Academy Curricular Exchange
Columbia Education Center


AUTHOR:   Glenda Lazenby, Casady School,
          Oklahoma City, OK

OVERVIEW:  Students compare their own similarities and
differences.  They then grow and compare several
varieties of lettuce plants to explore variations
within the same type of plant.

GRADE LEVEL/SUBJECT:  Appropriate for grades K-5.
     Life Science lesson with some social studies

PURPOSE:  A healthy, resilient ecosystem results from
the complex web of roles played by a diversity of

OBJECTIVE(s):  To recognize that different qualities
make each human unique and to appreciate variations
within species by growing and comparing different types
of lettuce plants.

RESOURCES/MATERIALS:  It will be necessary to acquire
three cups or pots for each child, fill the cups with
potting soil and purchase three different varieties of
lettuce seeds.  Most importantly, however, this lesson
and many, many more wonderful lessons are available
from the National Gardening Association.  Their
publication is "Grow Lab: Activities for Growing
Minds."  Call (802) 863-1308 or write 180 Flynn Avenue
Burlington, Vermont 05401.

Play the game "I Like My Neighbor Who".  Sit in a
circle with and "it" in the middle.  The "it" says, "I
like my neighbor who (complete the sentence with a
personal characteristic such as has brown eyes or wears
white tennies).  Everyone who fits that description
must quickly change places around the circle.  "It"
becomes the last person standing.   have students play
the "Let Us Be Different Game" as a conclusion to the
first game,  Have one student share a way s/he is
different from the person to her/his right side and
continue around the circle.  Teacher question: "If
humans are alike in many ways but still have many
differences, is the same true of plants?"

Give students three different types of lettuce seed to
plant in separate pots.  As the plants grow, have
students make and record regular observations in their
plant journal.

At the end of four weeks the students complete a
worksheet titled "Lettuce Be Different".
Questions include:
What do the seeds look like (color, shape, size)?
What color are the leaves?
How do the leaves feel?
How tall is the plant? How does it taste?
What else do you notice about the lettuce?
TYING IT ALL TOGETHER:  Discuss what the title "Lettuce
Be Different" means to you. Count the number of
varieties of apples, tomatoes, or other vegetables and
fruits might have, using seed catalogs for reference.
Conduct a supermarket survey to see what varieties are
available locally. Graph results.  Make collages
highlighting variations of any one particular trait.
Write a hiaku poem (Five, seven, and five syllables)
about each variety of lettuce.


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