K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

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Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • collect data to create a computer generated bar graph.
  • will be able to identify the stamen, pistil, and pollen inside a flower.
  • research facts about a foreign country to create a postcard.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

One day


  • Several copies of the trade book Miss Rumphius by Barbary Clooney
  • Index cards
  • Fresh blooms from various flowers
  • Pie pans
  • Hand lens
  • A collection of post cards
  • Avery post card stationary
  • Teacher made fact/recording sheets
  • Rubric

Technology resources

  • Computers with Excel, Kid Pix, Publisher, and access to the internet
  • Data projector and PowerPoint
  • Color printer
  • Document camera


Prior to the lesson students will have studied the basic parts of a plant and their purposes, including roots, stem, leaves, and flowers. Following a review, students will participate in a teacher-led discussion of flowers.



Students will be asked to name their favorite flowers. Responses will be recorded as tally marks. This data will be entered into an Excel spreadsheet and a bar graph will be created and printed.


The teacher will tell the students that they are going to read about a woman who loved flowers and how through her efforts she made the world more pleasant for her neighbors.


  1. Using the document camera, the teacher will model a picture walk and prediction strategies for the students to set the purpose for reading.
  2. The teacher will give the students index cards to record a fact they find interesting or a fact they wish to share with others, during the reading.
  3. Students will break into small groups to practice reading teacher assigned pages. Following about ten minutes of partner reading, groups will form larger groups to read and discuss the entire story.
  4. Students will write a summary of the story.
  5. The class will discuss the story looking at the question, “Is the only purpose of flowers beauty?”


The teacher will lead a discussion if a flower bloom has more purpose than just to make the world beautiful.


  1. Students will review plant vocabulary: stem, roots, leaves, flowers. New vocabulary words will be introduced: pistil, stamen, petal, pollen, pollination, and botanist. Students will predict what they think the word means and then view a PowerPoint slide for each word that includes the definition and clip art visuals to reinforce conceptual understanding.
  2. Students will be given a pie pan of various flower blooms and hand lens. Students will be given sufficient time to investigate the flowers, looking to identify the stamen, pistil, and pollen.
  3. Following sufficient time for investigation, students will complete a skills sheet, recording information such as: name of flower, number of petals, if the flower had a pistil, stamen—or both.
  4. Using a computer and KidPix, students will draw and label a flower.

Social Studies

The teacher will review with the students Miss Rumphius’ travels to far away places. The students will discuss where they would like to go if they could go to a faraway place. The teacher will ask the students if they should go to a faraway place, how they could communicate to their family at home. The students will be shown a postcard with the different sections explained.


  1. The teacher will pass out post cards for students to look at.
  2. Following the post card investigation, the students will be given a computer with internet connectivity and a fact sheet that includes the following information to find: country, capital, monetary unit, religions of that country, and one interesting fact. (Due to time limits, the country will be assigned prior to the lesson.)
  3. Students will use Fact Monster to locate the almanac and find the required information. Students will record their information on their fact sheets.
  4. Using a Publisher pre-made post card template, students will enter their information to create a postcard.
  5. Students will replace a generic clip art picture in the template with a clip art picture that relates to the country they researched.
  6. Students will print their post cards.


  • Labeled flower pictures
  • Country Post Card
  • Written summary of Miss Rumphius

Create rubrics for the assessed items using an online rubric maker such as Rubistar or Recipes4Success.

Suggestions for rubric:

  • Reading Objective: Summary includes accurate information to demonstrate that student was able to comprehend the text. Student was able to find a fact or interesting connection during reading (written on the index card).
  • Math Objective: Student was able to interpret class tally marks in order to make a bar graph. Student was able to accurately enter data and create bar graph. Student was able to write two facts based on looking at the bar graph to demonstrate analysis of the graph.
  • Science: Student used flower picture to write a three-sentence summary of how bees pollinate the flowers. Student used correct vocabulary in his three-sentence summary.
  • CTS: student used Excel correctly to create bar graph. Student used KidPix to draw and label the parts of a flower.

Teacher can create one rubric using all four aspects or create four smaller rubrics (one for each objective).

Supplemental information

Clooney, Barbara. Mrs. Rumphius, Viking Juvenile, 1982. ISBN: 0670479586.

Critical vocabulary

  • stem
  • roots
  • leaves
  • flowers
  • pistil
  • stamen
  • petal
  • pollen
  • pollination
  • botanist


This story is a good selection for use in a character education class. Students can learn about making the world beautiful for others.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • English Language Arts (2010)
      • Speaking & Listening

        • Grade 3
          • 3.SL.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. 3.SL.1.1 Come to discussions prepared,...
          • 3.SL.2 Determine the main ideas and supporting details of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

    • Mathematics (2010)
      • Grade 3

        • Measurement & Data
          • 3.MD.3Draw a scaled picture graph and a scaled bar graph to represent a data set with several categories. Solve one- and two-step “how many more” and “how many less” problems using information presented in scaled bar graphs. For example, draw a bar...

    • North Carolina Essential Standards
      • Information and Technology Skills (2010)
        • 3.TT.1 Use technology tools and skills to reinforce classroom concepts and activities. 3.TT.1.1 Use a variety of technology tools to gather data and information (e.g., Web-based resources, e-books, online communication tools, etc.). 3.TT.1.2 Use a variety...

      • Science (2010)
        • 3.L.2 Understand how plants survive in their environments. 3.L.2.1 Remember the function of the following structures as it relates to the survival of plants in their environments: Roots – absorb nutrients Stems – provide support Leaves – synthesize food...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)

Grade 3

  • Goal 2: The learner will apply strategies and skills to comprehend text that is read, heard, and viewed.
    • Objective 2.02: Interact with the text before, during, and after reading, listening, or viewing by:
      • setting a purpose.
      • previewing the text.
      • making predictions.
      • asking questions.
      • locating information for specific purposes.
      • making connections.
      • using story structure and text organization to comprehend.

Mathematics (2004)

Grade 3

  • Goal 4: Data Analysis and Probability - The learner will understand and use data and simple probability concepts.
    • Objective 4.01: Collect, organize, analyze, and display data (including circle graphs and tables) to solve problems.

Science (2005)

Grade 3

  • Goal 1: The learner will conduct investigations and build an understanding of plant growth and adaptations.
    • Objective 1.05: Observe and discuss how bees pollinate flowers.