Graphing plant growth

Created by:      Modified by: tabliya

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Subjects: Math, flax, linen, graph, plants

For students of 3rd or higher grade.

Objective: students will know how to graph the growth of plants.

Project: grow flax plants and make weekly measurements of their length.

Materials: pots, flax seeds, tailor's flexible measuring tape, graph paper

Anticipatory Set:  
Hand out a sheet of paper that shows pictures of four different types of graphs to each student.  Have each student circle the type of graph that they believe would show the growth of a plant most clearly.

Introduce Topic:  
Take a survey to see the choices the students made by creating a tally chart on the overhead.  Explain the purposes of each type of graph.  Show students that a line graph is the most logical choice for show the growth of a plant.  Show the class an example of a line graph and label the parts.

As a class, lead the students through the creation of their own line graph for graphing plant growth.  Discuss the appropriate, title, labels, and scale that will be needed for the project.  Help students neatly prepare their graphs for plotting data.  Next, assist students with planting the seeds in their pot, and place the flexible measuring tape in the soil.  Zero should be at the soil level.  Students should take a reading once a week and record it on the graph paper.  

As students start seeing their plants mature, have them analyze the different growth spurts and make connections between each others graphs.  

Check for understanding: give students graphs of various kinds of plants and ask them to explain the differences in the growth cycles.