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Lesson Plan   



 
    Lesson Information
     
 
    Outcomes and Standards
    Objectives
    Assessment
     
   
    Resources
    Materials
    Vocabulary
    Procedures
    Day Plans
    Enrichment Options
     
   
    Teacher Reflection
     



Stage 1
Identify Desired Results


Catchy Title: Organic Mechanic II
Theme/Topic of Lesson: Alternatives to Pesticides
Time Commitment: Three 45-minute periods/blocks
Subject Area(s):
    Language Arts
    Mathematics
    Science
Grade Level(s): 6,7,8
Standards Alignment:
Class Challenge Question: What are the healthy alternatives to using
pesticides?
Overview:

In Organic Mechanic: Part I, students investigated the link between human health and pesticides sprayed on produce. Students learned about a variety of pesticides, specifically
why they are used and their effects on human health. In Part I, students investigated what is on the surface of an apple through the activity "An Apple a Day." Next, they researched the health effects of pesticides through an Internet search as well as through background reading, and the utilization of software. They also completed a crossword puzzle to reinforce vocabulary.

Organic Mechanic: Part II is the follow-up lesson to Organic Mechanic: Part I. In Part II, students will build on their knowledge and learn about healthy alternatives to using pesticides. For example, students will use Internet and print materials to learn about companion planting, the use of biological controls, trapping and the use of barriers. Students will also learn about the economical ramifications of organic farming. Next,
they will plan their own garden based on a garden scenario that their team is given. They will gather data from a local store or farmer’s market about the costs of organic and non-
organic food and analyze that data. The unit will culminate with individuals writing a business letter to the local grocery store, and investigative teams making a presentation using technology on the environmental, health, and economical pros and cons of pesticide use.



Stage 2
Determine Acceptable Evidence


Skills and Processes
(K-12)
Maryland Content Standards Indicators
Students will explain how the nature of science has affected scientific inquiry, technology, and the history of science.
 
Skills and Processes
(6-8)
Maryland Content Standards
Students will explain how the nature of science has affected scientific inquiry, technology, and the history of science.
Maryland State Indicators
1.8.16
modify ideas based on new information from developmentally appropriate readings, data, and the ideas of others. (MLO 1.2.6.)
Skills and Processes
(6-8)
Maryland Content Standards
Students will explain how the nature of science has affected scientific inquiry, technology, and the history of science.
Maryland State Indicators
1.8.17
describe to others how scientific information was used. (MLO 1.2.7.)
Skills and Processes
(6-8)
Maryland Content Standards
Students will explain how the nature of science has affected scientific inquiry, technology, and the history of science.
Maryland State Indicators
1.8.1
access and process information from readings, investigations, and /or oral communications. (MLO 1.1.1.)
Skills and Processes
(6-8)
Maryland Content Standards
Students will explain how the nature of science has affected scientific inquiry, technology, and the history of science.
Maryland State Indicators
1.8.14
provide supporting evidence when forming conclusions, devising a plan or solving a practical problem. (MLO 1.2.4.)
Skills and Processes
(6-8)
Maryland Content Standards
Students will explain how the nature of science has affected scientific inquiry, technology, and the history of science.
Maryland State Indicators
1.8.25
evaluate and modify designs and products, when demonstrating that a solution to one problem can result in other problems and taking into account various constraints (e.g., gravity, property of materials, economic, political, social, ethical, and aesthetic issues).
Skills and Processes
(6-8)
Maryland Content Standards
Students will explain how the nature of science has affected scientific inquiry, technology, and the history of science.
Maryland State Indicators
1.8.10
describe similarities and differences of objects, materials, concepts, and actions. (MLO 1.2.1.)
Skills and Processes
(6-8)
Maryland Content Standards
Students will explain how the nature of science has affected scientific inquiry, technology, and the history of science.
Maryland State Indicators
1.8.9
interpret and communicate find-ings (i.e., speaking, writing, and drawing) in a form suited to the purpose and audience, using developmentally appropriate methods including technology tools and telecommunications. (MLO 1.1.8.)
Skills and Processes
(6-8)
Maryland Content Standards
Students will explain how the nature of science has affected scientific inquiry, technology, and the history of science.
Maryland State Indicators
1.8.20
apply concepts and processes of science to take and defend a position relative to an issue. (MLO 1.3.2.)
Skills and Processes
(6-8)
Maryland Content Standards
Students will explain how the nature of science has affected scientific inquiry, technology, and the history of science.
Maryland State Indicators
1.8.21
use the knowledge of science and available scientific equipment to devise a plan to solve a global problem. (MLO 1.3.3.)
Skills and Processes
(6-8)
Maryland Content Standards
Students will explain how the nature of science has affected scientific inquiry, technology, and the history of science.
Maryland State Indicators
1.8.26
explain that science and technology have strongly influenced life under different technological circumstances in the past and continue to do so today.
Life Science
(K-12)
Maryland Content Standards Indicators
Students will use scientific skills and processes to explain the dynamic nature of living things, their interactions, and the results from the interactions that occur over time.
 
