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Organisms: Life and Growth


K, 1st, 2nd


Science, Biology


90 minutes

Regional Focus



Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Plant Survival (Water and Plant Survival #3)

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Feb 25, 2024
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In this lesson, students learn about science experiments, design and execute an experiment to learn about what plants need to survive, and communicate their findings to others.

Step 1 - Inquire:  Students observe the differences between freshwater, brackish water, and saltwater in order to make predictions about what plants need to survive.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students design and carry out an experiment to test their predictions about what plants need to survive. 

Step 3 - Inspire: Students use their findings to add information to their art project.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • Students engage in many of the Next Generation Science Standards Science and Engineering Practices.

  • Students have the opportunity to develop and execute an experiment.

  • Students use both sketching and writing as observational tools.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This is lesson 3 of 4 in our K-2nd grade Water and Plant Survival unit.

  • You will need the following materials for activity in the Inquire section:

    • 1-liter pitcher of plain water

    • 1-liter pitcher of water with about 2 teaspoons of salt dissolved

    • 1-liter pitcher of water with about 6 teaspoons of salt dissolved

    • A small cup for each student

  • You will need the following materials for the pre-filled experiment in the Investigate section:

    • 3-6 plants (choose one type of plant, 1-2 plants will receive freshwater, 1-2 plants will receive brackish water, and 1-2 plants will receive saltwater)

    • A measuring cup

    • A sunny location

  • The Inspire section of this lesson builds on Lesson 2 of the Water and Plant Survival unit. The mural will be completed in Lesson 4. If you are choosing to only complete this lesson, you may wish to show students this video from Lesson 2 and discuss how they can create a class mural without creating it on a large scale.


  • You can choose the scientist video in the Investigate section that is the best fit for your students. Options include Sesame Street: Bouncing Balls or A Study in Stream Ecology. The Teacher Slideshow includes slides with questions specific to each video.

  • The Investigate section offers several options for experimentation. Each option will provide students with the understanding needed to complete subsequent lessons in the unit. The three options include:

    • Students may create their own experiment, with teacher support.

    • Students may participate in an experiment where the procedure is provided. 

    • Students can look at data collected from an experiment and discuss the findings.

Scientist Notes

The lesson allows students to use scientific method to inquire about how different plants can survive across fresh water, salt water, and brackish water. It allows students to investigate the changes and predict the water conditions required for plants to survive. All images, videos, and accompanying materials featured in the lesson have been reviewed. This lesson has passed our science review process.


This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

Supporting Standards

  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • RI.K.3 With prompting and support, describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.
      • RI.1.3 Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.
      • RI.2.3 Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.
  • Science
    • LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
      • K-LS1-1. Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • 2-LS2-1. Plan and conduct an investigation to determine if plants need sunlight and water to grow.

Note On Standards:

This lesson is aligned to SubjectToClimate standards. Review the aligned standards directly in the lesson plan document and teacher slideshow.

Discover more on SubjectToClimate.


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