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Students will observe corn seeds sprouting and then compare the similarities and differences of each seedling.
Living Necklace Kits with enough materials ((seeds, cotton, yarn and jewelry bags) for 35 students are available for purchase. Contact Utah Agriculture in the Classroom, 2315 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322-2315. Phone (435) 797-1657 or order on-line at utah.agclassroom.org.
Each human (except for an identical twin) has a unique set of traits that enables us to immediately identify them as an individual. However, have you ever tried to distinguish one bean plant from another bean plant? Or one corn plant from another corn plant? Plants grown as crops have been selected to minimize trait variation so that farmers can get the best yield from each field. In this activity, students germinate two types of corn seeds: popcorn and Indian corn. As a result of their observations, students will see that all seedlings of the popcorn variety (which has been bred for mass production) are very similar, while more differences can be observed among the Indian corn seedlings (which have not been selected as often).
1-Use science process and thinking skills.
2-Manifest scientific attitudes and interests.
3-Understand science concepts and principles.
4-Communicate effectively using science language and reasoning.
Invitation to Learn:
Teaching Tip: The corn seeds will sprout in 3-6 days. Planting them on a Friday and making the first observations on Monday is a quick way to speed up this activity.
Assign students to compare similarities and differences in traits among plants of a species growing in the wild, and among plants of another cultivated species.
Grow Wisconsin Fast Plants , either for a week to observe germination and early growth (as with the corn seeds), or for a full life cycle of approximately 40 days. Seeds can be purchased from Carolina Science and Math, http://www.carolina.com.Seeds with several variations, such as F Non-purple stem, yellow-green leaf ((online catalog number WW-15-8888), will show a high degree of variation, although variation can be observed with any of the varieties. The following resources provide information about growing Fast Plants and numerous teaching activities.
This lesson is part of the Fifth Grade Science Teacher Resource Book (TRB3) http://www.usoe.org/curr/science/core/5th/TRB5/. The TRB3 is designed to be your textbook in teaching science curriculum to your students. This book covers all the objectives of each standard and benchmark. If taught efficiently, a student should do well on the End-of-Level (CRT) tests. The TRB3 is designed for teachers who know very little about science, as well as for teachers who have a broad understanding of science.