Life Science
(6-8)
Maryland Content Standards
Students will use scientific skills and processes to explain the dynamic nature of living things, their interactions, and the results from the interactions that occur over time.
Maryland State Indicators
3.8.3
analyze concepts (i.e., diseases, deficiencies, toxins, and other factors) that promote or disrupt the structure and function of living organisms. (MLO 3.3.)
Knowledge of Statistics
(6-8)
Maryland Content Standards
Students will collect, organize, display, analyze, and interpret data to make decisions and predictions.
Maryland State Indicators
4.8.2
interpret, organize and display data using frequency tables, circle graphs, histograms, box and whisker plots, scatter plots and histograms. (MLO 3.2.)
Knowledge of Statistics
(6-8)
Maryland Content Standards
Students will collect, organize, display, analyze, and interpret data to make decisions and predictions.
Maryland State Indicators
4.8.4
select and justify mean, median, mode, or range of a data set as the best representation of data. (MLO 3.5.)
Technology research tools
(Gr. 6-8)
ISTE Technology Standards

5. Technology research tools

  • Students use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources.
  • Students use technology tools to process data and report results.
  • Students evaluate and select new information resources and technological innovations based on the appropriateness for specific tasks.
ISTE Technology Performance Indicators
Use content-specific tool

Use content-specific tools, software, and simulations (e.g., environmental probes, graphing calculators, exploratory environments, Web tools) to support learning and research.



Learning Objectives:

The Students will:
  • Identify a variety of pests that affect produce.
  • Research alternatives to pesticides in controlling pests.
  • Calculate the area and perimeter of their plot of land in the garden project.
  • Utilize scale in planning their garden.
  • Find the mean, median, mode, and range of a data set.
  • Create a box-and-whisker plot.
  • Compare and contrast the environmental, health, and economical pros and cons of
    pesticide use.
  • Graph and compare the costs of organic vs. non-organic products.

Assessment
The content and technology integration of this lesson will be assessed with the final
PowerPoint presentation. The Presentation Scoring Tool is included in these materials.
Other assessment opportunities include To Be Or Not To Be Pesticide Free, the Class
Comparison sheet, and the Business Letter Writing Prompt.


Stage 3
Plan Learning Experiences


Resources

SoftwarePowerPoint This easy-to-use presentation software can be purchased at any any major software outlet.
  http://www.microsoft.com
Print MaterialsVegetable Gardening for Dummies by Charlie Nardozzi and the Editors of the National Gardening Association
A comprehensive easy-to-read gardening reference. The book includes charts and
diagrams to plan a vegetable garden in almost any size space.
Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful by Louise Riotte This recently revised and updated planting companion provides information about how to use plants' natural partnerships to produce bigger and better harvests.
Internet SitesOrtho Problem Solver This Web site offers a plant encyclopedia, a gardening problem solver, and
other information regarding Ortho's products.
  http://www.ortho.com
Weekend Gardener This Web site provides information about growing flowers, vegetables and
herbs. Information is provided about when and how to sow seeds, transplanting guidelines as well as the pests that affect them.
  http://www.chestnut-sw.com/weekend.htm
Garden.com: Gardening for Today's World This Web site features a monthly online gardening magazine, information
about regional and community gardening, and free garden planning software.
  http://www.garden.com
Whole Foods Students can utilize this Web site to learn about one food chain's effort to make organic food more accessible. Students will learn about volume purchasing and the chain's efforts to keep a high level of food quality.
  http://www.wholefoods.com

