Activity 3.5: Evidence-Based Arguments about Plants (50 min)

Target Student Performance

Students (a) use data from their investigations to develop evidence-based arguments about how matter moves and changes and how energy changes when plants grow, move, and function; and (b) identify unanswered questions about matter movement and matter change that the data are insufficient to address.

Resources You Provide

Resources Provided

Recurring Resources


Print one copy of 3.5 Evidence-Based Arguments Tool for Plants for each student. Make sure that the 3.3 Plants in the Light and Dark Class Results 11 x 17 Poster and 3.4 Observing Plants’ Mass Changes Class Results 11 x 17 Posters from previous activities are available. Prepare your computer and projector for the 3.5 Evidence-Based Arguments Tool for Plants PPT. Set up computer, speakers, and projector for students to view the Carbon TIME Growing Plants Video.


1. Use the instructional model to show students where they are in the course of the unit.

Open and show slide 2 of the 3.5 Evidence-Based Arguments Tool for Plants PPT.


During the class discussion, listen for students making connections to the investigation and their arguments. Are they drawing on observations from the investigation or from other sources of knowledge and experience? Use the 3.5 Assessing the Evidence-Based Arguments Tool for Plants to assess your students’ thinking at this point in the unit. . At this point, they have concluded their “up the triangle” journey, and in Lessons 4-5 they will head “down the triangle” for the application sequence.


Have the students store their 3.5 Evidence-Based Arguments Tool for Plants in the same place as their Expressing Ideas and Predictions Tools so they can be easily revisited.

  • Strategic grouping with strong speakers 
  • Provide sentence stems for discussion and filling in the Evidence-Based Arguments Tool
  • Refer to previous Evidence-Based Arguments Tools from Systems and Scale or Animals, if applicable
  • Compare the Evidence-Based Arguments Tool to the Predictions and Planning Tool. Have students verbalize similarities and differences in groups before sharing with the class.
Extending the Learning