In this hands-on lab station activity, students will move around the classroom completing different tasks related to plant structure. Students will use the materials and instructions provided at each station to explore and investigate a topic related to plant structure. They will record their observations and findings. Each station will be discussed later as a class. This is a great inquiry activity to use as an introduction before teaching students about plant structure, or to use as an extension activity to dig deeper into plants after teaching about photosynthesis, or the role of plants as producers in ecosystems.
How can I use this?
- Guided inquiry activity to introduce plant structure
- As a hands-on extension activity after teaching students about plant cells, photosynthesis, or the role of plants as producers in ecosystems
- Practice with using microscopes, plant dissection, and stomata peels
Why should I use this product in my classroom?
I love lab stations as a way to get students out of their seats and working autonomously in the classroom. I especially love these lab stations because they give students an opportunity to work with scientific equipment and really use their hands as well as their minds to investigate plants. I love that students can complete these stations easily on their own without much teacher help or prior knowledge needed. It sets us up for great discussions during lecture as students are able to make meaningful connections between what they experienced in these lab stations and the content being covered in notes/lecture.
What is included?
• 4 pages of teacher implementation notes (PDF)
• 2 pages of student handouts (PDF)
• 2 page answer key (PDF)
• 5 lab station cards (PDF) + editable version (PPT)
What materials will I need to have in my classroom to set this up?
- : Microscopes (2 if students are working in pairs, like I suggest), and various slides you want the students to examine (either slides of plant cells to compare to animal cells OR different plant cell slides for comparison)
- : Various flowering plant specimens for dissection as well as a scalpel, plastic knife, and/or other dissection tools
- : Microscopes (2 if students are working in pairs, like I suggest), clear nail polish, clear tape, variety of leaves, microscope slides, and masking tape and marker to label slides
- : A variety of plant specimens for students to observe and distinguish between (Ex. Nonvascular, vascular seedless, angiosperms, and gymnosperms OR just monocots vs. dicots if you don’t have as much variety available to you!)
- (Optional) Student access to internet and technological devices (smart phones, iPads and laptops all work!)
- (Optional) QR Code reader apps (there are free ones!) for phones and iPads
How much prior knowledge is needed for students to be successful completing this?
- An understanding of photosynthesis, particularly the input and output of the chemical reaction
- Basic lab skills and an understanding of lab safety
How much class time will this take?
This activity takes one 50-minute class period.
What if I want more related to this?
What if I have a question?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to answer any questions you have!
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