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BENEATH THE SURFACE: The Growth of a Plant

OBJECTIVE:
The learner will develop a hypothesis regarding plant growth for the project.
The learner will set up growth chambers.
The learner will observe the changes in the growing plants and will sketch observations, either on paper or using
Google Drawing.
The learner will record the changes in the growing plants on a data collection sheet.
The learner will document the project by taking pictures at the end of the growth period.
The learner will support or reject the original hypothesis and provide evidence to back this claim.

TEKS:
7.3 Scientific investigation and reasoning. The student uses critical thinking, scientific reasoning, and problem solving to
make informed decisions and knows the contributions of relevant scientists. The student is expected to: (a) in all fields
of science, analyze evaluate, and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and
experimental and observational testing, including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific
explanations, so as to encourage critical thinking by the student;

7.4 Science investigation and reasoning. The student knows how to use a variety of tools and safety equipment to
conduct science inquiry. The student is expected to: (a) use appropriate tools to collect, record, and analyze information,
including life science models, hand lens, stereoscopes, microscopes, beakers, Petri dishes, microscope slides, graduated
cylinders, test tubes, meter sticks, metric rulers, metric tape measures, timing devices, hot plates, balances,
thermometers, calculators, water test kits, computers, temperature and pH probes, collecting nets, insect traps, globes,
digital cameras, journals/notebooks, and other equipment as needed to teach the curriculum;

7.7 Force, motion, and energy. The student knows that there is a relationship among force, motion, and energy. The
student is expected to: (c) demonstrate and illustrate forces that affect motion in everyday life such as emergence of
seedlings, turgor pressure, and geotropism.

7.13 Organisms and environments. The student knows that a living organism must be able to maintain balance in stable
internal conditions in response to external and internal stimuli. The student is expected to: (a) investigate how
organisms respond to external stimuli found in the environment such as phototropism and fight or flight;

ANTICIPATORY ACTIVITY:
Present the following to the class as a quick write introduction to the assignment. The following scenario is adapted
from Page Keelys Uncovering Student Ideas in Life Science Vol. 1, Pumpkin Seeds.
Four friends were planting pumpkin seeds for a class project. They each had different ideas about how the seeds should
be placed in the soil. This is what they said:
Nancy: I think more seeds will sprout if we plant them with the pointed tip down.
Lynn: I think more seeds will sprout if we plant them with the pointed tip up.
Joyce: I think more seeds will sprout if we plant them flat on their sides.
Lisa: I think the way we put the seeds into the soil doesnt matter.
Which friend do you agree with the most? _______________________ Explain why you agree in 3-5 complete
sentences. Based on your explanation, create a hypothesis using the Ifthen format about the direction seeds face
when planted and growth.
PROJECT OVERVIEW:
Tropism is the growing or bending of a plant in response to an external source of stimulation. This lesson will explore
two different types of tropism: phototropism and geotropism. Phototropism is the tendency of a plant to grow toward a
source of light. Geotropism is the response of a plant to the force of gravity. Students will be collecting data for two
projects over the course of six weeks. Project A explores the pumpkin seed debate while project B examines the growth
of plants.
Name: _____________________________________________________ Period: ________ Due Date: ___________
BENEATH THE SURFACE: The Growth of a Plant

PROJECT A: UNVEILING THE PUMPKIN SEED DEBATE

MATERIALS:
4 Lima beans
1 Ziploc bag
1 paper towel
Stapler
Scissors
Tape

PROCEDURE:
PART 1: INITIAL SETUP - completed in class
1. Cut the paper towel to fit into the Ziploc bag and place paper towel inside the bag.
2. Use the stapler to put three staples in the two bottom corners of the bag (6 staples total), stapling through the
entire bag. The staples should make an open triangle and the space inside the perimeter of the staples should be
large enough to place a Lima bean inside. (See image)
3. Place one Lima bean in-between the staples in each bottom corner of the
bag. (See image)
A. Bottom left bean should be facing right
B. Bottom right bean should be facing left
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3, making the staple triangles in the top two corners of
the bag. (See image)
A. Top left bean should be facing up
B. Top right bean should be facing down

