Author:
Georgia Boatman, Barbara Soots, Ellen Ebert, Kimberley Astle, Washington OSPI OER Project
Subject:
Environmental Science, Education, Elementary Education, Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Reading
Level:
Lower Primary
Grade:
2
Tags:
  • ClimeTime
  • Habitat
  • Interdependence of Organisms
  • Invasive Species
  • Plant
  • Russian Thistle
  • Seed Dispersal
  • Tumbleweeds
  • climetime
  • wa-early-learning
  • wa-ela
  • wa-integrated
  • wa-science
    License:
    Creative Commons Attribution
    Language:
    English
    Media Formats:
    Audio, Downloadable docs, Video

    Education Standards

    Grade 2 - Elementary Science and Integrated Subjects: Tumbling Tumbleweeds

    Grade 2 - Elementary Science and Integrated Subjects: Tumbling Tumbleweeds

    Overview

    Elementary Science and Integrated Subjects is a statewide Clime Time collaboration among ESD 123, ESD 105, and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Development of the resources is in response to a need for research- based science lessons for elementary teachers that are integrated with English language arts, mathematics and other subjects such as social studies. The template for Elementary integration can serve as an organized, coherent and research-based roadmap for teachers in the development of their own NGSS aligned science lessons.  Lessons can also be useful for classrooms that have no adopted curriculum as well as to serve as enhancements for  current science curriculum. The EFSIS project brings together grade level teams of teachers to develop lessons or suites of lessons that are 1) focused on grade level Performance Expectations, and 2) leverage ELA and Mathematics Washington State Learning Standards.

    Introduction: Standards, Phenomena, Big Ideas, Routines

    Washington Standards

    Second Grade Disciplinary Core Ideas include PS1, LS2, LS4, ESS1, ESS2

    For PS1, LS2, LS4 students are expected to develop an understanding of:

    • what plants need to grow
    • how plants depend on animals for seed dispersal and pollination
    • the diversity of life in different habitats

    The Crosscutting Concepts are called out as organizing concepts for these disciplinary core ideas.

    Crosscutting Concepts:

    • patterns
    • cause and effect
    • structure and function

    Students are expected to use the practices to demonstrate understanding of the core ideas.

    Science and Engineering Practices:

    • developing and using models,
    •  planning and carrying out investigations,
    •  analyzing and interpreting data

    Performance Expectation(s)

    2-LS2-1. Plan and conduct an investigation to determine if plants need sunlight and water to grow.
    Looking at Russian Thistle; life cycle and how as the root breaks off it then becomes the tumbleweed.

    2-LS2-2. Develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.
    * Using wind to demonstrate the disbursement of seeds. Future lessons would include the investigation of animal disbursement, as well.

    2-LS4-1. Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.
    Emphasis is on the diversity of invasive species in each of a variety of different habitats and regions (Russian Thistle, ivy, black berries). Develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.

    Science and Engineering Practices

    Which SEPs will be a focus for investigating this topic/phenomenon?

    Demonstrate and Understanding:

    • develop and use models
    • planning and carrying out investigations
    • analyzing & interpreting data

    Crosscutting Concepts

    Which Crosscutting Concepts will be a focus for investigating this topic/phenomenon?

    • Cause & effect (wing and tumbleweed problem)
    • Structure & function (tumbleweed and seed dispersal)

    English Language Arts (ELA) Standards

    How will I Integrate ELA Standards (which standard, what strategy…?)

    RL.2.1 Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

    RL.2.3 Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

    SL.2.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

    W.2.8 Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

    Phenomena

    Can tumbleweeds take over a town? Investigation of how invasive species of plant multiply in such a way that they quickly overtake a habitat.

    Phenomena Resources:

    Open Sci Ed Routines

    RoutineDescription of Routine
    Anchoring Phenomenon RoutineDevelop curiosity to drive learning throughout the suite of lessons or unit based on a common experience of a phenomenon
    Navigation RoutineEstablish and reinforce the connections between what we have previously done in a unit, what we are about to do, what we will do in the future, and what our driving purpose is in the contexts of the suite of lessons or unit.
    Investigation RoutineUse scientific practices to investigate and make sense of a phenomenon
    Putting Pieces Together RoutineTake the pieces of ideas we have developed across multiple lessons and figure out how they can be connected to account for the phenomenon we have been working on
    Problematizing RoutineEvaluate the adequacy of our scientific ideas to explain and phenomenon in order to identify what we still need to understand.

