Tech Unit Plan

Technology Integrated Unit Plan

Link to Prezi Graphic Organizer of the Unit:

Unit Topic:  Plant Structures, Processes, and Relationships in the School Garden

Overview of the Unit: This unit plan is designed to be used in conjunction with a school garden. Students will be exploring plant structures and life processes including photosynthesis and pollination. The unit culminates with an exploration of the inter-connectivity of living organisms and students will use the knowledge gained from their study of plant anatomy, photosynthesis, and pollination to identify plant and animal relationships within the school garden ecosystem. By recognizing the interdependence of organisms, students will gain a greater understanding of the important role each plant and animal plays, no matter how seemingly insignificant.

Throughout the unit, a variety of instructional activities are included. In many lessons, students are provided options and are able to choose the means through which they will demonstrate their knowledge. This aligns with Universal Design for Learning's principles of providing multiple means of representation, multiple means of activity and expression, and multiple means of engagement. I also incorporate a variety of grouping methods to provide opportunities for students to work individually, in pairs, in small groups, and as a whole class. Peer collaboration takes place both in-person and digitally to provide students with a variety of ways of interacting with information and each other.

Description of the Intended Learner: This unit is designed for fourth grade students (ages 9-10 years). The classroom includes a diverse student population and accommodations for different learning needs will be included within the lesson plans.

Standards addressed in the unit:

  • VA Fourth Grade Science Life Processes SOL

    • 4.4 The student will investigate and understand basic plant anatomy and life processes. Key concepts include

a)   the structures of typical plants and the function of each structure;

b)   processes and structures involved with plant reproduction;

c)   photosynthesis

  • VA Fourth Grade Science Living Systems SOL

    • 4.5 The student will investigate and understand how plants and animals, including humans, in an ecosystem interact with one another and with the nonliving components in the ecosystem. Key concepts include

b)   organization of populations, communities, and ecosystems and how they interrelate;

c)   flow of energy through food webs

  • ISTE Technology Standards

    • 1. Creativity and Innovation: Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.

a. Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes

b. Create original works as a means of personal or group expression

c. Use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues

    • 2. Communication and Collaboration: Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

a. Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media

b. Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats

d. Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems

  • 3. Research and Information Fluency: Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.

a. Plan strategies to guide inquiry

b. Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information

from a variety of sources and media

c. Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks

d. Process data and report results

    • 4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making: Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.

a. Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation

b. Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project

c. Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions

    • 5. Digital Citizenship: Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.

a. Advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology

b. Exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity

    • 6. Technology Operations and Concepts: Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations.

a. Understand and use technology systems

b. Select and use applications effectively and productively

Unit Objectives:  

  • Lesson 1 Objectives:  Students Will Be Able To:   

1.      Identify each main part of a plant when looking at different specimens or photographs.

2.      Describe the functions of each main plant part.

          3.      Classify structures as different parts of plants.

  • Lesson 2 Objectives:  Students Will Be Able To:

          1.      Define: stamen, pistil, sepal, anther, stigma, style, ovary

          2.      Identify the structures of a plant that are essential for reproduction.

          3.      Describe the role each structure plays in the process of plant reproduction.

  • Lesson 3 Objectives:  Students Will Be Able To:

          1.      Define: pollination, pollinator, nectar, pollen.

2.      Identify the motivations and incentives  that attract different organisms to participate in pollination.

          3.      Describe the mutual relationship between plants and pollinators.

  • Lesson 4 Objectives:  Students Will Be Able To:

          1.      Define: photosynthesis, chlorophyll, glucose

2.      Explain the process of photosynthesis to include the use of sunlight and carbon dioxide to produce oxygen and sugar.

3.      Design and execute an experiment to analyze how different factors influence plants’ abilities to undergo photosynthesis.

  • Lesson 5 Objectives:  Students Will Be Able To:

          1.      Define: food chain, producer, consumer, decomposer

          2.      Examine organisms in the garden and identify their roles within a food chain.

          3.      Hypothesize the effects of removing an organism from the school garden ecosystem.

Student Technology Samples: Please see technology samples listed under each lesson's page. I created many of the samples but I also included some student-created samples found online. Links are provided for all found samples.

