A Sticky Situation

BetterLesson Jeri Faber
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Lesson/Lesson Plan , Unit
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.


Average Rating

3 (1 reviews)

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Most Recent Review

1 Mis-identified plant in lesson

I haven't fully reviewed the lesson but I immediately noticed that the plant in the image is NOT a burr (cocklebur, Xanthium strumarium) but is a teasle (also spelled teazle or teazel, Dipsacus spp.--there are about 15 different teasel species). Having the correct image is important because the lesson focuses on how cocklebur is distributed by sticking to the fur of animals that come into contact with it. The teasel, as you can see in the image, lacks the hook-like spiny bract that cockelbur has. Thus, teasel would not stick to a mammal's fur or a bird's feathers, as would the hooked, spiny bract of the cocklebur flower. Based on this incorrect image of the plant germane to this lesson, I would be wary of the rest of the science content in this lesson.


This is Lesson 6 of a twelve lesson unit about pollination and pollinators. In this lesson students will learn about the structure of certain seeds that enable these seeds to be easily moved by animals. They participate in an activity to mimic how animals move seeds from one place to another. Students then develop a model that shows the function of an animal in seed dispersal.

Intended Audience

- none -
Educational Level
  • Early Elementary
  • Grade 2
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
The lesson follows a 5E format. The Performance Expectation is addressed specifically in the Evaluate/Wrap-up part of the activity.

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
Students develop a model that represents the function of an animal in seed dispersal. The lesson builds the background knowledge needed to understand the purpose of a model so it is important to follow the lesson as written.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

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

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Use the suggestions and resources that are included in the lesson plan to add background knowledge and real life examples that build toward this Core Idea.

Crosscutting Concepts

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

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
As the lesson plan suggests, provide real examples of burrs and discuss how their structure allows them to be more easily attached to and moved by animals. The lesson also discusses how the structure of the seed allows it to survive and grow in various conditions. Take full advantage of the tips included by the writer of the lesson plan in order to build and develop this Crosscutting Concept.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: The lesson is presented in a 5E format and allows students to experience, develop, and build on all three NGSS dimensions while addressing the Performance Expectation. There is a particularly strong connection to the Crosscutting Concept of Structure and Function through the observation and comparison of real seeds. The evaluation section requires students to develop, draw, and explain a model directly tied to the science and engineering practice and Performance Expectation. The suggested resources [books, video] show students how plants depend on animals for seed dispersal and engage students in the science and engineering practice of obtaining information. Each part of the plan reinforces the NGSS dimensions tied to the Performance Expectation.

  • Instructional Supports: Everything the instructor needs to conduct the lesson is included along with suggested readings, student sheets, and resources. It is written in an easy to follow 5E format that can be broken up if needed over several sessions. The student sheets provide guidance for students that encourages deeper level thinking.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: The Evaluate part of the lesson includes rubrics, a student assessment sheet, and exemplars.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: Although there is a link to a video in this lesson, but students do not interact with technology other than viewing the video.