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Chimacum Middle School

Plant Classification Webquest
Chimacum Middle School

Created by Al González based on Lynn Peachwall's Webquest
Last updated on Monday, Mar 19, 2012 (added new resource link)


Intro || Task || Process || Resources || Evaluation


Introduction: Aliens have just approached you from an undiscovered planet in the Andromeda galaxy near the star cloud known to us as NCG 206. The aliens are in desperate need of your help. Their atmosphere is changing to become more like Earth's. They have discovered that if they don't begin growing plants within the next few months, as their winter ends, their planet will not be able to replenish the oxygen to which they are now accustomed. Without plants, not only will their oxygen levels in the air begin to drop but they will start to run out of food. The entire food web will disintegrate and all life on their planet will cease to exist. This is the only planet they could find that even comes close what their atmosphere is changing to and after years of studying our planet they know that plants like ours is what their planet needs. The Aliens are depending on your scientific team to give them the knowledge that they need.

WA State Science Grade Level Expectations for Life Systems - 1.1.6 - Characteristics of Living Matter
Understand how to categorize plants and animals into groups according to how they accomplish life processes and by similarities and differences in external and internal structures.
• Categorize plants and/or animals into groups according to how they accomplish life processes such as food production/consumption or reproduction, or whether they are consumers, producers, or decomposers.
• Categorize plants and/or animals into groups by similarities and differences in physical characteristics, functional characteristics, and/or internal and external structures.
• Explain an inference about whether animals or plants have a biological relationship based on given characteristics.
• Explain why an organism is classified as a producer, consumer, or decomposer.

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Your Task: Your job is to teach the Aliens about plants and the best way to grow plants. You will be creating a brochure for the Aliens to take back to their planet with them. The following items should be included in your journal to the Aliens:
1. Tell the Aliens what plants they need to grow.
2. Explain the uses for plants.
3. Explain how scientists on this planet classify plants.

4. Describe the parts of a plant - include a diagram, labeling each section and its function.
5. Describe pollination - the life cycle of the flower.
6. Describe the four major components of soil.
7. Explain the process of photosynthesis and transpiration.
8. Describe the uses of hydroponics.
9. Design a garden - use six different plants and position them in the most effective areas.

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Process: In your team you will research the above tasks. Your team has only this week and next week to complete the brochure for the Aliens because their ship will be ready for the return trip home by then. It's a very complicated process to be able to travel millions of light years and return at the moment they left. It's similar to time travel and they cannot miss their launch date. Your answers must be completed in the above order in your brochure. Your team will only be required to complete one brochure so you must all work together on this. You must have complete sentences and your diagrams should be neat and clearly labeled. Your team will be responsible for spelling, especially when your team directly copies from your resources. Look below at the evaluation for a clear picture of what this project needs!

Step 1:

Start by completing The Great Plant Escape! Go on to Step 2 when you are done.

Step 2:

Go to Trees of the Pacific Northwest. Learn more about some common conifers in the Pacific Northwest. Use a dichotomous key to identify a conifer specimen. Discover the identity of a mystery tree! In other words, do the three on the bottom of the webpage.

Step 3:

Go to Kid's World - Plant Nutrition and complete all the exercises there.

Step 4:

Download the following documents to the desktop, open them one at a time and copy what's there onto your notebook (draw the leaves the best you can):

Leaf Shapes
Leaf Margins
Groupings
Venation

Step 5:

Now you can start dividing the labor. Each person in your team should be responsible for an equal number of questions from the task. Being responsible means that you will be in charge of the mouse and keyboard and researching. If the resources aren't enough, meaning you can't find the answer to a question, do a Google search to answer your questions. The rest of the team should support you while you are researching your questions. In other words, you are never to work alone while your teammates do nothing. Write the answers in your notebook (each person writes the answers to his or her own questions while the rest of the team helps by summarizing for you).

Step 6:
When you have answers to all nine questions in the task start iPages and choose a brochure layout. Save it on your desktop.

Each person should type his or her answers from his or her own questions. Label each section for which you are responsible. If your brochure needs to be longer than the space you are given, feel free start a part 2. Make sure everyone watches to look out for typos and grammar errors. Support each other.

Step 7:
Once you are all done typing your sections you can use Fireworks to make any drawings to help the aliens understand what you are describing and/or explaining.

By going to Fireworks and choose File, New, you will get the option to start a blank canvas of any size.

Choose 500 X 500 to get a nice, webpage sized canvas to draw on. Use the tools to draw and use the property inspector to change colors.

You can also drag pictures off the Internet and import them into your Fireworks drawing.

You can then put the Fireworks drawings right into your iPages brochure.

Step 8:
When you are done with your brochure evaluate yourselves and your work.

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Resources:

New Resource Mrs. Suzie: Flowers, Plants, and Gardening: For Kids!
New Resource from Erika: All About Sustainable Gardening
New Resource from Mrs. Brooks' Library student intern: A Homeowner's Outdoor Horticulture Guide

Thank you to all those who send us new resources! - Mr. G

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Evaluation:

Rubric: Use the following rubrics to score your final product. Here is a research rubric.

