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A Lesson on I Like Plants Export Lesson as PDF | Save As Favorite

A Lesson on I Like Plants Grade: Grade 4
Subject: English Language Arts
Created by: Brittany Proctor
Lesson Length: 2 hours
Keywords/Tags: Vocabulary, Reading, Critical Thinking, Plants
Lesson Description: During this lesson students will learn reading skills, vocabulary, critical thinking, and reading comprehension. The student will first read the passage individually then the Teacher will re-read the passage to the students and discuss it. The students will then answer the following questions. Not all answers are found in the passage, some involve critical thinking and the student’s creativity.
Common Core Standards Covered with This Lesson
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.1: Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.4: Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.1b: Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.1c: Link opinion and reasons using words and phrases (e.g., for instance, in order to, in addition).
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2d: Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.1c: Use modal auxiliaries (e.g., can, may, must) to convey various conditions.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.4a: Use context (e.g., definitions, examples, or restatements in text) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
Lesson Content: Reading
Instructions: Please read the following reading passage as many times as needed (aloud and silent) before starting to go through other lesson pages. Understanding the content of this passage is very important since the lesson activities will be all about this content. Feel free to print the passage if needed.

I Like Plants

Even when I was very young, I always loved plants. When we walked to school, I would look at the different plants. I would make up names for them. I would draw pictures of them. When my teacher asked us to draw a picture of anything we liked, I always drew pictures of plants. 

When I got to high school, I took a course that was all about plants. Most students took the course in biology. But I took the course on plants. We went into the park to identify different species. It was amazing. I found out that there were at least 27 different kinds of plants in our neighborhood park. There were also about12 different kinds of trees. Some were deciduous. We were there in spring, so they had their leaves. 

I learned that weeds are not really bad plants. They are interlopers. They come from another environment. Somehow they get to the new environment. It could be that animals bring them. The animals might pick up the seeds on their fur and carry them to the new habitat. Then they fall off and start to grow. 

When I went to college, I knew that I wanted to study plants. I wanted to be a plant scientist. I wanted to be a botanist. I took classes in math, English, and history. They were good classes. But it was the science classes I loved. 

Now I teach at a college. I teach about plant life. I explain how fertilizers can help plants grow but also can destroy the balance of nature. I teach about helpful insects. One of the most helpful insects for plants is the ladybug. Ladybugs are small insects that eat aphids. They can protect plants by eating the aphids that would eat the plants' leaves. There are about 5,000 kinds of ladybugs. In winter the ladybug hibernates. Then in spring it comes back out and starts to protect the plants again. Several states have named the ladybug their state insect. I teach students ways to help the environment like that.

I teach about ecology, too. I teach how important decisions are. I explain that if you introduce a non-native herbivore into an environment it can cause problems. For example, in Australia long ago people brought rabbits. The rabbits ate so many plants that they caused a problem. This invasive species ate plants that other animals depended on. The rabbits even killed trees. They ate the bark off the trees, and the trees died. Some people think that Australia's desert has expanded significantly because of the introduction of the rabbits. They say it is a 
very big problem. If they had understood ecology, they might not have brought those rabbits. I hope my students take what they learn and make good choices for the environment.

I keep learning more about plants and the animals that depend on them, and I teach students what I learn. I learn from my research on the Internet now as well as going to the park and studying the plants in my community. I share what I learn when I teach, and I write books that help people learn about nature.


Task 1: Vocabulary Activity (40 points)
Instructions: Please complete the following vocabulary activity by choosing the correct meaning of each word selected from the passage and use of each word correctly in a sentence.

Vocabulary Questions

Word/Phrase: I learned that weeds are not really bad plants. They are interlopers. | Tier: 3 | Points: 10
Q1 What did the Author mean when he stated that the weeds were, "interlopers".
A. live in the trees
B. Not native, from a different enviroment *
C. they can jump
D. In their home enviroment

Which sentance below best uses the word, "interlopers".
A. Those plants are interlopers, native to my state.
B. Interloper plants like to live high up in trees.
C. I have to weed out the interlopers, they do not belong in my garden. *
D. Interloper plants like to be fed seeds.

Word/Phrase: Deciduous | Tier: 3 | Points: 10
Q2 What does the word "decidous" mean when the athor states, "Some were deciduous. We were there in spring, so they had their leaves."
A. The tree gets cold.
B. The tree sheds its leaves seasonally. *
C. The tree has stopped growing.
D. The tree is a flowering plant.

Which sentence below best uses the word "deciduous".
A. The decidous tree in my backyard is filled with flowers.
B. The deciduous tree need the most sunlight out of all the trees.
C. Deciduous trees do not have any leaves.
D. During the winter the tree lost all of its leaves, that means it must be deciduous. *

Word/Phrase: Botanist | Tier: 3 | Points: 10
Q3 When the Author says, "I wanted to be a Botanist", what does he want to be?
A. A Chef
B. Firefighter
C. Plant Scientist *
D. Astronaut

Which sentance best uses the word, "Botanist".
A. A Botanist loves to learn about space and knows the name of every star.
B. Botanist hate to be outside and usually have very bad allergys.
C. Botanist love the outdoors and learning about new plants. *
D. The botanist always catches the bad guys.

Word/Phrase: Herbivore | Tier: 2 | Points: 10
Q4 What does the word \"herbivore\" mean when the Author states, I explain that if you introduce a non-native herbivore into an environment it can cause problems\".
A. Plant eating animal *
B. Meat eating animal
C. A killer animal
D. A scared animal

Which sentance best uses the word \"Herbivore\"
A. My pet hamster is a herbivore, he does not eat any meat. *
B. Lions are the most well known herbivores.
C. Herbivores do not like to go outside.
D. A Herbivores favorite food is steak.

Standards Covered with This Lesson Activity: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.1, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.4, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.4a,
Task 2: Discussion Activity (30 points)
Instructions: This discussion forum will have questions for students to respond. Read the posted questions, and respond to each. Students are responsible for posting one initial and and two peer responses for each topic.

  Topic Title Replies

Message Aphids and the Ladybugs
How does the ladybug help the enviroment?
Sent on: Oct 10, 2013 by: Brittany Proctor

Message When I grow up.
The Author in the text loved plants, which is why he wanted to be a Botanist.

What is something that you love, what would be a good career for you because of this?

Sent on: Oct 10, 2013 by: Brittany Proctor

Message Critical Thinking
What are a few ways that interloper plants such as weeds make its way to our native areas? *HINT* The author named one way already.
Sent on: Oct 10, 2013 by: Brittany Proctor

Standards Covered with This Lesson Activity: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.1b, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.1c, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2d,
Task 3: Writing Activity (30 points)
Instructions: In the text you learned about how non-native rabbits where introduced to Australia. The rabbits ate the plants that other animals needed and killed many trees; they were even thought to have expanded the desert in Australia. Now think of if a non-native plant or animal was introduced into your community or state.

What would happen? Make sure to include details and be creative. 300 word minimum.

Standards Covered with This Lesson Activity: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.1b, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.1c,

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