    Routines by OpenSciEd | CC BY

    Lesson 1: Tumbleweed Invasion- Introducing Phenomenon

    Anchoring Phenomena Routine

    Materials:

    • Computer with presentation ability to show the classroom video clips
    • Post-it notes (enough for each student to have two)
    • Resource 1: Noticing and Wondering student worksheet (can be drawn in science notebook instead)
    • Resource 2: Hundreds of tumbleweeds flood a state highway
    • Resource 3: Communicating-in-Scientific-Ways-Poster
    • Chart paper with Noticing and Wondering T chart drawn.

    Preparation:

    • Have the video ready to play after introduction,
    • make enough copies of the student worksheet for each student to have one, have the noticing and wondering T chart from the student worksheet drawn on chart paper.

    Vocabulary:

    • tumbleweed, brush, thicket, shrub

    Integration Points:

    • Look for integration points for English Language Arts and Mathematics within the procedures below. They will be noted in italics and dark blue.

    Procedures

    Procedure 1

    • Assess prior knowledge by asking the class if they know what a tumbleweed is. Have students write or draw what they know about tumbleweeds on a blank page in their science notebooks. When they are finished, have them share with their table or whole group something they know.

    Procedure 2

    • Pass out the Resource 1: Noticing and Wondering student worksheet and 2 post-it notes per student.
    • Talk to the class about what it means to notice and what it means to wonder.
    • Let the class know that they will be watching the video twice and looking for things that they notice or that are new or surprising to them. They will write or draw on a post-it note 1 thing that they noticed in the video. On the other post-it note they will write or draw something that they wonder about. They will place these post-its on their Noticing and wondering T-chart student worksheet (this can be placed inside their science notebook) and they will be taking this to the science circle with them).

    Procedure 3

    • Play the video clip Resource 2: CNN Video Hundreds of tumbleweeds flood a state highway twice and provide time for students to finish writing or drawing on each post-it note.
    •  Walk around and provide support as needed. Have students place their completed post-it notes on their t-charts under notice or wonder. They will be taking these with them to your science circle. W.2.8- Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

    Procedure 4

    • Bring students over to the ‘scientist circle’ with their completed student page. Your ‘science circle’ may be at a carpeted circle area or you may choose to have students sit in chairs set up in a large circle where they can all see the large Notice/Wonder T chart drawn on the chart paper.
    • Once students are settled, review appropriate ways of having science discussions. Resource 3: Communicating-in-Scientific-Ways-Poster
    • Have students look at their post-it that has something that they noticed. Call on students one at a time to share out what they noticed from the video. Have them place their post-it note on your chart paper under notice.
    • Next, have students look at their post-it that has something that they wonder or a question that they have from the video. Call on students one at a time to share out what they wondered from the video. Have them place their post-it note on your chart paper under wonder. (Pulling names on popsicle sticks would be a great way to ensure that the same students are not being called on). SL.2.1-Participate in collaborative conversations

    Procedure 5

    • With the class, sort the post-its by similar ideas or questions and group them on the chart paper to help students begin making connections. Ex: All of these post-it notes mention that it’s very windy. Once post-it notes are sorted, as a class create a sentence or two under notice and a sentence or two under wonder. Ex: The tumbleweeds are moving around because it is very windy. SL.2.1-Participate in collaborative conversations

    Lesson 2: Why do tumbleweeds tumble?

    Navigation Routine

    Investigation Routine

    Materials:

    • Resource 4: Why Do Tumbleweeds Tumble?
    • Computer with presentation ability to show the classroom a short video
    • White copy paper or blank science notebook page
    • Student writing/drawing materials
    • Chart paper for a class initial Consensus I Model
    • Charter Markers

    Preparation:

    • Have the video ready to play after reviewing what students learned during the previous lesson.

