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Planting Preferences- Written Assessment

Unit Plan: Cycles: From Rot to RadishesLesson: 5 Time: 40-60 min Setting: Classroom
3-5, 6-8Schoolyard Ecology
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Students work in groups to rank four sites according to their suitability for planting shrubs, then independently complete a diagram showing a nutrient cycle for the preferred site.


Students will be able to: understand that nutrients available on a site depend o the history and current condition of the site, weigh pros and cons to make and support judgements, diagram steps in a nutrient cycle, judge their own work and reflect on their understanding of nutrient cycling.


For each group of 3-4 students:

  • copy of four "Planting Preference Cards"
  • copy of "Scoring Sheet"

For each student:

  • copy of "Challenge Sheet, Part I"
  • copy of "Challenge Sheet, Part 2"
  • copy of "Scoring Sheet"
  • copy of "Reflections"

See Lesson Resources for further details.

Lesson Files

Planting Preferences - Written Assessments

Benchmarks for Science Literacy

1B Scientific Inquiry, 5D Interdependence of Life, 5E Flow of Matter and Energy

NYS Standards

MST 3- Mathematics in real-world settings, MST 4- Physical setting, living environment and nature of science, ELA 4 - Language for communication and social interaction with a wide variety of people
Next Generation Science Standards

Science and Engineering Practices

Planning and carrying out investigations, Engaging in argument from evidence

Hogan, Kathleen. Eco-Inquiry: A Guide to Ecological Learning Experiences for the Upper Elementary/Middle Grades. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, PO Box 1840, 4050 Westmark Drive, Dubuque, IA 52004-1840., 1994.