The purpose of this unit is for students to understand the life cycle of a strawberry plant and how they are grown through interactive activities and applications involving weather tools, clocks, bar graphs, and letter writing.
Reading, Science, Math, Social Studies
Analog clock: a clock that displays time by hands on a dial rather than by digital numbers.
Anemometer: an instrument that measures the speed of wind or other gases.
Attribute: a characteristic or inherent part of someone or something.
Barometer: an instrument measuring atmospheric pressure, used for forecasting weather and determining altitude.
Cardinal directions: north, south, east, and west directions often notated on maps and other documents: N-North, S-South, E-East, and W-West.
Celsius: a scale of temperature whereas water freezes at 0 degrees and boils at 100 degrees.
Community: a group of people living in the same place or having characteristics in common.
Consumer: a person who purchases goods and services.
Crops: cultivated plants that are grown as food, such as grains, fruits, or vegetables.
Crown (stem): a short, thickened stem which has a growing point at the upper end and forms roots at its base.
Daughter plant: a plant that is naturally reproduced through the mother plant.
Digital clock: a clock that displays time in numerical digits.
Fahrenheit: a scale of temperature whereas water freezes at 32 degrees and boils at 212 degrees.
Farm: an area of land used for growing crops and raising livestock.
Farmer’s Market: a food market where local farmers sell fruit, vegetables and other goods directly to consumers.
Flower: the seed bearing parts of a plant, consisting of reproductive organs.
Fruit: a fleshy product of a tree or plant that contains seeds and can be eaten as food.
Hour: period of time, usually denoted by 60 minute time intervals.
Intercardinal directions: the directions in between each cardinal direction: northeast (NE), northwest (NW), southeast (SE), and southwest (SW).
Leaves: flattened structures of a plant attached to stems where photosynthesis and transpiration take place.
Life cycle: series of changes in the life of an organism including reproduction.
Minute: period of time equal to 60 seconds; there are 60 minutes in 1 hour.
Parent plant: an organism that has produced one or more organisms similar to itself.
Plasticulture: the use of plastic in agriculture practices to grow and produce food.
Plug: a small-sized seedling, often grown in trays ready to be transplanted into a larger area.
Position: a place where something has been placed.
Precipitation: rain, snow, or hail that falls to the ground.
Producer: a person or country, that makes, grows, or supplies goods for sale.
Propagation: the breeding of an organism (plant) by natural processes from the parent stock.
Rain gauge: an instrument used to measure and gather liquid precipitation over a period of time.
Roots: part of the plant growing underground to support the plant and provide water and nutrients by numerous branches and fibers.
Runner: a shoot, or branch off of the strawberry plant often referred to as “daughter plants.”
Seed: a flowering plant’s unit of reproduction.
Stem: the main body or stalk of a plant or shrub typically seen above ground.
Strawberry: a sweet, soft red fruit with a seed-studded surface.
Standard units: a measurement often used such as inch, foot, centimeter, or liter. A standard unit of measurement remains the same and does not change. For example, an inch ruler is used to measure different objects’ length in inches.
Sundial: an instrument showing the time from the shadow of a pointer cast by the sun onto a plate marked with hours of the day.
Temperature: a measure of the warmth or coldness of an object or substance with reference to some standard value.
Transplant: process of moving a fully germinated seedling or a mature plant and replanting it in a permanent location for the growing season.
Water cycle: cycle of processes where water circulates between the earth’s oceans, atmosphere, and land, involving precipitation as rain and snow, drainage in streams and rivers, and returning to the atmosphere by evaporation and transpiration.
Wind speed: speed of the wind, measured by the speed of blowing air.
Strawberries are unique! Did you know strawberries are the only fruit that wear seeds on the outside? Most fruits that are categorized as “berries” contain their seeds inside the fruit; however, strawberries are not considered a true berry. Strawberries are a member of the rose family. There are several different fruits and berries that belong to the rose family including raspberries, blackberries, cherries, apples, and pears. Strawberry plants are perennials. That means if you plant one it will grow back year after year, but most strawberry farmers do not use this method. Instead they purchase strawberry plugs, which are young, small strawberry plants that are grown and then transplanted in the farmer’s strawberry patch. Strawberries are also the first fruit to ripen in the spring, and no other small fruit produces berries as soon after planting as strawberry plants.2
Strawberries have many health benefits. Listed here are a few facts to better understand their health benefits.
In North Carolina, strawberry farmers plant in the fall, around late September through early October, depending on the location. The plants are planted as transplants in rows on raised beds. The raised beds are covered with a special plastic that is typically black in color. This plastic serves as a weed barrier, increases soil warmth through insulation, holds in moisture, and provides a clean surface for strawberries to grow and ripen. Between the rows, rye grass is often planted to prevent soil erosion. Throughout the growing season, farmers watch the weather for rain and extreme temperatures that drop below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower). They irrigate the berries in dry conditions with watering systems, such as sprinklers or drip tape laid beneath the black plastic. Additionally, during winter months, with below freezing temperatures sprinkler systems are used to provide a layer of ice as a barrier for frost protection for the strawberry plants. Strawberries are typically harvested in late April through May, and can continue to June, depending on weather and location.