Part 2: COMPLETE SETUP AND OBSERVATION completed at home


1. At home, moisten the bag just enough to wet the entire paper towel.
2. Leave the bag open and tape/pin the bag upright (opening of the bag at the top) where it will receive plenty of
light. Record the setup date on your data sheet.
3. On your data sheet, rewrite your hypothesis from the pumpkin seed activity.
4. Observe your bag each day. When you see roots sprouting, record the date on your data sheet.
5. After initial root growth, write and sketch observations of your seeds on your data sheet every other day.
Continue for 10 days. *You may sketch you observations on Google Drawing, if you would like.
6. After 10 days, support or reject your hypothesis on your data sheet using evidence collected during the
experiment.
PROJECT B: GROWING UP

MATERIALS:
6 Lima beans
3 small cups
Soil
2 shoeboxes, approximately the same size
Several cardboard pieces
Scissors
Tape or glue
Ruler

PROCEDURE:
1. Fill the small cups with soil.
2. Bury 2 Lima beans in the soil (about 3 cm down from the surface) and moisten, but do not saturate the soil.
3. On your data sheet, record the planting date.
4. Wait for the seedlings to germinate (sprout).
a. Make sure to maintain constant conditions for all three e.g., the same type of plant; same type of pot
(volume); same quantity of soil (mass); same quantity, kind, and temperature of water (ml or l); same air
temperature.
b. During this waiting period, paint the inside of the two boxes black.
c. Cut a hole 10 cm in diameter at the top of each box.
d. Add cardboard to the first box to build a maze.
You can cut slits into the side of the box and
insert the cardboard through the slits. Leave
enough space at the bottom of the box for the
cup to sit inside.
5. Once all three cups have germinated, record the date on
your data sheet and measure the height of each plant
and record the data. Place a cup inside each box and
leave the third cup exposed, acting as the control. Record
the location of the three cups. Make sure the boxes are in
the same window or are at the same distance from a light
source. Close the box so the only light source is through
the hole on the top of the box.
6. Create a hypothesis regarding which plant will grow the tallest. Identify the independent variable and the
dependent variable. Identify the constants.
7. Water the plants with the same quantity, kind, and temperature of water as needed.
8. Measure the height of each plant every other day beginning after the first day in the boxes. A ruler can be taped
to the side of each box so that the plants will not be disturbed by measuring.
9. Record all data on the data chart.
10. Continue collecting data for 3 weeks (21 days).
11. On day 21, take a final measurement of the three plants and take a picture of the three plants. Upload these
images to BLEND. Sketch your plants as well.
12. After 21 days, support or reject your hypothesis on your data sheet using evidence collected during the
experiment.
13. Answer the conclusion questions on the data sheet.
Name: _____________________________________________________ Period: ________ Due Date: ___________
BENEATH THE SURFACE: The Growth of a Plant

DATA COLLECTION SHEET

PROJECT A: UNVEILING THE PUMPKIN SEED DEBATE


SETUP DATE: ______________________________

HYPOTHESIS: _______________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________________

SPROUTING DATE: ______________________________

ROOT GROWTH PHASE OBSERVATIONS:


Day 2 Date:
Observation Sketch

Day 4 Date:
Observation Sketch
Day 6 Date:
Observation Sketch

Day 8 Date:
Observation Sketch

Day 10 Date:
Observation Sketch

My hypothesis was ___________________________ because _______________________________________________


__________________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________________
PROJECT B: GROWING UP
PLANTING DATE: ______________________________ GERMINATION DATE: ______________________________
Plant Height:
Cup 1 Cup 2 Cup 3

Location: Location: Location:


HYPOTHESIS:
_______________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________________
Independent variable: _________________________ Dependent variable: _____________________________________
Constants: ___________________________________________________________________________________
DATA:
Height of Height of
Height of Height of Height of Height of
Day Control Day Control
Plain Box Maze Box Plain Box Maze Box
Plant Plant

2 14

4 16

6 18

8 20

10 21

12

Make a sketch of the appearance of each plant at the end of the experiment.

Control Plain Box Maze Box


My hypothesis was ___________________________ because _______________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________________

POST LAB QUESTIONS: Answer in complete sentences

1. If I were to tell you there is positive geotropism and negative geotropism, how would you explain these two
concepts based on your observations from the two labs?

2. How does this experiment show phototropism?

3. How does this experiment simulate the way plants might grow in natural habitats?

4. Describe how plants that grow on a forest floor are affected by phototropism.

5. Explain how seedlings are affected by growing in the shade of other plants.

EXTENSTION:
Students can enter their growth data onto a collective class Google Sheet to create the average growth of the three
different types of plants.

Students can create a google drawing for each sketch from Project A (if not already created) and render a timed
slideshow illustrating the root growth in a time-lapse/flip book style.