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EDUC 2220- Educational Technology Lesson Plan Template

Environment Exploration of Nature


Kalita Bayes
Preschool / Science

Common Core Standards:

Domain: Cognitive Development and General Knowledge
Sub-Domain: Science
Strand: Science Inquiry and Application
Topic: Inquiry
Statement: Record observations using words, pictures, charts, graphs, etc.

Domain: Social and Emotional Development
Strand: Relationships
Topic: Empathy
Statement: Show regard for the feelings of other living things.

Lesson Summary:
This lesson plan is about exploring the nature around us and creating a piece of nature ourselves. The children
will learn about many plants and how to grow a plant. In the process the children will record their observations
on the world around them and then record the progress of their personal plant that they will be growing. The
recordings and documentations will be expressed through several documentation tools.

Estimated Duration:
This lesson plan will take at least 150 minutes long. The time period for this activity is 30-40 minutes each day
for a total of five days. If the children need more time, the class schedule could be accommodated to fit the
needs and interests of the children. This activity could also be considered to be implemented in small groups
with each group having the 30-40 minute time period each day.

Commentary:
My approach to this lesson is to explore nature with children while using several pieces of technology for the
children to explore and express their findings with such as a camera, microscope, and a computer. This lesson
will get the children engaged by taking pictures of what they see, documenting the nature around them with
drawings, expressing their favorite pieces or things in nature, and then by involving the children in planting
and growing a piece of nature themselves. I think the challenge in this lesson is going to be to fit all of the
intended content into the week span of this activity. (A second week with different and more extended
activities could be implemented if the children are still interested and engaged in this topic.)




Instructional Procedures:



Day 1: On the first day of this lesson plan the children will be introduced to the nature around them. The
children will be engaged in conversations and will take pictures of the things they see. The teacher will write
down the words of the children as they explore nature. Exploring the environment around them before any
implementation of activities will spike curiosity and interest. The children will also gather materials from the
outside environment to take back to the class. After exploring the environment the children will have the story
There was a tree by Rachel Isadora read to them to conclude the topic for the day. Exploring the environment
would most likely take the whole 30 minutes if not more. Story time would be an additional 5-10 minutes. The
teacher will be scaffolding the children in any way that is necessary while allowing the children to complete
this activity with as little structure as possible. During the story the teacher will ask open ended questions and
for feedback from the children to keep them engaged.

Day 2: On day 2 the children will complete this activity in small groups. They will select a collected item,
from the previous day, and hypothesize about what their selected item of observation would look like under a
magnifying glass and/or microscope. The children will also describe how the selected item has a part in our
environment, what good or bad things it may do to our environment, and how they think it may have been
made. The small groups responses will be written down (by the teacher or the children) on a large paper to be
hung up where the children can see. During these conversations the teacher will scaffold the children by asking
open ended questions on these topics. This could take anywhere from 10-20 minutes. Then the children will
get another 20-30 minutes to use the technological tools to observe and explore their collected item. The
teacher will be engaged in this activity to enhance the learning experience by again asking open ended
questions and guiding the children with the technological tools.

Day 3: On day 3 the activity will focus on manipulating the natural items collected. The children will have
several sensory options to choose from to be engaged in. For example, a water table with sticks, grass, leaves,
rocks, etc. Another area with some collected items along with art materials like paint, stickers, yarn, etc. The
last sensory option could be an area where the children build with the collected items while having other
classroom blocks and animals to build with. This gives the children new experiences with these materials and
more knowledge about the materials they have collected. The teacher will be responsible for again scaffolding
the children, preparing the sensory activities, engaging in the activities with the children, and asking open
ended questions. The children should take pictures of their creations and of their classmates creations.

Day 4: On day four the class will sing the song This is the Way We Plant the Seeds (Tune: Mulberry Bush).
The song will give the children an idea of how to plant their seed. Although, the teacher will engage in a
conversation with the children after the song asking open ended questions, like what comes next, to recap on
how to plant a seed. This should take about 5-10 minutes. Then in small groups the children will have to
opportunity to plant their own seed. This could take place in the classroom with small gardening pots or
outside if it is not prohibited. The teacher will guide the children when needed. The teacher will also enhances
the childrens learning experience with conversation about why they are planting a seed, what happens to the
seed, does it help the environment, etc.

