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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Magic School Bus - Plant Lesson - part 3

This hasn't been a popular series of posts lately, but I want to finish what I started for the few that did
like it.

Since there were an odd number of weeks due to a few snow days this last week I didn't have a second week to cut the video in half. So we watched the video of Magic School Bus Inside A Beehive in its entirety. I just choose to build on the plant-bee interactions part of that video to connect it to the previous plant lessons.

While the students watched the video, I drew a basic flower diagram on the board and labeled it with:
  1. stem
  2. petal
  3. sepal
  4. pistil
  5. stamen
  6. anther

Also during the video, I passed out paper towels, magnifying glasses and some example of complete and incomplete flowers from my yard. Tulips are great complete flowers. I also brought cherry blossoms, azalea flowers and dandelions. I discussed sunflowers because they have a familiar flower structure that the kids remembered to explain about compound flowers. That helped me touch on an explanation of why dandelions had so many petals.

*Special note if you have students that eat odd things, azalea and rhododendron flowers are poisonous in large quantities. Check out the list of poisonous plants for which ever specimens you plan to use. Many house, yard and garden plants are mildly toxic and some are actually dangerous when eaten so do your research to be safe when you bring live specimens from home.

Even in this small class of eight I had to have them work in pairs since my supply of flowers and
magnifying glasses was small. This worked out since one kid was allergic to pollen, so I had him sit far enough away to be comfortable but close enough to watch his partner.

Then I had the kids draw flowers either based off the simple version on the board or the flowers on their paper towels. They were also allowed to tape samples of their flowers or flower parts to the drawing. [The kids really seemed to enjoy this activity.]

We finished with more Food Chain Freeze. [My shy student choose to just watch this week.]

After four rounds of that I introduced a further complication to explain the Food Chain Freeze Game. In this game, Bear is (IT/the red light-green light person) or the secondary consumer. Turtle is demoted intermediary tagger also available to be tagged or caught moving by bear, since he is only a primary consumer. Turtle's goal is to eat three plants before he can tag bear. [This further complication was met with mixed success. The older kids liked it, but the younger ones did not and had had enough of the game. Fortunately, the class was over by that point.]

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