Sunday, March 29, 2020

Life Science Grade 6 Plant Specimen Drawings

Building skills of lab drawings, charts, illustrations, and/or timelines

During the last 7 weeks of third quarter in winter-early spring of 2020, junior high students have had skills challenges on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the first 10-20 minutes of class related to weekly content.

Just before the stay-at-home orders for Covid-19 virus, the sixth graders had skills challenges to recreate illustrations of root tip, internal view of phloem and xylem for a plant stem, and 2 others before being given the challenge of a 20 minute specimen drawing to fill a full page! 

Three different plants were placed at different lab tables with 6 students at each plant. Students were divided on each side of the plants and were told to strive for realism from the perspective of their location. 

At this junior high, having a weekly art class stopped at the end of 5th grade. So even though this was assigned to develop their lab drawing skills before they reach 9th grade biology or honors biology, it benefitted the students with creative learning styles tremendously. [and I realize some of you would be baffled about the time span between 3rd quarter sixth grade and 1st quarter ninth grade, but now after 2 weeks of being homebound, I'm so VERY thankful for the time we did have and the progress that I was already seeing, especially with this age group.]

At this age and stage, I still have 3 boys and 1 girl who are very heavy handed with their lead pencils! Their skills progression to be precise, accurate, and finely detailed has been painstakingly slow. 

I don't have photos of the finished drawings, yet, but these are from their drawing time as I was walking around and monitoring their work:

Each plant has the same container with a bit of dried floral moss but the type of plant and size vary greatly.

6th graders!!! Involved!

100% student engagement! The students didn't want to stop which says a lot for the progress they've been making from the first skill challenge back in late January! I would have heard moaning and groaning complaints like I can't draw that!, I can't draw for 20 minutes!, Do I have to?, etc. (tee-hee; oh, my brilliant plans are coming together perfectly, my little chickadees!!!!)

Teaching and learning in the USA heartland,
Becca S

aka Mrs. S. or Mrs. Sadler


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