Building and Testing Our Vanilla Plant Pollinator

Contributor
Jeri Faber, educator
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Lesson/Lesson Plan , Experiment/Lab Activity
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

In previous lessons designed by Jeri Faber, students have learned about how animals help pollinate flowers.  The students have also planned and designed their own vanilla plant pollinator.  In this lesson, students use the engineering design process to build and test the plant pollinator they planned the day before in class.  ( To see the previous lessons, go to betterlessons.com/)

Intended Audience

Educator
Educational Level
  • Elementary School
  • Grade 2
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access with user action - The right to view and/or download material without financial barriers but users are required to register or experience some other low-barrier to use.

Performance Expectations

2-LS2-2 Develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.

Clarification Statement: none

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Teachers should review the engineering design process (brainstorm, design possible solutions, test possible solutions, evaluate, and redesign if necessary) prior to beginning this lesson. Teachers should allow for ample time for students to build and test the plant pollinators.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
The students work as partners to build and test the plant pollinator. Make sure each partner group has the necessary materials to build their pollinator. When sharing the models, students could briefly explain why they chose what materials they did and why they picked the design for the pollinator model.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Prior to this lesson, the teacher should share books, videos, and photographs of animals and discuss how they help pollinate flowers. Anchor charts of student learning of how animals help pollinate flowers could be made and posted in the room.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this crosscutting concept.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Classroom activities should include having students observe how animals move pollen and then discuss their findings. Teachers should encourage students to evaluate the shape of the animal's body parts that are moving the pollen. The lesson plan has the students test the pollinators in front of the class. Students can observe how much flour is picked up. Then they can evaluate each model's effectiveness for picking up pollen based on the shape and structure of the pollinator.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: This lesson addresses all dimensions of the NGSS. The students design a solution to the real-world problem people have when hand pollinating the vanilla flower. The solution is the model of a hand pollinator. The children collect analyze data to see if their hand pollinator was effective and well constructed, considering the shape and structure of the pollinator as related to its function.

  • Instructional Supports: The creator provides helpful tips and all of the resources necessary to fully implement this lesson in a classroom. She also provides student work samples and material suggestions. Throughout the lesson, there are opportunities for students to express, clarify, justify, interpret, and represent their ideas.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: When sharing the models, students could briefly explain why they chose what materials they did and why they picked the design for the pollinator model. The teacher can then assess how well the student understands the connection between the model's shape and its function as compared to an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: All hyperlinks work and are appropriate for this lesson.