Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
In this plant growth lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 3-12, students use an online game called Reach for the Sun to learn about how plants grow, survive, pollinate, and reproduce.
- Understand the life cycle of plants and how it relates to seasons.
- Identify the resources plants need to survive and reproduce.
- Explain how photosynthesis gives plants energy for growth.
- Explore the anatomy and functions of plants, including plant reproduction and pollination.
- What do plants need to grow and reproduce? Have students think-pair-share to activate prior knowledge.
- Play the Plant Growth Movie to scaffold students understanding. Have students reflect with their partner afterward and discuss new information learned.
- Tell students they will have the opportunity to explore plant growth through an online interactive game. Project the Reach for the Sun game for the class to see and click through the instructions and overview on the first few screens.
- When you get to the Pick a Plant screen, click on the different options and talk with students about the pros and cons of selecting each one. You can click on "upgrades" to show students how they can visit the garden shop to purchase upgrades once they've unlocked that option.
- Once you've selected the Sunflower (the only plant you have enough money to buy at the beginning of the game), you'll be asked whether you want to play the tutorial version of the game. We recommend clicking yes for your demonstration lesson.
- Invite a student volunteer to come up and play the game. Encourage the volunteer to explain his or her thinking aloud, and allow the rest of the class to make suggestions and share strategy ideas.
- After completing the tutorial version of the game, allow approximately 15 minutes for students to play the regular version of the game. If your students have individual MyBrainPOP logins, you may want them to play on their own. Students can also explore the game in pairs.
- Afterwards, talk with students about their strategies and the things they learned through game play. What resources do plants need to survive and reproduce? How does photosynthesis give plants energy for growth?
- Have students revisit the game throughout your unit of study to try to beat their previous scores. If students are using their individual MyBrainPOP logins, they can save their game progress and continue play in an attempt improve on their score. The better they understand plant growth and reproduction, the higher their scores will be!