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Plant Adventures Unit
Should you water a cactus?
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Discuss:

Why do you think the orchid is dying?

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Discuss: We have an empty square. Can you think of a plant that likes growing in lots of sunlight and but little water?

missing plant

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Discuss:

What do you think is going to happen to the cactus if you water it every day? Why?

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You've completed the Exploration & Activity!

If you have more time, view the reading and extension activity in the extensions.

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Extensions

Below are ideas for extending this topic beyond the activity & exploration which you just completed.
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Extra Activity:

How a Cactus Stores Water

Using paper towels and wax paper, this simple activity shows students how the thick, waxy stems of cactus or the thick leaves of a succulent hold water.

If you have access to any succulents, bring in a few stalks and leaves. Let your students slice the leaves open and see the moist interior.

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Extra Activity:

A Plant with a Water Tank

The bromeliad, a plant that lives in the rainforest, avoids the shade of the forest floor by growing on the branches of tall trees. Living high in a tree, the bromeliad can't get its roots into the ground. So it stores water in a bowl made of its waxy leaves. This water tank is home to frogs, as you can see in this video.

The pineapple is a kind of bromeliad that you can grow and experiment with in your classroom. Find out how at this site from the Rain Forest Alliance.

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Art Extension: Grass Heads With Style

At Mystery Science, we couldn't resist adding a bit of style to our grass heads. If your class would like to do the same, you'll find plenty of inspiration online. Your grass head could wear pigtails, a mohawk, or a cute little bow. You can add googly eyes, pipe cleaner eyeglasses, and paper clothes. With a simple makeover, you can make your grass head into a star! The possibilities are endless.

Here are supplies you may need:

  • pipe cleaners (for eye glasses)
  • peel-and-stick googly eyes
  • construction paper for "clothes"
  • ribbons for hair bows
  • scissors for grass-head barbers and stylists
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Overview
Grade 2nd
Topic Plant Adaptations
Focus Adaptations & Habitat
Print Prep
Activity Prep

In this Mystery, students will learn that plants have different needs in terms of sunlight and water. In the activity we will revisit our Grass Heads.

Preview activity

Step 1: Make sure you have the supplies you need.

Each student needs:

  • the Grass Head they made earlier
  • the Grass Head Worksheet from last week's lesson
  • a pencil
  • a paper plate to put their grass head on

If students want to take their grass heads home, each student will need a paper cup for transporting the grass head.

Step 2: Prepare for discussion.

If you took a peek under the grass heads as they were growing, you may have seen something that surprised you. In addition to the green grass hair, there were white hairs growing downward. What are those white hairs?

Your students may notice that that the white hairs always grow DOWN. That’s because the white hairs are roots. Remind your students of what they saw in the root viewer — roots grow down, looking for water.)

Step 3: Optional art extension

You have the option of giving students time to personalize their grass heads, adding accessories and clothing. For this, you’ll need some art supplies. We’d recommend:

  • peel-and-stick googly eyes
  • ribbons for hair bows and bowties
  • pipe cleaners (for eye glasses)
  • scissors for hair styling

For more on the possibilities, check out the Grass Heads With Style activity extension.

Overview
Grade 2nd
Topic Plant Adaptations
Focus Adaptations & Habitat
Extensions
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