This page last changed on Aug 13, 2007 by cmcintyre.

I.    Overview of the Design

In the Plant 3-4 meeting, the CC team made a decision on what content each of the grades would cover.

Grade 3 - 4: focus on...

  • plants make food; they don't eat food
  • plants have structures that do certain things that help them make food (only focusing on the external structures (leaves, roots and stems)

Grade 5 - 6: focus on...

  • plants make food - they need air (carbon), water and sunlight to make sugar (food) and release oxygen and water
  • plants have structures that do certain things that help them make food (showing both the external and internal structures)

The essence of the 5 - 6 design plan is to take the simulation introduced in grades 3-4 in exploration #3 and zoom into all the items that plants take in (water, sunlight and carbon dioxide) to see what the outputs are.  Basically, the 5-6 design plan is working on pulling apart the photosynthesis equation by looking at each piece to then have the students construct at the end.  The construction of this equation will be in words and not a chemical formula. (ex. plants need sunlight, water and carbon dioxide to create sugar and release oxygen and water.)

It is focusing on the plant as a system and looking at the inputs and outputs of this system.

Note: Sections II and III on Standards are addressed in another doc (see:

IV.    Reminders for teachers guides

In a conversation with Carolyn about which direction to take the design of 5/6 I mentioned doing a historical walk through.   She commented that it is not the direction we want the on-line design to be but might be good support material for the teachers guide.

Note the following experiments:

  • Jan van Helmont's Observation - increase in plant mass is carbon which comes from the air.
  • Priestly's Experiment - split test - plants release oxygen
  • Jan Ingenhousz - aquatic plants - plants release oxygen in light.

Together these scientists discovered that "in the presence of light, plants transform carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates, they also release oxygen."

V.    Current Student Conceptions on....

  • Students think that soil, water and sunlight are food for plants.
  • Students don't realize that air has carbon dioxide and that food created in plants relays heavily on the input of carbon dioxide.
  • [currently working on collecting more]

VI.    Goals for this Activity

  • (assumption/prior knowledge) Food provides plants with energy to do the activities they need to do to survive.
  • Plants make their own food, the food they make is called "sugar", the process of making food is called photosynthesis.
  • Plants have green leaves that collect energy from the sun and roots and stems that help them obtain water.
  • Plants take in carbon dioxide, water and energy from the sun to produce sugars and release oxygen.

VII.    List of Technology Components

  • NetLogo Roots Model
  • NetLogo Leaves Model
  • Carbon Dioxide Generator

VIII.    Design Plan with Storyline

Driving Question - What do plants eat?


Exploration 1: Plant Game

Story Connection:

Exploration 2: CO2 Generator Probe

Story Connection:

Exploration 3: NL Leaves Model

Story Connection:

Exploration 4: NL Roots Model

Story Connection: 

More misconceptions literature:

Posted by cmcintyre at Aug 13, 2007 15:49

FYI - this design plan is a little out of date.  After I get all the activities in, I will go back and fix the design plans so that they are in line with the activities.


Posted by mbruozas at Sep 02, 2007 10:36
Document generated by Confluence on Jan 27, 2014 16:49