Did you know that if an average of 25 strawberry plants were planted, these plants and the resulting runner plants would produce 25 quarts of strawberries? Imagine nearly 6 gallons of strawberries produced from 25 plants.2 If it takes approximately 5 lbs. of strawberries to make a gallon, how many lbs. could a farmer sell from 25 strawberry plants? Answer: 30 lbs.
Before you begin identify any food allergies among the students. Provide them with a few favorite breakfast and snack foods such as a strawberry pop tart, fruit roll-up, and any other foods with strawberry as an ingredient. Allow students to conduct a taste-testing party. Ask students, “What is your favorite snack food you sampled today? What is the common feature among these different snacks?” Direct student conversations by explaining that the snack foods they sampled contain strawberries to provide a desirable flavor. Ask students the following questions:
Create a class pictograph, bar graph, or tally chart to display the information. Explain to students the next several days/weeks we are going to be learning more about strawberries and how important they are in our diet and in our community.
Standards: 2.E.1.2, 2.E.1.4, 2.MD.7, W.2.8, SL.2.1
Essential Question: Why is weather important to strawberry farmers?
Standards: 2.E.1.1, 2.E.1.2, 2.E.1.4, W.2.5, W.2.6, RI.2.5, RI. 2.7
Standards: W.2.2, W.2.5, W.2.6, W.2.7, W.2.8, 2.L.1.1, SL.2.1
Essential Files/Links (see list on Page 1 for downloadable files)
Essential Question: What is the life cycle of a strawberry plant?
Venn diagram: Students will compare and contrast plants/animals. With a Venn diagram, two circles overlap to form a center that stand for similarities (comparison of two organisms) and the outer part of the circles stand for differences (contrast of two organisms).
Top Hat Comparison Chart: This chart is a compare/contrast chart. The top two rectangles drawn vertically stand for the differences (contrast of two organisms) and the bottom rectangle drawn horizontally stands for similarities (comparing two organisms). The rectangles form together an image similar of a “top hat.”
Gallery walk: Students will place their work on their desk. Instruct students to stand up in front of their desk and/or area. Tell students that when entering a museum or art gallery you are to be respectful and reverent (quiet and polite). Students will walk quietly around the room viewing classmates’ work, without speaking or touching other students’ work. Students will rotate through the classroom to view all work. One extension could be allowing them to leave notes of encouragement or questions for further understanding while they are participating in the gallery walk.
Standards: 2.E.1.1, 2.MD.7, 2.MD.10, SL.2.1, 2.G.1.1
Extension: Plant your own Strawberry Plant
Standards: 2.L.2.1, 2.L.2.2, SL.2.1, W.2.8
Essential Files/Links (see list on Page 1 for downloadable files):
Essential Question: What are the parts of a strawberry plant?
Common North Carolina Varieties:
See Link here: https://www.ces.ncsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/berries.jpg
Explain to students that, just like us, we are all different, but have lots of similarities too. Say, “We are all different varieties.”
Identify together: both plants have roots, stems, leaves, fruits, flowers, runner, etc. These are examples of their similarities. As you are discussing the similarities with students, be sure to add that strawberries are actually in the rose family (possibly show students an image of a rose shrub).
Identify together: one variety is grown in a warmer climate, the berries are larger on one strawberry plant than the other, one variety has rounder berries and the other berries come to a point at the bottom of the fruit.
Standards: W.2.3, L.2.2, L.2.2B, L.2.2C, L.2.3, SL.2.1
Essential Question: Are farmers important to our community?
Standards: 2.MD.A.1, 2.MD.A.2, 2.MD.A.3, 2.E.1.2, 2.E.1.5, 2.MD.2.8
Allow students to brainstorm their ideas and interact with each other and talk about what they saw on the video.
Display a Money Anchor Chart (teacher-created) and have play money and/or money mats for students to practice counting money. Students should be able to identify how many coins it takes to equal one dollar. Students should also be able to identify the value of each coin and bill at this station. Allow students to practice and interact with each other counting out the plastic/play money.
100 pennies = $1.00
10 dimes = $1.00
20 nickels = $1.00
4 quarters = $1.00
Map Lesson: show students a short map video and explain to them the difference between cardinal directions (North, South, East, West), and intercardinal directions (Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, and Southwest).
Learn About Maps Video:
Use a map to show students where strawberries are grown in North Carolina. Refer to page 23 in the book, showing students the following image:
Begin by asking students, “Do you think measurement is important to farmers? What kinds of tools do you think a farmer may use?” Students may identify that farmers use a ruler, tape measure, etc. Take this time to Google different measurement tools and show different examples to students.
Provide student materials. First, give each student an inch ruler, and explain to students that this is a standard unit of measurement because it never changes. Show student examples of other measurement tools: meter stick, yard stick, etc.