    Integration Points:

    • Look for integration points for English Language Arts and Mathematics within the procedures below. They will be noted in italics and dark blue.

    Procedures

    Procedure 1

    • Revisit the sentences that the class wrote at the end of lesson 1.
    • What did the class notice about tumbleweeds? What did the class still have questions about?

    Procedure 2

    • Play video Resource 4: Why Do Tumbleweeds Tumble?

    Procedure 3

    • After the video, in a class discussion, have the class explain why they think tumbleweeds tumble by using what they know and what they have learned so far using pictures and/or words.
    • Ask students to return to their initial model from Lesson 1 and add to that model using a different color, based on what they have learned or seen in the video.
    • Have students share out their models with an elbow partner. Remind them of our Discussion Rules Resource 3: Communicating-in-Scientific-Ways-Poster
    •  W.2.8- Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question, SL.2.1-Participate in collaborative conversations

    Procedure 4

    • Convene the class for a ‘scientist circle’ in a group meeting area of the room (see Lesson 1) with their initial models.
    • Tell students that as a class they are going to draw a first model that shows what they are thinking about the questions “What is a Tumbleweed?” and “Why does it tumble?”
    • Ask students to share something from their model that they think is important to include in the initial class Consensus Model. As they share, check with the group to see if they think that is something that should be included in the class model. As students share, make note and point out areas of agreement, disagreement and where more information is needed. SL.2.1-Participate in collaborative conversation.

    Lesson 3: How do tumbleweeds drop their seeds?

    Investigation Routine

    Materials:

    • Straw
    • Paper towel
    • Sugar (coarser sugar, like “raw sugar” is best)
    • Black paper for underneath

    Preparation:

    • Tear off a sheet of paper towel for each group
    •  Sugar (enough for each group to have 1 teaspoonful
    • 1 straw per group
    • 11x17 sheet of black paper for each group

    Vocabulary:

    • puff of air, crumpled, tumble

    Procedures

    Procedure 1

    • Each group will place 1 teaspoonful of sugar in the center of their paper towel and crumple the paper towel into a ball.
    • Each group will then set the crumpled paper towel onto the edge of the black piece of paper.
    • Using a straw, have one student from each group give a strong puff of air causing the paper towel to move. Be sure that only the designated “blower” uses the straw. Students SHOULD NOT take turns blowing.
    • They should notice sugar falling out onto the black paper. Have them take notice of how much sugar is falling out. Have students record their findings in their science notebook.

    Procedure 2

    • Have students share what happened. What did they notice? What changes would they make?
    • If time allows, let students conduct a second trial using a second teaspoonful of sugar. Challenge them to form the paper towel in a way to keep the sugar in.
    • After making their changes and observing what happens with the sugar as students to discuss the questions: Did more sugar fall out? Did the paper towel move differently? Have students record in their science notebook.

    Straw,  Paper Towel, Sugar to make tumbleweed model  Teacher demonstrates blowing paper towel tumbleweed with straw  
     J. Dunn, T. Huntington, authors

    Lesson 4: Tumbleweed Fiction and Fact

    Investigation Routine

    Materials:

    • Paperback book, The Tiniest Tumbleweed by Kathy Peach OR Resource 5: Storytime Pup Children's Book Read Aloud:
    • Resource 6: Sets of 4 Russian Thistle Fact Cards enough for groups of 4 students to read a different card each
    •  Resource 3: Communicating-in-Scientific-Ways-Poster

    Preparation:

    • Purchase book The Tiniest Tumbleweed by Kathy Peach (available at www.TiniestTumbleweed.com and/or Amazon)
      OR Access a video of the read aloud such as Resource 5: Storytime Pup Children's Book Read Aloud
    • Make copies of Sets of the 4 Russian Thistle Fact Cards, enough for groups of 4 students to read a different card each

    Vocabulary:

    • tumbleweeds, house sparrows, desert, roots, Russian Thistle,

    Procedures

    Procedure 1

    • Read aloud The Tiniest Tumbleweed. Asking students periodically questions about the characters in the story, where it takes place, how characters feel, what they do in response to other characters, etc.
    • Have students “vote” with a thumbs up in front of their chest whether they think this is a true story, non-fiction or make believe, fiction. Ask them why they think their vote is correct (this is a fiction book because tumbleweeds can’t talk, birds don’t worry or get sad, etc.)

