants change as the seasons change.
o     Seed dispersal.

Objectives:  Students will be able to…
·      Identify the different methods of seed dispersal.
·      Explain how plants adapt to their environment by dispersing their seeds in various methods.

·      3 feet by 3 feet square on floor (use masking tape to make perimeters)
·      Seed props (burr, acorn, berries, maple seeds, and coconut)
·      2 water spray bottles
·      2 fans
·      3 animal masks (bird, bear, and squirrel)
·      Science journals and pencils
·      Smartboard and computer 


·      What are the basic needs of plants (space, light, air, water, and soil)?  Make a semantic map on the Smartboard of the basic needs of plants.
·      Ask 1 student to be a tomato plant and 3 students to be the seeds of the tomato plant.  They are all standing in the square perimeter.  Ask 3 more students to pretend to be the tomato seeds and try to join them in the square (the square should be too small for them). 
·      What is happening to the seeds?  Plants make seeds, but it must also find a way to move them where they have enough space and water to grow. 
·      How do seeds travel to find space and water to grow?  Add student responses to the semantic map on the Smartboard.    
·      Introduce vocabulary wordàSeed dispersal is the process in which seeds are scattered and distributed to new places to find space and water to grow.   

·   Divide students into five groups and have each group explore one kind of the seed props.
·   Each group discusses what the object is and makes prediction about how the seed is dispersed. 
·   Show and explore this educational website with students:  this interactive website shows short video clips of how seeds disperse.

Explain:  Students and teacher create a semantic map on the Smartboard that shows the different methods of seed dispersal.   Complete the semantic map by giving example of seeds that travel through these methods.

(Stick to the fur)
(Squirrels bury)
Super Poopers
(Fly away)
(Float Away)
-Hickory nuts
-Maple seeds

Elaborate:  Seed Dispersal Game
·      Play the Seed Dispersal game with students.  Set up the classroom for a large space.  Pick students to be:  squirrels, birds, bears, wind, and water. 
·      All the other students pretend to be these seeds:  burr, acorn, berry, maple seed, or coconut.
·      Seeds are lined up in one side of the room and the students of seed dispersal are on the other side of the room. 

Instructions:  Teacher tells a story about seeds growing and dispersing.      
·      You are all seeds.  You are a burr, acorn, berry, maple seed, or coconut.  All the seeds are sleeping.  You want to travel to a different place with lots of sunshine, water, and space. 
·      Squirrels are looking for acorns.  Squirrels eat the acorns and bring them to one place of the room where no one is standing. 
·      Bears are looking for food.  The burrs are stuck onto the bear fur. 
·      Birds are looking for berries.  Birds eat your berries and fly to another place.  Berries sit.
·      Wind comes by and blows the maple seeds away (use fans).  They fly to another place.
·      Water comes and the coconuts drop onto the water (use spray bottles).  The coconuts float to another place.

·      In students’ science journal, students will explain the purpose of the various methods of seed dispersal, and how these adaptations help the plants survive in their environment.

·      For students who need more support: (This is an interactive game that shows the life cycle of a plant.  Students will strengthen their prior knowledge about seeds, parts of a plant, and the life cycle of a plant.)
·      For students who are proficient: (This is a website that has real life videos of seed dispersing in various methods.  It also summarizes each method of seed dispersal.  In addition, students can explore other aspects about plant biology in the website.) 
·      For students who are above level: (This is the website where the Homework activity is located at.  It is a comprehensive website that has an activity sheet, puzzle page, teacher’s information, and glossary.)

·      Students will complete this multiple-choice activity sheet online.
·      They will have to print out the page and write in the answers for adaptations.
·      For the students who do not have a printer, they can write the answers for adaptations on a piece of loose-leaf paper. 

1 comment:

  1. A very imaginative game bringing to life the different methods of seed dispersal! On my blog I have some great images and explanations about different methods of seed dispersal that would definitiely compliment this game