Lesson #1 – Plant Products
In this first lesson, students will begin their exploration into the many uses of plant products in everyday life. Together, students will get to know each other by brainstorming plant uses and categorizing tactile examples of plant products. Plant product examples can include cotton balls, flowers, fruits, granulated sugar packets, vegetable soap, paper, and wood blocks, but teachers are encouraged to think of other creative examples that students will enjoy! Following these activities, students will participate in a smoothie making exercise that will aid them in recognizing the nutritional value of plant products, while providing them with the opportunity to taste fruits, vegetables, and/or seeds they may have not tried before.
Plants provide humans with food, clothing, shelter, and other essentials for living.
SWBAT identify plant products and sort them into categories.
SCIENCE 7 (D) explore the characteristics of natural resources that make them useful in products and materials such as clothing and furniture and how resources may be conserved.
- Name tags
- Poster paper and markers OR Chalkboard and chalk
- A variety of plant products, at least 4 per group (examples: cotton ball, flower, fruit, granulated sugar packet, perfumed vegetable soap, vegetable, paper, wooden block)
- Green smoothie supplies – see chart and choose appropriate seasonal produce
Write names of students on stick-on name tags
Collect a variety of plant products to use for groups to sort.
Pre-cut smoothie supplies
Timeline (50 minutes total):
5 min Name tags
5 min Introduction
5 min Think, Pair, Share – What things do people get from plants?
10 min Plant Products
10 min Make It – Green Smoothie
10 min Taste It – Green Smoothie
5 min Clean-up
- Name tags. Have each student make a name tag that clearly shows their first name in letters large enough to identify across the classroom.
- Introduction. Have students make name tags, then sit in a circle. One at a time, have students say their name and one thing they enjoy eating. After this introduction, introduce yourself and share the general outline of the class, focusing on the make and taste sessions.
- Think, Pair, Share. If you have not used this teaching technique, please refer to the section that describes it in Teaching Techniques.
- On a poster paper or board, write the question: “What things do people get from plants?” Give students a few moments to think about the question, then have them pair up to discuss with a partner before sharing with the whole group. Write each answer down on the poster paper.
- Create categories for the items on the list that the students have created. Example categories are: food, oxygen, clothing, medicine, paper, furniture, cosmetics, energy sources, shelter. On the next piece of poster paper or on another part of the board, write the categories and cross off each item as you work as a class to categorize it.
- Plant Products. Organize students into groups of 3 – 4. Give each group several plant products. Examples are: cotton ball, flower, fruit, granulated sugar packet, perfumed vegetable soap, vegetable, paper, wooden block. Vary these items between groups. Have students determine which category from the previous activity that the item belongs to in their small groups. When all groups are done, have each group share their items and decision on group classification with the class. Ask students if they thought of important items that could be added to a category, or struggled with categorizing any items. As time allows, talk about the characteristics of plants (softness of cotton, hardness of wood for furniture, etc) that make them useful for humans.
- Make it – Green Smoothie. Using the chart below, create a smoothie recipe. The recipe will likely have to be doubled or tripled depending on the class size or size of the blender. Show and talk about each ingredient as you add it to the blender. Even if students say they don’t like a particular food, they might not notice the taste of it mixed up in the smoothie. Blend ingredients together.
- Taste It – Pour a small sample of the smoothie into a cup for each student. Have students describe what they taste in the smoothie. When students are done, collect the cups in the washing bin.
- Clean-Up – Have students pick up the classroom as needed.
None for this lesson