Materials
Per classPer Student
  • Business Letter Writing Prompt  (View)
  • Class Comparison  (View)
  • To Be or Not To Be Pesticide Free  (View)
  • What's Bugging You Pest Webquest  (View)

Vocabulary
  • Barriers - physical blocks that keep pests away from plants.
  • Biological Controls - pitting one living thing against another, for example, releasing beneficial insects into a garden.
  • Companion Planting - planting a companion plant provides benefits to other plants growing nearby.
  • Companion Plants - plants thought to repel pests.
  • Crop Rotation - planting crops in different beds from season to season.
  • Home Remedies - common household items used to control insects in the garden.
  • Trapping - literally capturing pests that are causing damage to your crop.

Procedures

Part 2 of Organic Mechanic begins by briefly reviewing the material from Part 1, including any open questions from the KWL chart. Students then launch into the planning of a garden, using print and Internet materials to research the pests that threaten their crops. Students will work in pairs from this point forward, with the exception of the Business Letter activity on Day 3. One computer per pair is required. Because students will need to take efficient notes and summarize, as well as use technology, take care to appropriately choose your student pairs to support these activities.

On Day 2, students use stations to research methods of controlling the pests that threaten their garden. High achievers can be asked to research more than one pest, or to add additional crops to their garden at this time. As homework on Day 2, students will need to
collect data on organic and non-organic food from a local grocery store. You may wish to announce this several days in advance and send home a note to parents so that the majority of students will have data to bring to the class on Day 2.

Day 3 analyzes the data collected, and has students find the mean, median, mode, and range, create box-and-whisker plots, and draw some conclusions from the data. They are asked to write a business letter using the data to the local grocery store, and begin
constructing a team presentation of their findings across both part one and part two. Students with special needs may require additional support during the presentation process. You may wish to provide an outline of the important information that needs to
be in the presentation, or give them pre-prepared slides in PowerPoint to modify with their own information.

Students will share their presentations following Day 3.


1: Researching Pests
Daily Challenge Question: What pests affect different vegetable crops?

Set-up Directions:
Have computers with Internet access, the Make it Grow program, and the print resources available to pairs of students.


Teacher Presentation & Motivation:
Review the KWL charts from the end of Organic Mechanic Part 1. Try to highlight the following "Want to Know" questions:
               What are the pests that threaten crops?
               How can pests be controlled organically?
               How much does it cost to farm organically?
               How much does it cost to buy organic food?
Explain that the next part of the unit answers many of these questions.


Activity 1 - Pick Your Pests
Students will begin their investigation for alternatives to pesticides by first taking a look at the pests themselves.
Divide students into pairs. Give each pair of students a vegetable card and the "What's Bugging You?" student worksheet.
Students will use the Internet, Make It Grow garden planning software and books to research the pests that affect their assigned vegetable. They will draw a picture of the pest and describe how the pest is destructive.  (For students who finish early, give them a second "What's Bugging You" sheet and have them research a second pest.)

Wrap Up:
As time permits, have pairs share with the class their vegetable and a few facts about the pest they chose. Mention that now that they know the "enemy," they will learn how to fight it organically in the next lesson.
2: Organically Fighting Pests
Daily Challenge Question: How do organic farmers fight pests?

Set-up Directions:
Set up the six "Alternatives to Pesticides" stations with each of the handouts: Barriers, Biological Controls, Companion Planting, Crop Rotation, Home Remedies, and Trapping.(You might like to augment each station with some information from the Web, the Make It Grow program, or from the print resources.) Have some computers with Internet access and the print resources available to students.

