Desert Water Keepers

Science, Art, and Language Arts

Grade Level: Third - April
Teacher of Lesson: Stacey Perri
Approximate Time: Thirty Minutes, Several Days


Objectives: Materials:


Day One:
  1. Ask the students if they can name some ways in which a plant is adapted to survive in the desert. Record these on the board.
  2. Before reading the book, ask the students to listen for ways that cactus plants survive in the desert. Then, read Cactus in the Desert by Phyllis Busch.
  3. Make a chart labeled Water Acquisition and Water Conservation. Discuss the adaptations of the cacti in the book, categorizing each adaptation. (acquisition: a large shallow root system, ability to soak up large quantities of water quickly, and a pleated shape that expands and holds water) (conservation: a waxy external covering to prevent water loss, slow growth, a shape that exposes a small amount of the surface to the air, and thorns to keep animals from nibbling stem).
  4. Inform students that they will be inventing their own plant that they believe would survive in the desert. The criteria are:
  5. The students will sketch the plant that they are going to create in their journals, identifying how they are going to meet the criteria, as well as recording the process of building their plant.
Day Two-Three:
  1. After reviewing the notes that they took in their journals, the students will collect materials and construct their plants.
  2. The students will present the plants that they have created to the class over a number of days. The class will be allowed to challenge any invention that they do not believe meet the criteria.
  3. The students will name their completed plants.


Evaluation: Reteaching Strategies and Follow-Up:
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