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Springtime is the Perfect Time to Teach the Plant Kingdom!

Introduction to the Plant Kingdom
Complete Teaching Unit
(Bundle of Products)

By far, the most popular items in my TpT store are my complete unit plan bundles.  These unit plan bundles contain everything you need to teach a thorough and complete unit to a typical biology or life science class.  All of my unit plan bundles come with a colorful and engaging PowerPoint presentation, notes for the teacher, notes outline for the student, several labs, homework assignments, daily quizzes, crossword puzzles for vocabulary review, review PowerPoints, and a final unit test.

I have just recently completed my latest unit plan bundle.  It is called "Introduction to the Plant Kingdom."  No biology class is complete without a survey of the Kingdom Plantae.  In short, life could not exist on earth without the plants.  Plants are the producers in every food chain.  Plants carry out photosynthesis, producing organic compounds from inorganic compounds.  The plant uses much of this glucose as a source of energy, but a portion of the glucose is passed up the food chain.  This sustains life on earth.  Not only do plants produce food for all heterotrophs, they also provide the oxygen that fills our atmosphere.

Simply put, this is one of the “must-teach” topics in a biology class!

This complete teaching bundle contains 10 separate products bundled into one digital download.  When appropriate, I have included each product as a Word document, and I have also included each product in PDF form.  Each of these products is sold separately in my TpT store, but buying the entire unit in one download will save you money.  If these products were purchased separately, the total cost would be $30.00.  I am selling this bundled package of products for $19.99.

All products have answer keys included.

The bundled unit contains the following.  Details of each product can be found below.
1. A 97-Slide PowerPoint with Notes for Teacher and Student
2. A 130-Slide Review PowerPoint
3. Lab:  Liverworts, Mosses, and Ferns
4. Lab: Transpiration in Plants
5. Lab:  Diversity in the Plant Kingdom (A Living Plant Lab)
6. Homework Question Packet of 99 questions
7. A Set of 3 Quizzes
8. A set of 2 Crossword Puzzles
9. Graphic Organizer Study Aid
10. Unit Test of 100 Questions

Topics covered by this Unit:
1.  Introduction to Plants:  Importance of plants to life on Earth, definition of a plant.
2.  Plant life cycle:  Alternation of generations, sporophyte and gametophyte generations, haploid and diploid phases, the production of spores by meiosis, flow chart showing alternation of generations.
3.  The Transition of Plants to Land:  The algae were the first plants on earth, evidence that algae are the ancestors to the land plants, advantages to a life on land, challenges to a life on land.
4.   Cladogram showing the evolution of mosses, liverworts, ferns, gymnosperms, and angiosperms from ancestral algae.
5.   Traits of the True Land Plants:  Alternation of generations, spores produced by sporangia, multicellular gametangia, apical meristems, vascular tissue, nonmotile gametes, root system, protection from dehydration.
6.   Classification of Land Plants:  Vascular and nonvascular land plants, bryophytes, tracheophytes, seedless plants, seed plants, gymnosperms, angiosperms, monocots and dicots.
7.   Flow chart showing the classification of the land plants.
8.   Bryophytes:  Characteristics of bryophytes, examples of bryophytes, explanation of why the bryophytes are still tied to a watery existence, bryophytes are nonvascular plants, bryophytes have a dominant gametophyte generation.
9.   Example:  The Liverworts.  Characteristics of liverworts, students will draw and label the structures of a liverwort, liverwort life cycle.
10. Example:  The Mosses.  Characteristics of mosses, students will draw and label the structures of a moss, moss life cycle.
11. The Seedless Vascular Plants:  The evolution of vascular tissue, the importance of xylem and phloem, why ferns are classified as seedless vascular plants.
12. Characteristics of ferns, students will draw and label the structures of a fern, fern life cycle.
13. The Seed Plants:  Seed plants are the dominant plants on earth, two groups of seed plants, gymnosperms and angiosperms, the advantage of having a type of reproduction free from water, adaptations seen in the seed plants, cones and flowers, pollen, seeds, the evolution of seed plants.
14. Characteristics of gymnosperms.
15. Characteristics of angiosperms.
16. Comparison of monocots and dicots.

Below I have listed each product with a brief description.  I have included a hyperlink to each individual product.  You can click on the links below to view a complete and thorough description of each product and download a free preview of the product.

Introduction to Plants PowerPoint with Notes for Teacher and Student

It consists of 97 slides that are colorful, informative and visually stimulating.  Pictures and diagrams are included that will greatly enhance your instruction to your students.  This product also includes a set of notes for the teacher (12 pages) and a set of notes in outline form for the student (17 pages).  Graphics, diagrams, clip art, and photographs were chosen to capture the attention of the student as the lesson is being taught.

This product contains 3 quizzes that can be used at various stages as the unit is being taught.   I always break up the content into manageable amounts of study material and give my students several small quizzes on this material prior to the unit test.

This document is a 9-page student worksheet consisting of 99 questions.  As I am teaching my introductory unit on plants, I assign a portion of these questions for homework each night.  This document provides quality homework assignments and ends up being a completed and thorough study guide for the unit test.

This PowerPoint consists of 130 slides of questions and answers and  provides an excellent review for the chapter test.

This is an in depth lab that looks at the structures of mosses, liverworts, and ferns.  You will need quite a few prepared slides to be able to do this lab.   Students are asked to compare Bryophytes to Tracheophytes and will discuss which are truly adapted to life on land and why.