    Procedure 2

    • Now ask students if there are any things in the story that might be true about tumbleweeds. (students should come up with the ideas that tumbleweeds do tumble, animals do depend on tumbleweeds).

    Procedure 3

    • Group students in groups of 4 students. Group students strategically with a range of reading levels in each group.
    • Remind them to use their Discussion Rules: Resource 3: Communicating-in-Scientific-Ways-Poster.
    •  Tell students that they will each have a different card with different information on it and when they are done reading they will be the expert on the information from their card. They will need to share the important information with their group.
    • Pass out the Russian Thistle Fact Cards. They each have a Lexile range so teachers can group and assign cards strategically. distribute one of each card for each group of four.
    • Each student reads their Fact Card highlighting or underlining important details.
    • When the group is done reading, they should share key information on the card with their group mates.
    • Alternatively, if you have more time: group readers of the same cards into reading groups. Have them read the cards individually and then work together to identify the important facts about Russian Thistle. Then they can regroup into groups where each member has one of the different four cards. In the new group they share the important information they discovered while reading and discussing their Fact Card. SL.2.1-Participate in collaborative conversation, RI.2.1 Demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

    Procedure 4

    • Invite the class to convene at the class consensus model. Ask them what details should be added to the model now that they have read and discussed some of the factors about Russian Thistle/tumbleweeds.
    • Elicit a few facts from each card to add statements to the class consensus model. SL.2.1-Participate in collaborative conversation.

    Lesson 5: Interdependence of species

    Putting Pieces Together Routine

    Materials:

    • Resource 7: Washington State Cards

    Preparation

    • Print copies of Resource 7: Washington State Cards for each group so that each group has a complete set of the 3 kinds of cards

    Vocabulary

    • Landscape, mountains, beach, rainforest, shrub steppe
    • Invasive species, Russian thistle, English Ivy, Himalayan blackberries, cattails
    • animals: house sparrow, Painted Lady butterflies, black bear, marsh wren

    Procedures

    Procedure 1

    • Tell students that plants and animals do depend on each other to survive and that includes the tumbleweed.
    • Ask them to think of ways that some animal might depend on the tumbleweed.
    • Share with students that the class will think about how plants and animals might depend on each other in real life in Washington. The goal with these cards is to identify where one would find each of the invasive species of plants in Washington State and then identify what creature would rely on that plant. Make assumptions of why the animal is attracted to that species and type of landscape in our beautifully diverse state.

    Procedure 2

    • Divide Students into groups of 3-4 students. They will have 3-5 minutes to complete a sorting activity.
    • Students are to group cards together with one landscape, one animal, and one invasive species that they agree would go together.
    • They must be able to give reasons why they chose the pairing.
    • Display the Discussion Rules. Remind students that scientists follow these rules when they talk to each other. SL.2.1-Participate in collaborative conversation
    • Set the time and have students begin. Circulate to check for reasoning.
    • After 5 minutes, bring the class back together. Take turns having groups share one of their groupings and explanations.
      • Why did you group these cards together?
      • What clues did you use?

    Attribution and License

    Attribution

    NGSS Lead States. 2013. Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press | Public License

    Common Core State Standards © Copyright 2010. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers. All rights reserved | Public License

    License

    "
    Except where otherwise noted, this work developed for ClimeTime is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. All logos and trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Sections used under fair use doctrine (17 U.S.C. § 107) are marked.

    This resource may contain links to websites operated by third parties. These links are provided for your convenience only and do not constitute or imply any endorsement or monitoring.

    If this work is adapted, note the substantive changes and re-title, removing any ClimeTime logos. Provide the following attribution:

    This resource was adapted from Tumbling Tumbleweeds by ClimeTime and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Access the original work for free in the ClimeTime group on the OER Commons Washington Hub.

    This resource was made possible by funding from the ClimeTime initiative, a state-led network for climate science learning that helps teachers and their students understand climate science issues affecting Washington communities.

    ClimeTime logo