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The Unit Plan: Plants and Community Change
Essential Question/Big Idea:
How does hard work and determination change a community?
The Tree Lady by H. Joseph Hopkins
Wangari's Trees of Peace by Jeannette Winter
The Noisy Paintbox by Barb Rosenstock
Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting and events
Compare and contrast two stories with similar themes
Identify the parts of a plant
Understand what plants need to grow
Alignment with standards:
LAFS1.RL.3.7 Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting or events
LAFS1.RL.3.9 Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in stories
S.C.1.L.14.1 Make observations of living things in their environment using their five senses
S.C.1.L.14.2 Identify the major parts of plants, including stem, root, leaves and flowers
Mary's other Units:
Ancient Civilizations (collaboratively developed with Megan Stranzin)
Written and Artistic Processes/Products
Entering text strategy: Call and Response
Strategy for understanding: Color, Symbol, Image
Class will make Venn Diagram to compare similarities and differences between texts
Observing artwork of Tree on campus using strategy: See, Think, Wonder
Observing barren landscape of Kenya and the umbrella trees of Kenya and discuss using strategy: See, think, wonder.
Use strategy See, Think, Wonder to explore all the parts of a tree before sketching and labeling.
Performed tableaus for Tree Lady (beginning, middle and end) and monologues to explain
Performed tableaus for parts of a plant
Create cutouts using camera lens strategy depicting a scene from one of the texts showing how main character changed her community.
Written answer to – How did the main character change her community.
Class mural of “what plants need?”
Students will plant marigold seeds.
Formative Assessments - Looking and listening for understanding of…
Key details and vocabulary through repeating story nuggets as teacher previews the text
Theme and main idea
Similarities and differences between the two texts
Students’ observations, connections and questions
Understanding the plight of Kenya and the impact of Wangari’s hard work and determination.
Parts of tree complete and accurate
Understanding of setting, characters, events, sequence
Knowledge of the role/job of each plant part
Understanding of story, main events and
the Essential Question.
What plants need? Mural demonstrates understanding of what plants need to grow and parts of a plant
Application- what plants need to grow
• Kandinsky Trees- Using a diagram as a guide, students create their own Kandinsky-style tree collages including: using colored paper circles in which they describe for each story: the characters, setting, events, and words and phrases that spoke to them, using complete sentences. Finally, they write a response to the question, “How can hard work and determination change my community?”
• Once students have completed their trees, they add a picture of themselves to their trees.
• Students will share with partners, class and parents how they can change their community.
• See rubric for assessment of culminating product/performance
Left: Students label the parts of their trees with post its, pulling in their Science standards.
Above: Students demonstrate understanding of the story by using the strategy, Color, Symbol, Image.
Students are asked to Compare and Contrast The Tree Lady and Wangari’s Trees of Peace
Class murals of “What plants need.”
The school campus was decorated with artwork representing all three texts used in the Unit
Color, Symbol, Image
See, Think, Wonder
Call and Response
Summative Performance Rubric
Rubric for Summative Performance Task
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