Heat Wave Modeling Lesson Plan

 Date: 10/6/10
Grade Level/Subject: 1st/Science

Prerequisite Knowledge: Basic understanding of hot weather and what a flood looks like. What a heat wave is.
Approximate Time: 45 minutes

Student Objectives/Student Outcomes: Students will construct a model representing the affect of a heat wave on plants.

Students will draw and verbally explain how a plant absorbs water through its roots and then it is carried through capillaries to all parts of the plant.

Students will work in pairs and communicate using scientific language. They will talk, but not too loudly.

Content Standards:

STATE GOAL 12:  Understand the fundamental concepts, principles and interconnections of the life, physical and earth/space sciences.

 B.  Know and apply concepts that describe how living things interact with each other and with their environ­ment.12.B.1a  Describe and compare characteristics of living things in relationship to their environments.

E.  Know and apply concepts that describe the features and processes of the Earth and its resources.

12.E.1a  Identify components and describe diverse features of the Earth’s land, water and atmospheric systems.


6 potted plants near a window with water

6 potted plants in a dark corner without water

A white or chalk board


3 minutes         Opening of lesson: (Objectives, hook, behavior expectations)

Ask the students if they remember what a heat wave is.

Explain that they will be observing the plants we have in the classroom to make drawings of them. We want to figure out why the plants in a heat wave look different than a plant that recieves water and sunlight.

I want the students to work in groups and pracitce listening to each other and taking turns to share their ideas. 

20 minutes       Procedures: Include critical thinking questions and accommodations for individual needs

Give each group of 2 to 3 students each type of plant ask them to discuss what they see and why that might be.

Ask the students to work together to draw a picture of how plants get water.

*If they are having difficulty suggest that they dig and look under the soil for clues.

Have each group put their poster up with a magnet on the board.

Bring the class all together and ask someone to explain their model.

Have another student explain their model, but ask them how it is similar or different to the other group's picture.

Ask the students to decide which model they agree with the most.

Cut into one of the plants and show the tubes in the plant.

Would they like to make any changes to the drawing?

Make changes to the drawing.

Ask the students to work in their groups again and decide on 2 or 3 things they would like to test to see if the model would change. Provide examples like a plant that recieves a lot of water, or a plant that has fertilizer.

Collect the suggestions and tell the students tomorrow you will start a few new experiments and that this is how scientists make models in science.  

                  Summary/Closing: Ask the students how they felt making the models. Did it help to see other groups ideas? How did seeing the plant cut open and the dirt help them make their drawings?

            Student Assessment: Informally assess the students on these items:

Participated and talked about what they observed.

Helped make the drawing.

Listened to group members.

Also, collect the models and check that it somehow shows the plant recieving water.