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Plants in the Desert

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Learner Outcome Content Learning Strategy

Compare and contrast desert and non desert plants.

cactus

succulent

propagation


Field Study:
Observe and compare desert and non desert plants

New York Botanical Garden field trip or in-school visit; call 212-220-8748

Class Discussion:
Generate a list of characteristics of a desert plant that distinguishes them from other plants.

Demonstration:
Compare systems of a cactus, succulent, and house plant.


Identify ways that desert plants are adapted to their environment.

adaptations

wax coating

root system

leaf structure

stomata's

pleated structure

dormancy


Activity 2:
Cactus Kids;
Ranger Rick: Discovering Deserts
pp. 19 & 20

Activity 3:
A Seal of Wax
Ranger Rick: Discovering Deserts
p. 23

Video:
Discovering Deserts

Demonstration:
Use video microscope to project and compare the stomata on a desert plant and non desert plant.

Activity 4:
Compare evaporation rate of desert and non desert plants by covering with plastic bag.
Nature with Children of All Ages,
by Edith Sisson
p. 35

Read:
Life in the Deserts
by Lucy Baker (Scholastic)
pp. 8 & 9

Activity 5:
Plant cactus seeds and observe growth and development.
(Obtain live cactus seeds from Carolina Biological)

Read:
Desert Giant: The Saguaro Cactus,
by Barbara Bash

Research:
Select a desert plant; find out about it; present a report to class (i.e. size, shape, adaptations, leaves, growth, propagation, interesting facts).