Lesson plan

Earth Day Trees

Science offers lots of opportunities for writing! In this lesson, students will celebrate Earth Day with trees, science, and writing.
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Students will be able to write about the process of planting a seed.

(5 minutes)
  • Call students together.
  • Read students Curious George Plants A Tree by H. A. Rey.
(5 minutes)
  • Explain to students that today they will be planting seeds like George and writing about it in their notebooks. Tell students the first step will be to draw the different materials they will use.
  • Show students the seeds they will be planting. Demonstrate how to draw a picture of a seed and ask students to draw a picture of a seed in their notebooks.
  • Next, show students the cups/pots they will be filling with soil and demonstrate how to draw a picture of one. Ask students to draw a picture of one in their notebooks.
  • Repeat this same process again for the dirt.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask students to describe some of the things they remember needing to happen for a plant to grow (i.e. "The seed needs to be planted in the dirt, the seed needs to be watered, the sun needs to shine on the planted seed," etc.).
  • If time allows, it can be fun to have students act out the process of a seed becoming a plant.
  • Demonstrate to students the process of planting a seed in the dirt with the supplies they just recorded in their notebooks, and have students draw pictures of the different steps of this process on a white board.
  • Explain to students that they will now be going back to their own work spaces to plant their own seeds and record the process in their writing notebooks. Encourage students to use drawings and words to record this in detail. Before sending students off to work, ask if students have any questions and remind students of any rules/expectations you may have for this independent work period.
(15 minutes)
  • While students are working, any assisting adults should be circulating, answering questions, assisting students, and taking anecdotal notes.
  • Set up numerous stations around the room with supplies can help to prevent congestion. (Having lots of newspaper to cover surfaces and plastic to cover the ground can help with mess.)
  • Playing soft music in the background can help to keep talking to a minimum.

Support: For students who need a little extra assistance, working with a partner can help to scaffold the activity. A word wall with vocabulary related to planting and this project can also be useful. Having examples of a completed student notebook planting entry available for students to reference can also be helpful.

Enrichment: To provide students with a greater challenge, encourage students to add more details to drawings, label drawings to turn them into diagrams, and research other ways to grow plants.

(5 minutes)
  • Reviewing writing/drawing samples in the writing notebooks is one way to determine whether or not students have met the lesson objectives.
  • Anecdotal notes about student discussions, participation in group discussions, and independent work periods offer other ways to determine whether students have met lesson objectives.
(10 minutes)
  • Call students back together.
  • Allow students the opportunity to share what they have written with the group.
  • Encourage students to do more planting at home and celebrate Earth Day with their families.
  • Discuss other ways that students can help take care of the Earth.

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