Weather is one of the most crucial variables for strawberry farmers’ success. Each year, they try to determine the best time to set out their plants based on predictions for the coming year. Yields and the start of harvest are affected by when they plant and how cool/warm the weather is in the fall, winter, and spring. The most sensitive period is in the spring, when plants are flowering and frosts can damage or kill the flowers, buds, and developing fruit. Growers then protect their plants with overhead irrigation and/or row covers. During that vulnerable period, growers listen carefully for forecasts of a frost/freeze event in their area. Many have frost alarms that will wake them up at night when temperatures fall to a certain level, so they start their irrigation system (which they have to do before temperatures actually reach freezing). Frost/freeze events happen every year, and strawberry growers are prepared for them. (School gardens will want to watch the weather too, and cover their plants if frost might damage them.)
Other particular weather issues for strawberries:
Farmers are essential to the needs of the community. Students should recognize that most of the food they eat was grown on a farm, processed in a factory, and sent to the store where consumers purchase it. These foods are available year-round in supermarkets and restaurants. Fresh produce is now available year-round because it comes from farms in many parts of the U.S. and from other countries, but North Carolina farmers grow lots of fruits and vegetables. The produce from local farmers is available during the part of the year when our climate allows them to be grown and harvested.
Strawberries are perennial plants. The same plant can survive and bear fruit many years, by growing runners and new plants off of those runners. This is how many home gardeners and some commercial growers, mostly in more northern areas, raise their strawberries. Among commercial growers, this practice is generally called “matted row.” Strawberry farmers in the Southeast (as well as in Florida and California) raise their strawberries as annual plants, harvesting them for only one year. North Carolina farmers set out their plants in the fall (September/October), harvest them in the spring (April-June), and then turn the plants under and start all over again the next fall with new plants. Planting on black plastic helps keep the plants growing during the winter so there can be a good harvest the following spring. These first year plants are very productive and have large fruit; those growers who choose to keep plants for a second year of harvest find that berries tend to be much smaller; in addition, plants that are carried over through the summer don’t do well with the North Carolina heat and are much more likely to get diseases in the heat and humidity that will then affect the next summer’s crop.
A strawberry plant has seven distinct parts. The roots, which serve the strawberry plant by collecting nutrients and water from the ground, are under the ground. The crown or stem is strong and supports the parts of the strawberry above ground. The leaf helps to carry out photosynthesis. The white flower serves for the bees to pollinate to produce a strawberry. The fruit itself growing on the strawberry plant will be picked for others to eat. The runner, which has a shoot off of the original plant, can produce a daughter plant. See a Diagram of a Strawberry Plant (see Essential Files).
Agriculture and the Environment
Plant and Animals for Food, Fiber, & Energy
Food, Health, and Lifestyle
Culture, Society, Economy & Geography Outcomes
RI.2.7 Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram showing how a machine works) contribute to and clarify a text.
RI.2.5 Know and use various text features (e.g., captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently.
W.2.2 Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.
W.2.5 With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing.
W.2.6 With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.
W.2.7 Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., read a number of books on a single topic to produce a report; record science observations).
W.2.8 Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
W.2.3 Write narratives in which they recount a well-elaborated event or short sequence of events, include details to describe actions, thoughts, and feelings, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide a sense of closure.
L.2.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
L.2.2.B Use commas in greetings and closings of letters.
L.2.2.C Use an apostrophe to form contractions and frequently occurring possessives.
L.2.3 Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
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.
2.E.1.2 Summarize weather conditions using qualitative and quantitative measure to describe: Temperature, Wind direction, Wind speed, Precipitation
2.E.1.1 Summarize how energy from the sun serves as a source of light that warms the land, air, and water.
2.E.1.4 Recognize the tools that scientists use for observing, recording, and predicting weather changes from day to day and during the seasons.
2.L.2.1 Identify ways in which many plants and animals closely resemble their parents in observed appearance and ways they are different.
2.L.2.2 Recognize that there is variation among individuals that are related.
2.L.1.1 Students know that animals experience a cycle of life which begins with birth, then a period of time in which the animal develops into an adult. At adulthood, animals reproduce in order to sustain their species. In nature, all animals are programmed to age and eventually die. The details of the life cycle are different for specific animals.
2.MD.7 Tell and write time from analog and digital clocks to the nearest five minutes, using a.m. and p.m.
2.MD.2.8 Solve word problems involving dollar bills, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies, using $ and ¢ symbols appropriately. Example: If you have 2 dimes and 3 pennies, how many cents do you have?
2.MD.10 Draw a picture graph and a bar graph (with single-unit scale) to represent a data set with up to four categories. Solve simple put-together, take-apart, and compare problems using information presented in a bar graph.
2.MD.A.1 Measure the length of an object by selecting and using appropriate tools such as rulers, yardsticks, meter sticks, and measuring tapes.
2.MD.A.2 Measure the length of an object twice, using length units of different lengths for the two measurements; describe how the two measurements relate to the size of the unit chosen.
2.MD.A.3 Estimate lengths using units of inches, feet, centimeters, and meters.
2.G.1.1 Interpret maps of the school and community that contain symbols, legends and cardinal directions.
2.E.1.5 Explain how money is used for saving, spending, borrowing and giving.
2.E.1.2 Explain the roles and impact producers and consumers have on the economy.
http://brobichaud.pbworks.com/w/page/27565767/Life Cycle of a http://www.schoolrack.com/mcisek/task/
Lessons supported by: