THE ART OF PLANTS AND ANIMALS

Grade 1: The Art of Plants and Animals

Unit Description

This unit will explore the characteristics and basic needs of plants and animals. Through drama, the students will focus on the different parts of plants and the function of each part. The students will also role play as plant doctors who are charged with the task of caring for a sick plant. They will collaborate, brainstorm and write about ways to help maintain a plant's health. Following writing, students will use visual arts to demonstrate their understanding of plant parts and basic needs of plants. Music and drama will used be to compare and contrast the different basic needs of plants and animals. Through the arts, the students will have a richer understanding of the basic needs of plants and animals.

Unit Essential Question

How can we meet the basic needs of plants and animals?

Real World Context

This unit will focus on the basic needs of plants and animals. Students will conduct a cause and effect analysis to understand why things happen as they do. This project will help your students understand the effects of various events and actions, so they have a better grasp on the way the world operates.

Cross-Cutting Interdisciplinary Concepts

Cause and effect

Projects

Project 1: Starring Parts of a Plant!
In this project, students will have a blast dramatizing the various parts of plants using their bodies and voices. They will engage in research of various plants in various climates around the world. Then students will role play in small groups as different parts of the plant: root, stem, leaves, and flower. Students will create tableaus that illustrate the relationships of the plant parts. By exploring the function of their part, they can understand cause and effect. What would happen if the plant did not have all of its parts intact? Students will engage in writing monologues from the point of view of their plant part character. Suggested children’s literacy is also included in this project to make the science and writing pervasive in ELA instruction.

Project 2: Band Time with Animals & Plants
In this project, students will try their hands at being a part of a band in the first grade science classroom! Students will become musical experts on plants and animals. They will work collaboratively with their peers to compose a song with original lyrics and beats, describing the basic needs of plants and animals.

Project 3: O’Keeffe- Inspired Plant Painting
In this project, students will explore a collection of fine art by Georgia O’Keeffe, specifically her flower and plant paintings. Students will then participate in a role play where they become plant experts and save a dying plant. The students will use their shared background knowledge of Georgia O’Keeffe’s flowers and create a painting in this style of their very own thriving plant. Finally students will write a story about the plant they painted and how it was transformed from dying to thriving.

Project Essential Questions

PROJECT 1:
How can I use my body and voice to communicate the parts of a plant and each part’s function?

PROJECT 2:
How can we use music to compare and contrast the basic needs of plants and animals?
How are food and nutrients different for plants and animals?

PROJECT 3:
How can I connect visual arts to my knowledge of plants’ basic needs?
What components must I include in my painting’s subject matter and environment if the plant is thriving?

Standards

Curriculum Standards

S1L1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the basic needs of plants and animals.

  1. Develop models to identify the parts a plant- root, stem, leaf, and flower.
  2. Ask questions to compare and contrast the basic needs of plants (air, water, light, and nutrients) and animals (air, water, food, and shelter)
  3. Design a solution to ensure that a plant or animal has all of its needs met.

ELAGSE1W2: Write informative/ explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.

Arts Standards

VA1PR.2 Understands and applies media, techniques, and processes of two-dimensional works of art (drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed- media) using tools and materials in a safe and appropriate manner to develop skills.

  1. Creates paintings with a variety of media (e.g., acrylic, tempera, watercolor).

TAES1.3 Acting by developing, communicating, and sustaining roles within a variety of situations and environments.

  1. Assumes roles in a variety of dramatic forms such as narrated story, pantomime, puppetry and role play.

TH: Crr2-K - With prompting and support, participate in group decision making in a guided drama experience.

MU:Pr6.1.1 - With limited guidance, perform music for a specific purpose with expression.

MU:Re7.2.1 - With limited guidance, demonstrate and identify how specific music concepts (such as beat or pitch) are used in various styles of music for a purpose.

Materials to be purchased for Unit

  • Tempra variety pack paint
  • White tempra paint
  • Paint brushes
  • 9X12 canvases
  • Deluxe Rhythm and band set
  • Wonder soil class and garden and kit
  • Magnifying glasses
  • Paint Palettes
  • Drum Set

Character Education

Components
The students will collaborate with an older grade to plant a flower garden. They will check on the garden regularly in order to maintain healthy plants.

Character Attributes Addressed During Unit

  • Responsibility
  • Teamwork

Summative Assessments

  • Pre/ Post Test
  • Project 1 Rubric
  • Project 2 Rubric
  • Project 3 Rubric

Partnering with Fine Arts Teachers

Music Teacher:

  • Project 2: Help the students with beat, tempo, rhythm, and lyrics.

Visual Arts Teacher:

  • Project 3: Conduct a review of the elements of art. Together they will analyze a sketching and painting.

Drama Teacher:

  • Project 1: Review tableaus and monologues with students.

Appendix (See Project Downloads)

  • Pre-Test/ Post-Test

Credits

Karisa Walker, Sarah Munroe, Shannon Green, Rachel McQueen, Edited by Jessica Espinoza, Edited by Dr. Carla Cohen, Edited by Dr. Carla Cohen

Starring Parts of a Plant!

Description

In this project, students will have a blast dramatizing the various parts of plants using their bodies and voices. They will engage in research of various plants in various climates around the world. Then students will role play in small groups as different parts of the plant: root, stem, leaves, and flower. Students will create tableaus that illustrate the relationships of the plant parts. By exploring the function of their part, they can understand cause and effect. What would happen if the plant did not have all of its parts intact? Students will engage in writing monologues from the point of view of their plant part character. Suggested children’s literacy is also included in this project to make the science and writing pervasive in ELA instruction.

Learning Targets

“I Can…”

  • Examine the parts of a plant and each part’s function
  • Create a tableau that represents all of the parts of a specific plant
  • Communicate the functions of the parts of a plant in the form of a character monologue

Essential Questions

  • How can I use my body and voice to communicate the parts of a plant and each part’s function?

Curriculum Standards

S1L1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the basic needs of plants and animals.

  1. Develop models to identify the parts a plant- root, stem, leaf, and flower.

ELAGSE1W2: Write informative/ explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.

Arts Standards

TAES1.3 Acting by developing, communicating, and sustaining roles within a variety of situations and environments.

  1. Assumes roles in a variety of dramatic forms such as narrated story, pantomime, puppetry and role play.

Content Vocabulary

  • Root
  • Stem
  • Leaf
  • Flower
  • Plant
  • Function
  • Nutrients
  • Water
  • Light

Arts Vocabulary

  • Tableau: a frozen picture dramatizing a concept or story
  • Body Levels: creating body shapes on different planes including a high level, mid level or a low level
  • Body Shapes: using your body to create a closed or open shape using body parts
  • Body Relationships: establishing a relationship between characters through body shapes, posture, levels and eye contact
  • Monologue: a speech spoken by a character in a story
  • Diction: speaking crisp and clear words
  • Projection: speaking loudly by engaging the diaphragm

Technology Integration

Formative Assessment

  • Teacher will observe the students working in small groups portraying the parts of the plants in their rehearsal.
  • Teacher will check for understanding through questioning and reviewing student written monologues.

Summative Assessment

  • Rubric for informative monologue
  • Post test

Materials

  • Space for movement
  • Smartboard for technology
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books on parts of the plants (Recommended text: Parts of a Plant by Bruce Larkin)
  • Computers or tablets

Activating Strategy (5-10 min)

  • Teacher will conduct a whole group physical warm-up with students. Tell students that students will be physically making body shapes that represent the different parts of a plant. Students can start on a low level by being the root. Then, they can move into creating a high body shape of the stem. Then they will become the leaf and finally, the flower. The teacher should remind students that the plant parts may not all look exactly the same depending on what kind of plant we are creating.

Main Activity

PROCESS: Parts of a Plant

Part 1: Group Work

Present the Gallery Walk: Plants Around the World (SEE DOWNLOADS) to students analyzing various plants. The students will see different types of plants beyond the flower. They should recognize that while all plants look very different, they all have the same basic parts.

  • Place students into small groups of four and direct them to build a tableau of one of the plants we observed during the Gallery Walk. Whether the teacher pre-assigns specific plants to groups or allows the students to choose, is at the teacher’s discretion.
  • Before small groups begin working, review the definition of tableau. A tableau is a frozen picture that uses levels and body shapes to represent something. A tableau does not move or make sound. Each student in the small group should become a different part of their plant. Together, the group should become a tableau of the plant as a whole. Each student embodies a different plant part. The teacher should point out how different the tableaus look from one another other.

Part 2: Research

  • Next, the teacher will review the function of each part of the plant through a flipchart.
  • Within each group, students will be given the opportunity to research one part of the plant. They will be responsible for learning about that function of that part. The students should use resources such as books and computers to find out why their assigned part is important. The teacher can also choose to model the research process using a graphic organizer and conducting research whole group.

Part 3: Student Writing

The students will reflect on the lesson by writing a monologue from their plant part character’s point of view. Within the monologue the students should demonstrate their knowledge of the importance of their part. They need to explore cause and effect by writing about what would happen if the plant didn’t have their specific part.

Reflection Questions

  • Why is it important that all the parts are included in a plant?
  • What would happen if a plant didn’t have roots?
  • What would happen if a plant didn’t have the stem, or leaf?
  • What is something new that you learned from your research?
  • If we did this activity again, what would you do differently?

Differentiation

Below Grade Level: Whole group research, work with partners to complete graphic organizers, include word bank on graphic organizer. Utilize sentence starters for monologue. Include a visual word wall in the room for students to reference.

Above Grade Level: Conduct solo research, and create monologue based on independent research.

EL Students: (ELP=English Language Proficiency)

  • Preview the key vocabulary with pictures shown beside each word on an anchor chart, word wall, and flashcards.
  • Point to the picture, and have the student say each word. This may be done in small group the day before the unit begins. The ESOL teacher may meet with students who are lacking the basic vocabulary for additional practice before starting the unit.
  • During research, graphic organizers may be differentiated based on students’ ELPs.

ELP 1-2

  • Option 1: Provide students with short article/book with picture support to use for research. Give them a cloze version of the graphic organizer where they may fill in one word per sentence to complete their research.
  • Option 2: Pair students with peers possessing higher ELPs who may model completing a graphic organizer with less English scaffolding.
  • Option 3: Instead of writing research, allow students to cut and paste different facts (with picture support) into appropriate portions of the graphic organizer.

ELP 5-6

  • ELP 5-6 Provide simple edits to peers’ writing. Source: (WIDA Can Do Key Uses Gr1, pg. 9)

Part 3: Monologue ELP 1-2

  • Allow students to draw and label three pictures to accompany their monologue instead of writing sentences (first picture=plant part, second picture=importance, third picture=what would happen if it disappeared).

ELP 3-4

  • Use sentence starters to assist students with writing:
    “I am a ____. I am important because I____________. If I disappeared, the plant would not be able to_______.”

Additional Resources

Suggested Books:

  • The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
  • The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss
  • From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons

Appendix

  • Rubric for Project 1
  • Gallery Walk: Plants from Around the World
  • Parts of a Plant: Visual Aid

Credits

Band Time with Animals & Plants

Description

In this project, students will try their hands at being a part of a band in the first grade science classroom! Students will become musical experts on plants and animals. They will work collaboratively with their peers to compose a song with original lyrics and beats, describing the basic needs of plants and animals.

Learning Targets

“I Can…”

  • Compose a song with my peers
  • Create lyrics for a song with my peers
  • Explain the needs of plants and animals

Essential Questions

  • How can we use music to compare and contrast the basic needs of plants and animals?

Curriculum Standards

  • S1L1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the basic needs of plants and animals.
    1. Ask questions to compare and contrast the basic needs of plants (air, water, light, and nutrients) and animals (air, water, food, and shelter)
  • Arts Standards

    With limited guidance, demonstrate and identify how specific music concepts (such as beat or pitch) are used in various styles of music for a purpose.

    With limited guidance, perform music for a specific purpose with expression.

    Content Vocabulary

    • air
    • water
    • light
    • nutrients
    • food
    • shelter

    Arts Vocabulary

    • cymbal
    • maracas
    • tambourine
    • bells
    • drum
    • rhythm
    • tempo
    • pattern
    • beat
    • verses
    • chorus

    Technology Integration

    • GarageBand App
    • Imovie App

    Formative Assessment

    • Teacher will observe the students working in small groups composing and practicing their songs.
    • Teacher will check for understanding through questioning and reviewing student- written songs.

    Summative Assessment

    • Band Time with Animals & Plants Rubric (SEE DOWNLOADS)

    Materials

    • Deluxe Rhythm Band Sets
    • Ipad (Optional)
    • Garageband (Optional)
    • Imovie (Optional)
    • Chart paper

    Activating Strategy (5-10 min)

    • Teacher will lead students in completing a word map on an anchor chart and discussing the basic needs of plants and animals.
    • Teacher will introduce the students to the Deluxe Rhythm Band Set or the GarageBand App. (Classroom teachers, consider connecting with your Music Specialist in your building for support in this part of the project.)

    Main Activity

    PROCESS:

    Part 1:

    • Facilitate a whole group discussion of the importance of each need (air, water, nutrients, light, food, and shelter). Explain to students that they will work in groups to create a song/rap/chant explaining the basic needs of plants and animals. Teacher will explain the parts of a song (verse and chorus). The song should have two verses and a chorus. One verse should explain the needs of a plant and one verse should explain the needs of an animal. The chorus should capture the main idea or which needs are shared by both animals and plants. Use the Song-Making Template Sheet (SEE DOWNLOADS) for this part of the activity.

    Part 2:

    • Each group should compose a beat to use with the lyrics of the song.

    Part 3:

    • Students will perform the song for the class.

    Part 4:

    • Part 4: Optional: Students can create a music video performing the Animal and Plant song.

    Classroom Tips:

    • Students should be grouped according to strength. For example, students with strong content knowledge should be in each group to create the lyrics to the song. Students that are comfortable creating beats and patterns

    Reflection Questions

    • What was your favorite part about this project? Why?
    • If you could do this project again, what would you do differently? Why?
    • How did music help you understand and remember the needs of plants and animals?

    Differentiation

    Below Grade Level/EL Students:

    • Provide copies of word map to students who need a word bank for the needs of plants and animals.
    • Provide sentence stems as writing prompt for writing the lyrics to the song.
    • Allow students to work with partners for positive peer modeling of language, writing, and work expectations.

    Above Grade Level:

    • Students should use synonyms for words such as nutrients, food, shelter, etc. in the lyrics.
    • Challenge Advanced students to include a rhyme scheme within the lyrics of their song.

    EL Students: (ELP=English Language Proficiency)

    • Preview the key vocabulary with pictures listed beside each word on an anchor chart, word wall, or flashcards.
    • When discussing the basic needs of plants and animals:

    ELP 1-2

    • Repeat phrases about plant needs listed by peers (e.g. Plants need water.) while teacher points to a picture of plant needs.

    ELP 3-4

    • When writing the song, group students heterogeneously based on English proficiency. Students with lower levels of English proficiency will benefit from their peers modeling the language.

    Appendix

    • Song-Making Template Sheet
    • Rubric for this project

    Credits

    O’Keeffe- Inspired Plant Painting

    Description

    In this project, students will explore a collection of fine art by Georgia O’Keeffe, specifically her flower and plant paintings. Students will then participate in a role play where they become plant experts and save a dying plant. The students will use their shared background knowledge of Georgia O’Keeffe’s flowers and create a painting in this style of their very own thriving plant. Finally, students will write a story about the plant they painted and how it was transformed from dying to thriving.

    Learning Targets

    “I Can…”

    • Examine an artist and connect their fine art to plant’s basic needs
    • I can write a solution to a problem using complete sentences
    • I can create a painting of a thriving plant inspired by the style of Georgia O’Keeffe

    Essential Questions

    • How can I connect visual arts to my knowledge of plants’ basic needs?
    • What components must I include in my painting’s subject matter and environment if the plant is thriving?

    Curriculum Standards

    S1L1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the basic needs of plants and animals.

    1. Develop models to identify the parts a plant- root, stem, leaf, and flower.
    2. Design a solution to ensure that a plant or animal has all of its needs met.

    Arts Standards

    VA1PR.2 Understands and applies media, techniques, and processes of two-dimensional works of art (drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed- media) using tools and materials in a safe and appropriate manner to develop skills.

    1. Creates paintings with a variety of media (e.g., acrylic, tempera, watercolor).

    Content Vocabulary

    • nutrients, air, water, light, and soil
    • problem, solution
    • stem, flower, root, leaves
    • botanist

    Arts Vocabulary

    • sketch, canvas
    • value (lightness or darkness of a color)
    • tint (adding white to make it light)

    Technology Integration

    Formative Assessment

    • Class discussion during Gallery Walk
    • Student painting and describing the features of their plant and its environment
    • Students writing about their painting

    Summative Assessment

    • Student Writing
    • Project 3 Rubric to assess the visual arts project

    Materials

    • Acrylic paint
    • Canvas
    • Paint brushes
    • Writing worksheet
    • Pencils

    Activating Strategy (5-10 min)

    • View picture of healthy and unhealthy plant.
      • Show students a wilting plant. “What happened to this plant?”
      • Show students a healthy plant. “What happened to this plant?”
      • Whole group: Compare the plants using a Venn diagram. “How are they alike?” They both have a stem, flower, leaf, roots, and they are in soil. Contrast the plants, “How are they different?” This plant is healthy and had water, air, nutrients, and light. This plant didn’t.

