In this unit, students have the opportunity to observe each stage in the life cycle of a simple plant. Working with Wisconsin Fast PlantsTM (Brassica rapa), which germinate, mature, and go to seed within a 40-day period, students plant seeds and watch the seedlings emerge. Later, they thin and transplant seedlings. As they watch the plant growth, students learn that plants need nutrients from the soil, as well as water and light, to thrive. As the unit expands to focus on the interdependence of living things, students cross-pollinate the flowers with dried honeybees. Finally, they harvest mature seeds and determine seed yields. These experiences deepen students' understanding of the characteristics of living organisms and their relationship with and dependence on their environment.
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