Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cooperative learning lesson and freebie

Aren't my titles so creative? I've always struggled with coming up with cute and clever titles for things. This week and last we've been studying plants. It's part of our reading series and it works great for this time of year. I don't like to toot my own horn but we did this great lesson on plants and working in groups. Our book that we read for the week was called Seed Secrets. I tried to find a picture of it on Amazon but I couldn't. Any book about seeds and plants would work. We discussed the parts of the plants and the ways seeds travel that we learned about from the book. As a class we made a list of important words with this topic. I gave each group a large piece of white paper and they had to draw a plant on their paper and then label it. I told them they needed to take turns drawing the picture and working together. I circled around the room and for the most part they were sharing the pencil. They worked for maybe 8 minutes this day. The next day we read From Seed to Plants by Gail Gibbons.
 After reading this book, we discussed what plants needed to grow and they added that to their pictures. They were labeling everything they drew. We reviewed how seeds traveled and how pollen travels. This information was also gained from the books we read. The third day they finished adding all the things we knew about plants to their pictures and coloring them. I made a rubric for the students to use when going over their pictures. They had a checklist to make sure they had done everything that was required. At the bottom of the page, they added up their check marks and colored in the stars to match.
Click here to get your copy of the rubric.

They then presented their pictures to the class. It was a great informal assessment for me to see what all they had learned about plants. They did a great job explaining their pictures and their thinking. Here are some pictures to show how their pictures turned out.

What are ways you have your students work cooperatively?


  1. Love those plant pictures. They did a great job! I love cooperative groups I like to see my kids interacting with each other and having purposeful conversations about what we are learning. They can learn so much through sharing!