    Main Activity

    PROCESS: Parts of a Plant

    Part 1:

    • Explain to students, “Today we will be botanist. A botanist is a plant expert! We need to figure out a solution to help meet the needs of this plant so that it can survive. What does a plant need to survive? How can we meet the needs of this plant?” Discuss a solution to help meet all the needs of this plant.
    • Sentence frame: To meet the needs of this plant I will…
    • Talk with your partner about what you may write about…
    • Complete writing activity on Project 3 Writing Sheet (SEE DOWNLOADS)
    • Share student writing with whole group.

    Part 2:

    • Take students thru the Gallery Walk: O’Keeffe Inspired Flower/ Plant Paintings (SEE DOWNLOADS). *To go deeper with your study of O’Keefe you can visit the google cultural institute of her museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico.)
    • Students will critique the art pieces in the Gallery Walk, asking questions such as: What plant parts do you see? What colors, lines, shapes do we see in each plant part? Why does this plant look healthy? Did this plant have all of its needs met?
    • Begin to sketch our own O’Keeffee inspired plants on canvas. Direct students to be sure to include the stem, leaves, and flowers. Direct students to include the plant’s environment.
    • After sketches are complete, meet back on the carpet to discuss tints present in the colors they will use for their paintings. Identify colors present in the Gallery images. Look at the color of the flower. Suggested questioning: Are all the petals the same color? No, there are different values. Value is how light or how dark a color is. Adding white to a color makes it lighter and that is called a tint. Demo tints on a piece of paper. Emphasize the addition of a small amount of color to create a tint. Then pass out paint, smocks, canvas, and brushes.
    • Return to seats. Let students select the colors for their flowers. Prior to painting, have them create some tints on their palette. Remind them to add a small amount of paint to the white to create tints.
    • Begin teacher directed painting on canvas. Paint the flower first. Then add some tints to show value.
    • Paint the pot, steam, and leaves. Also, include sunlight in your painting…

    Part 3:

    • After paintings have dried, use sticky notes to label parts of the plant. Label the stem, flower, roots, and leaves. Label the needs. Let students do a gallery walk. Place student artwork, labels, and writing on top of desks and let students walk around and view each other’s work…
    • Students will then write a story about their plant and why it is able to thrive. Direct students to use all of their science vocabulary in their stories: stem, leaves, roots, flower, sun, water, soil, and nutrients.

    Classroom Tips:

    • Teachers may want to consider doing the flower paintings as a center or small group to manage the painting, cleaning, passing of supplies, etc… Also you could partner with the visual arts teacher in your school to make this a partnership where the painting takes place in the art room and the writing takes place in the general classroom.

    Reflection Questions

    • How can we compare and contrast our plants?
    • What plant parts can we see in our paintings?
    • How can we meet the needs of the plant?
    • How did we create the plant’s environment in our painting?
    • What keeps the plant healthy? What makes it unhealthy?

    Differentiation

    Below Grade Level:

    • Partner students to provide positive peer models for sentence stem completion and brainstorming ideas from problem solving.
    • Utilize dictation options and oral questioning for sentence stems completion.
    • Provide word wall or visual vocabulary bank for use with written responses.

    Above Grade Level: Encourage students to design a brochure about the plants part and its basic needs.

    EL Students:

    • Use sentence starters to assist students in discussing the pictures of the healthy and unhealthy plants. (“This plant is wilting/dying because…” and “This plant is healthy because…”)
    • Add pictures to the Venn diagram next to the similarities and differences.
    • Bring in realia (real plants) in addition to the pictures of healthy and unhealthy plants.
    • Pair ELP 1 students with a peer to assist with the writing activity in part 1.

    Additional Resources

    Appendix

    • Project 3 Rubric
    • Project 3 Writing Sheet
    • Gallery Walk: O’Keeffe Inspired Flower/ Plant Paintings

    Credits

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