Focus: In this unit, students start with questioning the source of the food they eat. Then they begin to explore, especially, how plants manufacture this food and what happens to the food once it has been used by the body. The subtitle of this unit is Where does food come from, and where does it go next? Food from plant or animal sources are phenomena that all students have some experience with. Students eat pancakes with maple syrup, but exactly what is maple syrup and how did a maple tree manufacture it? Most students know about photosynthesis, but what exactly is it and what is the relationship between sunlight and the maple syrup a tree makes? This unit allows students to observe the phenomena of food and begin to unravel the important processes of photosynthesis and food use by the body. Students spend time working with classmates to analyze the shared experience, formulate new questions, and developing new strategies for answering them. Students explore concepts that include the following:
- Do plants get their food molecules by taking them in?
- Are any parts that make up food molecules coming into the plant from above the surface?
- Why do plants need light?
- Why don’t plants die at night?
- Where does the rest of our food come from?
- What happens to food that doesn’t get eaten?
As students move through their day-to-day activities, they will also read Core Knowledge literacy selections. These include factual articles, history of the sciences, art and literature, spotting bad science in the media and advertisements, graphics comprehension, research-type articles, reliability of sources, and other areas of science literacy.
- Teacher Guide: 15 Lessons
- Student Reader: 5 Collections
- Lesson can be competed in one or more class periods.
- A Pacing Guide, found in Online Resources, offers the suggestion that the entire unit should take about 29 days to complete if class is held each day.
- A complete list of materials needed to complete the unit is also provided in the Online Resources.
- The Core Knowledge Student Reader includes one reading collection per week for every week of the unit. A week’s reading collection relates to the lessons completed in the previous week.
- The reading is assigned at the beginning of the week with the accompanying writing exercise due at the end of the week.
- The reading and writing exercises are designed to be completed by students independently, with brief, supporting, teacher-facilitated discussions at the beginning, midpoint, and end of the week.
Additional Search Terms for the Student Reader:
• science literacy • phenomenon • nutrient • social media • glucose • sucrose• photosynthesis • carbohydrate • protein • vascular tissue (plant) • grain • starch • chlorophyll • biomass • cellular respiration • phytoplankton • nonfiction • informational text