Title: Comparing and Contrasting
Sunshine State Standards Benchmark SC.5.L.14.2 The student will compare
and contrast the function of organs and other physical strctures of plants
and animals, including humans; for example, some animals have skeletons
for support–some with internal skeletons, others with exoskeletons–while
some plants have stems for support.
Write the Objective
Given live examples of five types of plants, the student will correctly
compare and contrast physical characteristics of five of six plant structures
(roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds).
Introduce the Lesson
- Gain Student Attention: The class takes a brief walking tour of the
school grounds and observes the types of plants. They make notes and
sketches of what they see. Upon returning to class, students compile
a list of what they saw. The teacher points out the physical characteristics
of the plants that are the same and those that are different.
- Explain the Objective: The teacher tells the students that they should
be able to look at five different plants and tell what is the same or
different about the physical characteristics of each of the plant structures
(roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds).
- Relate to Prior Knowledge: The teacher reminds students what they
have already learned about plant structures and how the environment
impacts plant growth. The teacher also reminds students what it means
to compare and contrast and how to use good observation skills.
Present the Content
Knowledge and Skills in Lesson: Students have basic information on plants
and what it takes for them to grow. They have information on basic plant
structures. The lesson content will focus on information on physical characteristics
of plant structures.
Teacher and student learning activities
- The teacher presents a mini-lecture
on the physical characteristics of plant structures. The lecture is
accompanied by video or internet examples that define and illustrate
characteristics of plant structures (roots, stems, leaves, flowers,
fruits, and seeds).
- The teacher also links the information
to previous lessons in the mini-lecture. The examples include
pictures of each type of plant structure. Students will take notes during
the lecture using a note-taking guide.
- Next, the teacher models how to make
observations of a sample plant and records his or her observations on
a transparency of a worksheet to compare and contrast of plant structures.The teacher demonstrates the process to compare and contrast the physical
characteristics she has observed.
Activity Organization and Support
- Media Selection: Prepare a note-taking guide to provide scaffolding
for students in the mini-lecture. Prepare a compare and contrast
worksheet to guide and record the observations of the plant samples
in the second part of the lesson. Make three copies per student. Make
a transparency of this worksheet. Obtain sufficient plant samples.
- Student Grouping: The mini-lecture is a whole class activity
using an Internet link or video. The second part of the lesson is a
small group activity.
Provide Practice and feedback
Practice: The teacher divides the class into groups of four, giving
each group two actual plant samples and copies of the worksheet to use
as a graphic organizer to compare and contrast plant structures. The
students work in groups to complete the worksheet. Students are encouraged
to follow the note-taking guide and projected transparency to structure
their responses. The teacher observes groups and provides feedback while
students are completing the worksheet. The
teacher is prepared to add more plant samples to the activity if students
need additional time and practice. The teacher debriefs the activity
with the whole class.
- Independent practice: Independent
practice will be a homework assignment. Using a second copy of the practice
worksheet, the students identify five plants growing at their home or
neighborhood, record characteristics of plant structures, and compare
and contrast the plants. The teacher reviews the worksheets completed for homework and provides
feedback to students. She arranges for an individual or small group
discussion with students who may need additional practice.
- Judicious Review: The teacher reviews physical characteristics of
plant structures in at least one additional lesson within the unit on
plants. He or she surveys units for the remainder of the course and
notes places to incorporate reviews of these skills.
Summarize the Lesson
The teacher writes the lesson objective on the board and reads it to
the class as a summary of what students are supposed to learn. The teacher
asks students to recall parts of the mini-lecture and group work
that helped them learn this knowledge.
Assess Student Learning:
- Determine the Procedures: The
teacher will use a performance assessment to measure student learning
by setting up five stations with real plants (different from those used
in guided practice) at each station. The students are divided into five
groups to move through the stations. The teacher tells students they
are to independently observe the plants at each station and use the
compare and contrast worksheet to write observations of the physical
characteristics of each plant structure. Then they should return to
their desks to complete the comparison and contrast of the physical
characteristics of the structures of plants. She tells students they
can revisit stations as needed. The teacher reminds students that they
will need to correctly compare and contrast at least five of the plant
structures in order to master the objective. Students complete this
activity independently. The teacher cautions students not to copy notes
from one another as they move through the stations.
- Decide How to Judge Performance:
This is a performance assessment that includes conducting observations
and writing a description. The teacher designs an evaluation checklist
that lists the points expected in the comparison and contrast of the
plants. The teacher reviews each student paper and completes the evaluation
checklist. She makes additional comments, if needed. The papers and
the completed checklist are returned to students as feedback on the
assessment. The teacher gives individual feedback to students who did
not meet the mastery criterion and discusses plans for helping them
For students in the class who typically need assitance in organizing
their repsonses to complex tasks, the accommodation listed below could
- Present the Content, Guided Practice, and Independent Practice: The
compare and contrast worksheet form used for all students in the practice
and assessment activity may be used for these students.
- For a student who is easily distracted while completing written assignments,
the accommodations listed below could be provided.
- Assess student learning: The teacher may allow the student to complete
the written contrast and comparison required in the assessment using
a study carrel turned away from students who may be moving around the
stations with the plant samples.
Access Points (Different Objectives)
for Individual Students
Students working on access points have different earning goals and
objectives for the lesson. The SSS Science Access Points specify learning
goals at the Independent, Supported, and Participatory levels.
For students working on the access points, the modifications listed below
could be made.
Independent Level Access Point: SC.5.L.14.ln.b Identify functions of
plant and animal structures; for example, plant stem transports food
to leaves, and heart pumps blood to parts of the body.
Write the Objective: Identify functions of plant structures, including
roots, stem, leaves, flowers, seeds, and fruit. The student must correctly
identify the functions of at least five of the plant structures.
Supported Level Access Point: SC.5.L.14.Su.b Recognize the functions
of the major parts of plants and animals.
Write the Objective: The student will recognize functions of the major
parts of plants, including, roots, stem, leaves, and seeds. The student
must correrectly recognize at least three out of four functions as indicated
by the teacher–"Do the leaves help the plant make its own
Participatory Level Access Point: SC.5.L.14.Pa.b Observe plants and animals
and recognize how they are alike in the way they look.
Write the Objective: The student will match major plant parts, including
stems, leaves, roots, and flowers.
Go to sample lessons: Elementary
Language Arts | Middle School Mathematics
Write Objective | Introduce | Present Content | Practice & Feedback | Summarize | Assess