Teacher Presentation & Motivation:
Remind students that yesterday, they selected a pest that threatens the vegetable they were assigned. Have students share the "traditional" non-organic ways to fight the pests that they discovered on the Ortho Problem Solver site. Explain that today we are going to research organic solutions to the same problem.

Activity 1 - Pick Your Poison
Now that your students know which types of pests they are up against, it is their job to
come up with a proposed solution. Six "Alternatives to Pesticides" stations will be set up
around the room. Each station will have a different information sheet on the following six
topics: Barriers, Biological Controls, Companion Planting, Crop Rotation, Home
Remedies, and Trapping. Students will be given 5 minutes at each station to gather
information. Each student in the pair should visit three stations and then share the
information that they gathered with their partner. The students will want to take general
notes for their final project and notes specific to the pest(s) they are working on. In pairs,
students will write a short paragraph about how they will control the pests that may infest
their crop. Students will use this document to guide the design of their presentations on
Day 3.

Activity 2 - Homework
To be or not to be Pesticide Free? We have learned that pesticides are harmful to human health; yet, most produce bought is treated with pesticides. In the next activity, entitled "To be or not to be Pesticide Free," students will research the cost, appearance and availability of organic and non-organic produce. Students will be required to visit a grocery store or farmer's market to complete this activity. (You might consider assigning this activity over a weekend.)

Wrap Up:

3: Drawing Conclusions
Daily Challenge Question: What are the costs of buying organic food?

Set-up Directions:
Copy the "Comparison Shopping Class Results" chart on the board or onto a transparency. Make computers with PowerPoint available to students.

Teacher Presentation & Motivation:
Have students take out the "To be or not to be Pesticide Free" sheet. Use the "Comparison Shopping Class Results" chart on the board or overhead to compile student responses.


Activity 1 - What's the Verdict?
Students will next utilize the measures of central tendency by looking at the data collected by the whole class. The "Comparison Shopping Class Results" chart has been included for your convenience. Have students use the chart to find the mean, median, mode, and range of the data and record it on the "Class Comparison" sheet. Then have students create box and whisker
plots of the organic and non-organic bill totals. Lastly, have students individually use the class information to make a recommendation about whether or not they would buy organic food. Have them use the "Business Letter Writing Prompt" to write a letter to the manager of the Giant Food Store. Their letters will chronicle their findings and make recommendations about which type of food to buy. (This can also be completed for homework.)

Activity 2 - Wrapping it Up
As a wrap up to the entire Organic Mechanic: Parts I and II, students in pairs or as individuals, will create presentations on the health and economical pros and cons of using pesticides. In the presentation, students will include examples of alternatives to
pesticides. Students may use a variety of mediums for their final presentation. They should be encouraged to create a PowerPoint presentation, create a brochure, poster, or video.

Wrap Up:
A good wrap-up activity is to review the expectations for the presentation, and have students share their presentations the next day with the class.

Enrichment Options
Community Connection
Have students plan and plant an organic vegetable garden and donate the food to a local food bank.


Field Experiences

Visit a local organic farm. Learn about what pesticide-free means are used to control pests on a large scale.

* Guest Speaker:
Invite a local farmer into the classroom to discuss personal views on using pesticides verses utilizing alternative methods.



Cross-Curricular Extensions
* Social Studies
Students will research farming methods utilized in other countries. Students can also study the climate and soil conditions of other countries.
    
* Language Arts
Have students write a persuasive letter to a local grocery store, urging them to carry more organic food items.
    
* Mathematics
Have students calculate the costs of growing a garden from start to finish. Costs should include seeds, garden tools and any other items vital to sustaining a garden.
 
* Fine Arts and Mathematics
Have students build a scale model of a garden.


Stage 4
Teacher Reflection


As a reflective practitioner, note how this lesson could be adjusted after its initial implementation. How successful were the students? What did the assessment demonstrate about the students’ learning?  What skills do the students need to revisit?  What
instructional strategies worked and what made them successful?  What will you change the next time you use this lesson?  Why? 


Author: Doug Fireside and Felicity Ross
Modified by: Mike Steele