Questions
5 Points
4 Points
3 Points
2 Points
1 Point
1
6 or more factors, sent. are neat & complete.
4-5 factors, sent. Are neat &complete
3 factors, sent. Are neat or complete
2 factors, sent. Are neat or complete
1 factor, sent. Are neat or complete
2
10 or more uses / sent. Are neat &complete
7-9 factors, sent. Are neat & complete
4-6 factors, sent. Are neat or complete
2-3 factors, sent. Are neat or complete
1 factor, sent. Are neat or complete
3
Includes the 3 or 4 correct branchings that Botanists use to classify plants. Are neat & complete
The 3 or 4 correct branchings that Botanists use to classify plants are either missing one or one is wrong. Are neat & complete
Only 2 correct branchings that Botanists use to classify plants.Are neat or complete
Only 1 correct branching that Botanists use to classify plants are identified. Are neat or complete
Did not correctly identify how Botanists classify plants.
4
All 4 parts are labeled and diagrammed, sent. Are neat & complete
All 4 parts are labeled or diagrammed, sent. Are neat & complete
3 parts are labeled or diagrammed, sent. Are neat or complete
2 parts are labeled or diagrammed, sent. Are neat or complete
1 part is labeled or diagrammed, sent. is neat or complete
5
Complete process is explained - includes hybrid and cross-pollination, sent. Are neat & complete
Complete process is explained, sent. Are neat & complete
Complete process is explained, sent. Are neat or complete
2 steps of the process are explained, sent. Are neat or complete
1 step of the process is explained, sent. Is neat or complete
6
Described 6 parts of soil, included pH level, sent. Are neat & complete
Described 4-5 parts of soil, included pH level sent. Are neat &complete
Described 3-4 parts of soil, sent. Are neat or complete
Described 2-3 parts of soil, sent. Are neat or complete
Described 1 part of soil, sent. Are neat or complete
7
Explained the process of photosynthesis, Transpiration, sent. Are neat & complete
Explained the process of photosynthesis, Transpiration, sent. Are neat or complete
Explained the process of photosynthesis or transpiration, sent. Are neat and complete
Explained the process of photosynthesis or transpiration, sent. Are neat and complete
Attempted to describe photosynthesis, transpiration - sent. Are neat or complete
8
Explained and listed the uses of hydroponics, sent. neat & complete
Explained and listed the uses of hydroponics, sent. Neat or complete
Explained or listed the uses of hydroponics, sent. Neat & complete
Explained or listed the uses of hydroponics, sent. Are neat or complete
Attempted to describe hydroponics, sent. Are neat or complete
9
Designed a garden - used 6 plants/used learned techniques (more than 6 plants will be worth extra credit - not much).
Designed a garden using 5-6 plants/ used learned techniques
Designed a garden using 3-4 plants / used some learned techniques
Designed a garden using 2 plants / used limited learned techniques
Designed a garden using 1 plant, used limited learned techniques

36 to 40 = Excellent, 32 to 35 = Good job, 28 to 31  = You might need more research to make your brochure better, 27 or less = You need to redo your research and redo your brochure completely.

 

SELF EVALUATION:
Answer the following questions:
    •How did you use your class time? Briefly describe your daily activities.
    •How did you work with your team?
        •Did you share information and responsibilities?
        •Describe how you broke up the responsibilities.
    •If you were to do this same project again, what would you do differently? What would make this a more meaningful activity for you?

Rate yourself on the following Teamwork Skills rubric.

CATEGORY

Excellent

4

Good

3

Needs Improvement

2

Poor

1

Contributions
Routinely provides useful ideas when participating in the group and in classroom discussion. A definite leader who contributes a lot of effort.
Usually provides useful ideas when participating in the group and in classroom discussion. A strong group member who tries hard!
Sometimes provides useful ideas when participating in the group and in classroom discussion. A satisfactory group member who does what is required.
Rarely provides useful ideas when participating in the group and in classroom discussion. May refuse to participate.
Quality of Work
Provides work of the highest quality.
Provides high quality work.
Provides work that occasionally needs to be checked/redone by other group members to ensure quality.
Provides work that usually needs to be checked/redone by others to ensure quality.
Time-management
Routinely uses time well throughout the project to ensure things get done on time. Group does not have to adjust deadlines or work responsibilities because of this person's procrastination.
Usually uses time well throughout the project, but may have procrastinated on one thing. Group does not have to adjust deadlines or work responsibilities because of this person's procrastination.
Tends to procrastinate, but always gets things done by the deadlines. Group does not have to adjust deadlines or work responsibilities because of this person's procrastination.
Rarely gets things done by the deadlines AND group has to adjust deadlines or work responsibilities because of this person's inadequate time management.
Working with Others
Almost always listens to, shares with, and supports the efforts of others. Tries to keep people working well together.
Usually listens to, shares, with, and supports the efforts of others. Does not cause "waves" in the group.
Often listens to, shares with, and supports the efforts of others, but sometimes is not a good team member.
Rarely listens to, shares with, and supports the efforts of others. Often is not a good team player.
Monitors Group Effectiveness
Routinely monitors the effectiveness of the group, and makes suggestions to make it more effective.
Routinely monitors the effectiveness of the group and works to make the group more effective.
Occasionally monitors the effectiveness of the group and works to make the group more effective.
Rarely monitors the effectiveness of the group and does not work to make it more effective.

18 to 20 = Excellent team member, 14 to 17 = Good team member, 12 to 13  = You need to work on being a better team member, 11 or less = You weren't much help or you didn't do much, hey, maybe you were absent a lot.

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