This week’s lesson will focus on leaves, the plant part that harvests light for photosynthesis. Students will begin this lesson by reviewing the various plant parts- fruits, seeds, stems, roots, leaves, and flowers. They’ll then brainstorm together to develop a list of the leaves humans eat and learn why they’re are an important part of a healthy diet. Students will then have the opportunity to prepare their own personal salads using a variety of leafy green vegetables paired with healthy toppings and dressings.
Leaves can have a variety of tastes and textures.
SWBAT Identify the parts of a plant and their functions.
SWBAT rip leaves for salads.
10 (A) explore how structures and functions of plants and animals allow them to survive in a particular environment.
Print plant sort pictures. Cut out individual pictures to create sets for each group in the class. Store with paperclips or in plastic baggies.
Print “Taking a Look at a Leaf”, 1 per student
Timeline (1 hour total):
5 min Introduction
10 min Plant Parts Sort
10 min Edible Leaf Investigation
10 min Make It – Ripping lettuce
5 min Salad dressing demo OR just toss lettuce in dressing
10 min Taste It – Salads
10 min Clean-up
Tell students that today they are going to investigate five different types of edible leaves, by tasting, smelling, measuring, and observing. Organize students into groups of three or four and have them wash their hands before sitting in their seats. Distribute worksheets to each student and tell them that they will be using the “Taking a Look at a Leaf” worksheet for the next part of the lesson. Show your class one edible leaf. Demonstrate how you would like each group to observe the color, texture, smell, taste, and length of each leaf in the chart. Examples of texture could include smooth, fuzzy, bumpy, sandpapery, slippery, etc.
Be sure to discuss possible vocabulary with your students before they begin describing leaf texture, smell, and taste. Distribute a washed sample of a different leaf to each group and guide them through the data collection. When students have recorded data in their charts, instruct them to tear off a small piece of the leaf to taste. As a class, review the various results for each leaf type.