Overview of Lessons

Lesson 1

Lesson Topic: Plant Structures & their Functions

Learning Target: I can identify each main plant structure and describe its function.

Essential Question: What are the main parts of a plant and what do these parts do?

Technology Components:

  • YouTube video time-lapse to activate background knowledge for intro/motivation:

  • Outdoor digital camera/mobile device scavenger hunt for plant parts in the school garden.

  • Padlet collaboration: students upload their scavenger hunt finds to categorize plant parts, then the class will discuss each board and develop further categories for types of leaves, etc.

  • Students will create imaginary plants by selecting roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and fruits from different examples on the class Padlets. Their creative products will be made using students' choice of media: traditional drawing, Doodle Buddy (iPad App), or Pixlr photo montages. Their drawings will be labeled with captions created using Skitch (iPad App), Pixlr, or Perfect Captions (iPad App).

Lesson 2

Lesson Topic: Flower Parts & Plant Reproduction

Learning Target: I can identify each main structure within a flower and describe its role in plant reproduction.

Essential Question: How do flowering plants reproduce?

Technology Components:

  • Document camera presentation of flower parts/dissection.

  • Students select flower specimens then dissect the parts in pairs. Partners will record the procedures through iPad photos. Students will photograph their flowers before and after disassembling them and then use their images to create diagrams in Pixlr.  Once the dissection is complete, students will make audio-visual presentations using their choice of iPad apps - either Educreations or PixnTell - to show and describe the parts of the flower they dissected.

Lesson 3

Lesson Topic: Pollinators

Learning Target: I can describe the role different types of pollinators play in helping plants reproduce.

Essential Question: How do plants attract pollinators and how do pollinators help plants reproduce?

Technology Components:

  • Using Popplet, the class will create a K-W-L chart about pollination, building on the previous lesson and asking questions to extend their understanding. The K-W-L chart will be created collaboratively and groups will contribute ideas to the chart.

  • Students will view pollinators in action in a slow motion video ( then discuss in groups and add ideas to the K-W-L Popplet.

  • After choosing and researching a pollinator, students will work in pairs and select one of two assignment options.

    • Option 1: Create a digital story from the perspective of a pollinator. What about the plant attracts you? What do you get from the plant? How do you, in turn, help the pollination process? Do you encounter any dangers along the way (think about your observations from the video)?

    • Option 2: Using Glogster EDU, create a Glog advertising the school garden to a certain type of pollinator. How will you encourage them to come and stay for a while? What attractive features does the garden have to offer?

Lesson 4

Lesson Topic: Photosynthesis

Learning Target: I can explain how plants produce their own food through the process of photosynthesis.

Essential Question: How do plants have their life needs met through photosynthesis?

Technology Components:

  • Motivation (anticipatory set) will be 1.5 minutes of a video clip (The Magic School Bus Gets Planted) to help students review background knowledge from previous lessons about plant parts and to formulate the question in their minds: How do plants get their food? Video link: (start at 4 min. 35 sec. Stop at 6 min.).

  • Flipped lessons at centers:

  • In small groups, students will design photosynthesis experiments to be conducted over the next several weeks. They will use technology to plan (Google Docs, Google Presentations), document (digital photos, video, time-lapses, KidBlog observation records), collaborate (Google Drive), research (Google, e-textbooks), and present their experiments to the class (enhanced podcasts, Educreations presentations, Prezi presentations, etc.).

Lesson 5

Lesson Topic: Flow of Energy through Food Chains

Learning Target: I can describe how energy from the sun moves through producers, consumers, and decomposers in the food chain.

Essential Question: How does energy flow through food chains?

Technology Components:

  • Students will create simple food chains using Popplet to show the flow of energy from the sun, to plants, to animals, and then on to decomposers that they might find in the school garden.

  • Students will then collaborate in small groups to create a food web Popplet that includes all three group members’ food chains and the connections among the different organisms.

  • The group will receive a prompt from the teacher describing a scenario that removed one organism from the web and the students must delete that organism and analyze how its removal affects the entire ecosystem web. Then students will take on the identity of one garden organism to create a Blabberize presentation describing what would happen to them as a result of the break in the web.

Here's my graphical representation of my unit plan outline -- in the form of a Prezi:
Jun 27, 2013, 10:52 AM