1.  To measure the amount of water lost from the leaves of a plant over a given amount of time.
2.  To calculate the surface area of leaves on a plant.
3.  To calculate the rate of transpiration from the leaf under different environmental conditions.

In this lab, students will circulate through 8 different lab stations.  At each station, the student is required to make a drawing and answer 5 to 8 questions.  The eight stations are as follows:
Station #1  Living Mosses
Station #2  Living Ferns
Station #3  Fern Gametophyte
Station #4  Living Gymnosperm
Station #5  Pine Pollen
Station #6  Living Angiosperm with Flower (dicot)
Station #7  Living Angiosperm (monocot)
Station #8  Fruits

I love crossword puzzles and I use them all the time in my biology classes.  Crossword puzzles are a great way to reinforce and review the many, many vocabulary words covered in a biology class.   Crosswords not only help with strengthening vocabulary, they also provide invaluable spelling practice.

This is a simple study skill graphic organizer that I use with my Biology students to help them prepare for the unit test.  The student will compare and contrast the traits found in liverworts, mosses, ferns, gymnosperms, and angiosperms.*NOTE:  This is one of my FREE items in my TpT store.  Even if you do not purchase this unit plan bundle, please download this freebie!!

This unit test has 100 questions.  There are 63 fill in the blank questions, 11 matching questions, and 26 multiple choice questions.

This final link will return you to the product-listing page on   
Happy Teaching!


Genetics in the Laboratory

Do you want to do a great genetics lab with your students, but don't have time for fruit flies?

Having enough "time" is an issue for me every single year!  I finally had to come to the realization that my fruit fly genetics lab would have to go.  It is such a great lab, but just too time consuming.

Now we grow corn!  It only takes a few minutes to plant and you are practically done!  I do have my students water their corn every few days, and in about 2 weeks we are ready to do the lab.

In corn, green stem (due to chlorophyll production) is dominant over albino stem.  I order seeds that are the F-2 offspring of heterozygous parents.  The expected ratio when the seeds grow is, of course, 3/4 green stem and 1/4 albino stem.  Students then compare the expected ratios to the actual number of each type of offspring observed.

For an added component to the lab, have the students consider the effect of the environment on the expression of the gene. When the seeds are first planted, I have half the class place their trays on a table in front of a window.  The other half of the class place their trays in a cabinet in complete darkness. When the seeds finally sprout and grow, we compare the number of albinos grown in the dark to the number of albinos grown in the light.

For those plants grown in the light, the results are fairly close to the expected 3:1 ratio.  But, the seeds grown in the dark are a different story.  100% of the seeds grown in the dark turn out to be albino.

After this first observation, all trays are left in the light for 48 hours, and a second observation is made two days later.  Miraculously : )  about 3/4's of the albinos from the dark trays have now turned green.

Students quickly determine that the environment plays a very important role in gene expression.

If you choose, you can order seeds showing two traits as seen in the photo to the left.  When these seeds were grown, students could determine the expected and actual numbers of green and albino stems as well as the number of tall and dwarf plants.

You can view this lab in my TpT store by clicking this link:

Lab: The Effect of the Environment on Gene Expression

Or, you might want to try this as a "Virtual Lab" for distance learning and 1:1 classrooms.  You can check out the "Virtual Lab Version" by clicking this link.

Earth Day Activities for Grades 2 - 12

Part of our responsibility as science teachers is to teach our science students how to be good stewards of the environment.  I think the first step is to get our kids excited about the living organisms that inhabit this planet.  As a biology teacher, I do this every day!  Each day in my class, I throw out a bit of fun trivia, or discuss the characteristics of an unusual creature or show a 1-2 minute video from youtube.  I do this each and every day.  It only takes a couple of minutes, and then we move on to the lesson of the day.

But now we are to the time of the year that we need to start thinking about some special activities for Earth Day.  I have developed a set of PowerPoint slides that I call "The Mother Nature Awards for the Planet Earth."

Here is an example of one of the slides:

Each slide has a photograph (or two) of an unusual plant or animal, followed by 4-6 fun and interesting facts about that living organism.  The response from my high school students is quite good.  They really enjoy hearing about my "award-winning" creatures.

These are suitable for grades 2 - 12.  

For the younger kids, I developed a set of activity worksheets.  The listing for grades 2-5 comes with a set of activity worksheets (42 pages) for the students to complete as the PowerPoint slide is being viewed.  The finished worksheets can be put together to make a great Mother Nature Award book.

The listing for grades 6-12 comes with a worksheet for students to conduct their own research to develop a PowerPoint slide for a Mother Nature Award of their own choosing.  This makes a nice homework assignment for a grade, or for a great extra credit opportunity.

And finally, students of all ages can enjoy this FREE PowerPoint that I created on the history and the background of Earth Day.

Whatever you decide to do for Earth Day, just make sure the students understand how important it is that we all work together to save Planet Earth.

Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day Freebie! A History of Earth Day

Earth Day
April 22

Most of our students know that we celebrate Earth Day "sometime in the spring", but do your students know the origin and history of Earth Day?

The first Earth Day was organized by Wisconsin senator Gaylord Nelson, and was held in 1970.  Since that first observance of Earth Day, it has turned into a global event that is recognized by millions around the globe. I prepared a 25-slide PowerPoint for my biology students to teach them about the history, background, and origin of Earth Day.  This is a FREE download and all are welcome to use it in your classrooms.  It is suitable for children of all ages.

Enjoy this freebie......
.....and Happy Earth Day!!