Plants Lesson 5 Learning Goals

Target Performances


Target Performance

Lesson 5 – Explaining How Plants Grow (students as explainers)

Activity 5.1: Tracing the Process of Potatoes Growing: Biosynthesis

Students “zoom in” to the structure and function of a potato plant’s systems and cells, tracing atoms and energy.

Optional Activity 5.2: Molecular Models for Potatoes Growing: Biosynthesis

Students use molecular models to explain how plants make monomers from glucose and minerals and monomers are linked into polymers during biosynthesis.

Activity 5.3: Explaining How Potato Plants Grow: Biosynthesis

Students explain how matter moves and changes and how energy changes during biosynthesis in a potato plant’s cells.

NGSS Performance Expectations

Middle School

  • MS. Structure and Properties of Matter. MS-PS1-1. Develop models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules and extended structures.
  • MS. Chemical Reactions. MS-PS1-2. Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.
  • MS. Chemical Reactions. MS-PS1-5. Develop and use a model to describe how the total number of atoms does not change in a chemical reaction and thus mass is conserved.
  • MS. Structure, Function, and Information Processing. MS-LS1-3. Use argument supported by evidence for how the body is a system of interacting subsystems composed of groups of cells.
  • MS. Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems. MS-LS1-7. Develop a model to describe how food is rearranged through chemical reactions forming new molecules that support growth and/or release energy as this matter moves through an organism.
  • MS. Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems. MS-LS2-3. Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and non-living parts of an ecosystem.

High School

  • HS. Matter and its Interactions. HS-PS1-4. Develop a model to illustrate that the release or absorption of energy from a chemical reaction system depends upon the changes in total bond energy.
  • HS. Chemical Reactions. HS-PS1-7. Use mathematical representations to support the claim that atoms, and therefore mass, are conserved during a chemical reaction.
  • HS. From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes. HS-LS1-2. Develop and use a model to illustrate the hierarchical organization of interacting systems that provide specific functions within multicellular organisms.
  • HS. Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems. HS-LS1-6. Construct and revise an explanation based on evidence for how carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen from sugar molecules may combine with other elements to form amino acids and/or other large carbon-based molecules.