A Sample Lesson Plan


Lesson Plan for: The Tiny Seed (Literature – Circular Story and Science – Parts of a Seed)

 I. Overview of the Lesson:

          A. Date: March 31, 2004

         B. Time and Length of Lesson: A.M. Literacy Time, approximately 45 minutes

         C. Group Structure: Class, then individual students

         D. Lesson Topics: Circular Story, Parts of a Seed

         E. Grade Level: 1st

         F. Cooperating Teacher: Mrs. Jamie Unger, Fountain Hill Elementary School

         G. Standards and Expectations:

         Reading: 1.1.3 G – Learning to Read Independently – Demonstrate after reading understanding and interpretation of both fiction and non-fiction text: Retell or summarize the major ideas, themes or procedures of the text

         Speaking and Listening: 1.6.3 –Listen to a selection of literature: Retell a story in chronological order

         Science: 3.1.4 –Unifying Themes – Illustrate patterns that regularly occur in nature (growth cycle of plants)

         Science: 3.2.4 – Inquiry and Design –Describe objects in world using five senses

         Science: 3.3.4- Biological Sciences – Know that living things are made up of parts that have specific functions

 II. Learning Outcomes

          A. The students will identify the characteristics of a circular story as they listen to The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle.

         B. The students will use a circle to retell and sequence the events in the story.

         C. The students will contrast a circular story with a linear story by discussing the characteristics of each type of story.

         D. The students will identify the parts of a seed by examining a soaked lima bean and labeling a seed diagram.

 III. Content to be Covered:

          A. A circular story is a story where each event leads to the next until we return to the original starting point.

         B. A linear story is a story where each event leads to the next and the story ends at a different place than where it began.

         C. The Tiny Seed is a book by Eric Carle that tells the story of a small seed from its beginning as it sails with the wind in autumn, is protected by the snow in winter, sprouts in the spring, and becomes a flower in the summer. The story ends when the flower dries up in autumn and its seed pod opens and the seeds sail along in the wind again. The story ends as it began. This makes it a circular story.

         D. One part of the plant cycle is the sprouting of the seed.  The seed has three parts. They are the seed coat which protects the seed, the baby plant, and the food.

 IV. Instructional Materials:

          A. Big book of The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle (from Mrs. Unger)

         B. Easel to hold big book

         C. Picture of a line and circle

         D Tri-fold board with the title: Circular Story- The Tiny Seed, characteristics of circular and linear stories, drawing of a circle, and parts of the story on super-sticky Post-It notes

         E. Lima beans soaked for 24 hours – at least one for each student, with extras

         F. Container for lima beans

         G. Paper Towels – one for each student

         H. Overhead projector

         I. Overhead showing parts of a seed unlabeled

         J. Transparency Marker

         K. Parts of a seed worksheet

        (B. through K. supplied by JoAnne Daniels)

 V. Activity and Procedure:

          A. Motivation and Introduction

                          i. Students have written stories in Kid Writing and Writing Workshop. They know the parts of a story are the beginning, middle and end. Students are familiar with linear stories since most of the stories they read and have written are linear stories.

                  ii. Students know the difference between a line and a circle. They know a line has a beginning and an end. Students know a circle does not have a beginning or an end; they know that you can retrace a circle over and over.

                  iii. Students know that plants begin as seeds. Students have planted their own seeds this year and are watching them grow.

          B. Development

With students seated on the floor in the back of the room by the easel and big book:

                   First, ask students to tell how the plants they are growing got started (we planted the seeds in dirt, we watered them….). Then ask if they know how the outside trees and flowers started growing if no one planted them.  Then discuss that the trees and flowers outside start new trees and flowers.  This process starts over and over again every year. We call this a cycle.

                   i. Show students the pictures of a line and a circle. Show how a line has a beginning and an end. Show how a circle is like a cycle. It has no beginning or end; it starts over and over again.

 State objectives:

                   ii. Tell students we are going to read a story about how a tiny seed goes through the seasons to become a flower and that the cycle starts over again. Tell students that we call this a circular story, because the story ends where it began.

                  iii. Tell students we are going to learn more about one part of the circular story of the seed by looking inside a seed before it sprouts!

                   iv. Read The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle. First preview the story by asking if the student know about the author. Ask if they know how the story begins, what they think happens in the middle, and how it ends.

                  v. After the book is read, ask students to help you to retell the story by using the tri-fold board with the circle and the parts of the story.  Read the items on the post it notes. Ask what goes at the beginning, what goes in the middle, what goes at the end? (Ask students to put the Post-Its on the correct parts of the circle to retell the story) Ask if the beginning and the end the same? Remind students that because the beginning and the end are the same and the story starts over, this makes it a circular story.

                  vi. Point to the part of the circle where it is spring and the fat seeds start to burst open.  Ask students if they know what makes the seeds burst open? What is inside to make them become plants?

                  vii. Tell students that we are going to look inside a seed right before it is ready to become a plant! Ask students to return to their seats for this activity.

 Students return to their seats

                  viii. Show students the container with the lima beans inside. Ask if they know what is inside (beans…). Ask is a lima bean a seed?  Let’s find out.

                  ix. Pick two students (with clothespins) to help pass out the paper towels and parts of a seed worksheet to students.  Give one lima bean to each student.

                  x. When all students have lima beans, show the class the overhead of parts of a seed. Show students that when the lima bean is opened up, it has different parts. Ask if students know what the parts are for and what they are called.  Tell that the seed coat protects the seed, the food is energy for the seed until it gets food from the water and soil, and that the baby plant is what turns into the plant! Label these parts.

                  xi. Show students how to open up their lima beans carefully and to look for each of the parts. Move around room to make sure the beans are being opened properly and students can find the parts.

                  xii. Ask students to label their worksheets using the overhead and their beans as models. Direct students to answer the questions (Why does a seed need: A seed coat, a baby plant, food?)

          C. Summary and Closure

                   i. Review with students what we did in this lesson

                           a. We read The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle which is a circular story. A circular story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. The end is the same as the beginning!

                           b. We talked about how a circular story is different than a linear story – a linear story ends up in a different place than it starts.

                           c. We retold the story of The Tiny Seed by putting the pieces back together on our circle.

                  d. Then, we learned about the part of the story right before the seed bursts open. We found the parts of the seed and what they do. We opened up our lima beans and saw the seed coat that protects the seed, the baby plant, and the food that gives the plant energy until it can get energy from the water and soil.

                  e. We began the lesson by thinking about how the plants we are growing started from seeds.

 VI. Evaluation

 A. Student Evaluation

         i. Retelling story using events, circle: Students should be able to put the events in order on the circle. Students should be able to recognize that when the circle is completed, the beginning and end of the story are the same.

         ii. Parts of a seed worksheet: Students should be able to identify and label the parts of the seed on their worksheets by using the overhead and their opened seeds. Students should be able to write about what the function of each of the parts.

         iii. I will be looking for students to be engaged and involved. I will be looking for thoughtful oral responses (when they are called on).  I will look for students to be interested in the activity of opening up the lima bean and to be excited about what they find inside.


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