Unit Assessment and Rubric

(a K-2 Plants lesson plan)

From the unit: Where did the trees in our playground come from?

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Abstract
Students will share the results of their plant investigation (lesson 3) with an audience. Through this presentation, they will show what they have learned about plants and about how to design and conduct a scientific investigation.
Objectives
Students will share the findings of their investigations with the class or other audience. They will present evidence to support the group's proposed answer to their question.
Class Time Needed
One class period
Worksheets
The worksheets for the entire unit can be found in the Plant Notebook Worksheets, and the unit assessment can be found on pgs. 34-37 in this file.
Description
1. After students have finished collecting data from their plant investigation, they will need to decide how they will share their findings and the answers to their plant questions. Providing evidence to support conclusions is an important part of scientific inquiry. Encourage students to not only share what they learned about plants but to keep the focus on HOW THEY KNOW.

[?] How can I help my students communicate and justify their findings?

2. In their plant notebooks (or on the plant assessment worksheet), have students answer the following questions:
  • What is the question that we were trying to answer?
  • What is the answer to our question?
  • During the plant investigation, what did we do or see that makes us think this is the answer to our question?
3. Students can organize the sharing of their findings in a number of ways. Here are some things to consider:
  • Students can work alone or in groups for the assessment.
  • Students can decide on the method of sharing their findings. For examples, groups can give a presentation, make a poster, or even compose a class letter. Sharing their findings will allow students to see the importance of what they are learning and the process of sharing scientific knowledge.
  • Students can choose the audience that want to share their findings with. Examples of different audiences include the class, another class, the groundskeepers of the school or local park, botanists over the internet or at a nearby university, local grocer or farmer.
4. In their plant notebooks, have students record:
  • How they will present their findings.
  • Who they will present their findings to.
Assessment
Students should be able to express what they learned about plants to an audience and to use evidence to support their findings.
Images of Inquiry
Click here to find out how you can customize this lesson.

This lesson focuses on Explanations & Evidence and Communicating & Justifying. (more)

How Peg taught this lesson
Peg really wanted her students to learn that they need to justify their explanations by using evidence (see Peg's image for the "Moving Seeds" lesson). She decided to focus their presentations on justifying their findings. Peg asked each group to choose one finding to share with the class. The class responded with "how do you know?" She encouraged students to justify their findings with their data and reasoning. This is another ritual that builds inquiry abilities for her students.

How Peg taught this lesson
After carefully measuring their plants for 2 weeks, Peg's students were ready to look at their results. However, they had a hard time making sense of the daily measurements. Peg knew that this was overwhelming, so she decided to do some of the math for her students. She sat down with each group and helped them pick out the important parts of the data (for example, the difference in height between the plant that was watered and the one that wasn't). Then, she asked them what this difference might tell us about what plants need. She was careful to keep the calculations simple and the questions guided without giving students the answer.

Author(s): CASES Team

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