TITLE: LETTUCE US BE DIFFERENT 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 applications. PURPOSE: A healthy, resilient ecosystem results from the complex web of roles played by a diversity of organisms. 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. ACTIVITIES AND PROCEDURES: 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.
Click here to return to OFCN's Academy Curricular Exchange
Click here to return to OFCN's Academy
Click here to return to OFCN's Main Menu