Scrambled states: Ag in math

Standard

NGSS 4-LS1-1:  Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.MD.B.4 Generate measurement data by measuring lengths using rulers marked with halves and fourths of an inch. Show the data by making a line plot,

Time

3-4 hours over 4-5 sessions. The data collection will need to be completed at least two weeks after the seeds are planted.

Technology Required

No technology is required. Students may use Jamboard for line plots and Google docs for word journals, but both of these activities can also be done on paper.

Summary

Teachers read an age appropriate book about plants and record new vocabulary in their personal dictionary. The teacher or student selects an agriculture activity from the booklet More Scrambled States of Agriculture. Garden in a glove is one recommended activity. Students collect and record data on the number of days until germination, showing the results in one more more line plots.

Lesson

It is recommended that this lesson follow the Scrambled States: Ag in Language Arts unit.

Read an age appropriate book about plants.

Both the lesson plan for Garden in a Glove and More Scrambled States of Agriculture booklet have several recommendations for age appropriate books on plants in general or specific plants, like wheat. Teachers may wish to read the book aloud to the class, have students take turns reading aloud, either in groups or as a whole class, or assign to students to read on their own. I recommend 2-3 sessions of 15 minutes of read aloud or 20 minutes of independent reading.

Update Word Journals

Students should update their word journals, what some teachers refer to as a “personal dictionary”, with any new words from the book. If this is your students’ first experience using a word journal, you may wish to give them this Google doc to read or read it together as a class, “Creating your personal dictionary.

Select an Agriculture Activity (1 hour)

Garden in a glove lesson plan, found here, is my favorite and it could relate to almost any book on the list. You need:

  • Food prep gloves – 1 for each student – that you can probably get from your school cafeteria,
  • A bag of cotton balls
  • 5 different packs of seeds
  • A marker

Soak the cotton balls in water, put 3-5 seeds in each one and put five cotton balls, each with different seeds, in the five fingers of the glove. Don’t forget to write on each finger what is in it. Create a chart of the germination time for each type of seed. Read the lesson plan for more detail.

If Garden in a Glove doesn’t suit your needs, check More Scrambled States of Agriculture for ideas you might like better.

Ask students to generate hypotheses about how long it will take for the seeds to germinate, whether all the seeds will take the same amount of time (assuming you did Garden in a Glove).

Record your measurements

Students create either :

  • Create 5 line plot showing the number of seeds that germinated for each number of days, one plot for each type of seed, OR
  • Create one line plot with a different color used for each type of seed.

Ask the students whether their hypotheses were supported.

OPTIONAL: WATCH THIS VIDEO ON CREATING A LINE PLOT

If your students are not familiar with line plots, you may want to have them watch this seven-minute video which explains line plots step by step.

Now that students have watched the video and collected the data, their final task is to create two line plots of their results. Feel free to copy and paste the text below into your Google classroom or other assignment.

LINE PLOT ASSIGNMENT

OPTIONAL: IF STUDENTS ARE LEARNING ONLINE, THEY CAN USE JAMBOARD TO CREATE A LINE PLOT, AS SHOWN IN THE VIDEO BELOW.

Assessment

Three forms of assessment are included in this assignment.

  • In the personal dictionary or word journal, students are required to include a minimum of five words with definitions for 50 points. Each word, spelled correctly is 2 points and a correct definition is another 8 points. I deduct a point for grammar or spelling errors in the definition, but only one.
  • For the agriculture activity, this is simply pass/ fail marked as completed or not.
  • The line plots are scored based on accuracy. I give 10 points for each plot/ type of seed for a total of 50 points possible and another 10 points each for stating a hypothesis and answering whether or not it has been supported.