Plant's Needs - What Do Plants Need to Grow? - Photosynthesis

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Grade Levels
5th, Homeschool
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56 pages
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Learning Objective

Students will investigate what plants need to grow. Students will make an argument that plants get the materials they need for growth chiefly from air and water.


Plants Unit for Upper Elementary. Students will learn that plants produce their own food through photosynthesis. Students will learn about a plant's needs. Students will love planning and conducting their own investigations on plants. This resource also addresses the scientific misconception that plants consume soil as food. Students will learn through fair tests that plants need air, sunlight, and water to grow. Students will learn how to conduct fair tests and investigations with controls and variables in this unit on plants

This unit begins with phenomena and students use science and engineering practices to investigate what plants need to grow.

This unit includes:

  • two slide shows
  • labs
  • lab sheets
  • response pages
  • answer keys

This resource is designed for NGSS 5-LS1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes. This resource addresses the NGSS standard for 5th grade:

5-LS1-1. Support an argument that plants get the materials they need for growth chiefly from air and water.

Also addresses Utah SEEd 5.3.1

Construct an explanation supported by evidence that plants use air, water, and energy from sunlight to produce plant matter needed for growth. Emphasize photosynthesis at a conceptual level where plant matter comes mostly from air and water and not from the soil.

This resource addresses the following science concepts:

  • Plants get the materials they need for growth from air and water
  • How to set up an investigation
  • Independent variables
  • Dependent variables
  • Controlled variables
  • Fair Tests
  • Photosynthesis (introduction)
  • Interdependence of animals and plants

Students will use ALL Eight of the Science and Engineering Practices:

1. Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)

2. Developing and using models

3. Planning and carrying out investigations

4. Analyzing and interpreting data

5. Using mathematics and computational thinking

6. Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)

7. Engaging in argument from evidence

8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Students will process their ideas in response pages and through interactive notebook flaps.

By Lynda R. Williams

Teaching Science With Lynda

Save 20% by purchasing in the Utah SEEd 5th-grade Bundle.

Save 20% by purchasing in the NGSS 5th Grade Bundle

Save 20% by purchasing in Utah SEEd 5th Grade PLUS Reading Units Bundle

If you have questions about my resources please contact me

* My resources are secure and not editable for copyright reasons. They are in ppt and pdf format.

These resources are created by Lynda R. Williams at Teaching Science

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Please see my other NGSS resources:

5th Grade Water Distribution Lab and Close Reading Unit

Third Grade Close Read and Lab: Why do some animals live in groups? 3-LS2-1

Close Read Habitat and Adaptations With Interactive Notebook Flaps

Research Ecological Problem and Form Solution

Total Pages
56 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 Weeks
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Support an argument that plants get the materials they need for growth chiefly from air and water. Emphasis is on the idea that plant matter comes mostly from air and water, not from the soil.


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