Plant inquiries–similar to what we did with Heidi, but over a few week period
In class, students conducted plant inquiries. They created questions as we learned about ecosystems. These questions were the basis of most groups’ investigations. They created and revised experiments, as necessary. They collected data, then analyzed their findings. Most were able to discuss challenges, successes, and potential sources of error.
In addition, they researched plant parts that would add to the understanding of their findings–both for themselves and the audience. Then, connected to real world applications.
Among the questions were:
How does salt impact plant growth?
What is the effect of temperature on plants? (This led to an investigation into extreme climate conditions.)
How does light type and duration impact plant growth?
What is the impact of acid rain (in the form of vinegar) and can it be reversed?
How do plants compete for space?
What is the impact of too much and/or too little water?
I really like the questions that the students came up with! I’ve tried some lessons in my kindergarten class with students developing their own questions for inquiry after some guided lessons in science. They’ve been pretty successful in thinking of testable questions. When we do the lab day to conduct experiments to investigate the questions, I play the role of the lab assistant and make sure all the equipment needed is ready to go!