Day 5: On the last day the children will be in a large group creating a large masterpiece. The class will use a
large piece of dry wall and create this masterpiece by using the collected items (or they might want to go get
more) and hot gluing them to the drywall (with the help of the teacher). This is a very open ended recap of the
activity. The teacher will again ask open ended questions like what made you place these items in this order or
how did you make this. If the children want to use other items that were not collected that should be okay as
well. This could take anywhere from 10-60 minutes or however long the children feel they might need (if
possible). Lastly, the children will help the teacher record on a chart what their favorite part of this activity was
and one thing they learned.





Pre-Assessment:
To pre-asses the children in this activity the teacher could ask questions pertaining to the environment and
living things in the environment. The biggest pre-assessment strategy is to use detailed conversations with each
child or small groups to see how much they may know about the topic, what their interests might be, etc. The
teacher should also observe the children and record observations pertaining to the topic to use as
documentation on how well this topic would be for the group or how to make changes to better suit the needs
of the children in the group.

Scoring Guidelines:
For preschoolers I think the best scoring guideline would be to implement a checklist with some
comment boxes. The checklist would include what living things children would see in nature (or
specifically the environment that will be observed in this lesson), samples of what children think living
things do to the environment, what are the parts of a plant, what materials are needed to plant a seed,
etc. I think with preschoolers it is hard to score but it is rather easy to assess with analyzing the
information.

Post-Assessment:
The post assessment is the children recording at least one thing that they have learned through the term of this
lesson.

Scoring Guidelines:
Again, it is hard to score preschoolers so I think the best option is to be knowledgeable about what and
about how much each child knew at the beginning of the lesson. For example, before the lesson a child
knew that to plant a seed you need soil, seeds, a shovel, and water. After the lesson the child mentions
that this is something that they have learned but in reality they knew before the lesson as well. The
teacher could then say, Before the lesson you mentioned that you knew that to plant a seed you need
soil, seeds, a shovel, and water. Could you have possibly learned what the items do, what order they go
in, or the growing cycle of a plant? If so then could you please explain a little about it to us? This
extends the childrens responses while still trying to assess what they have learned from this lesson.


Differentiated Instructional Support
Describe how instruction can be differentiated (changed or altered) to meet the needs of gifted or accelerated
students:
this might be an extra challenge assignment using technology, or an opportunity for these students to peer-
tutor students who are struggling- explain.

Discuss additional activities you could do to meet the needs of students who might be struggling with the
material:
The children that are struggling with the concepts of this lesson could watch educational videos of the topic.
Also, a book made by the children in the class could be made with the key concepts of this lesson. The book
would be made during the lesson to give the struggling children the ability to refer to the book as often as
needed while learning about this topic. Another idea to help children that are struggling could be extend the



amount of time and materials into the lesson. For example, during the building of the collected items the
children could use woodworking tools as well.


Extension
http://www.anselandclair.com/apps/ansel-clair-little-green-island/
I chose this game application for this assignment because I felt it was age appropriate as an extension to this
activity. Preschoolers will not be reading more about the topic but they will be engaged in a learning game that
will interest them and keep them focused. Young children are born with advanced technology skills these days
and the application could be used with and adult supervision the first couple of times to help the child navigate
through the game. This meets my standards for this activity because the game implements the concepts about
taking care of nature and things that could have a negative effect on our environment.




Homework Options and Home Connections
As the activity wraps up, I would involve the parents on trying to create a family community service day. This
could be helping pick up trash in the community, helping plant plants in a community park or garden, or even
creating a nature scene around the childcare center. This involvement of the families would promote the team
work of the community and the appreciation for other living things in the community.




Interdisciplinary Connections
During this lesson, the children are required to have multiple interactions with each other and the teachers. The
interactions with the group work in this lesson promote the social and emotional domain of development. This
lesson could also promote the language and literacy domain with the new vocabulary terms being used and the
multiple writing and documenting activities the children will be involved in.



Materials and Resources:

For teachers

Gardening shovel, pots, soil, seeds, camera, microscope, magnifying glasses, buckets
for collected items, a nature spot, large paper, chart paper, colored paper, hot glue gun,
several art/craft materials




For students

Computers, cameras, magnifying glasses, and a microscope




Key Vocabulary
Environment, stem, pedals, roots, hypothesize, explore, observation, effect, importance


Additional Notes