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Cactus Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Have your students ever seen a cactus? This lesson plan will help you introduce them to this prickly plant with the help of a text lesson. An activity gives students a chance to create their own model cactus.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • describe a cactus
  • distinguish between different types of cacti
  • discuss the habitat of cacti
  • explain how cacti have adapted to their habitats
  • list key physical characteristics of cacti

Length

60 to 90 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.1

Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.2

Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.3

Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.4

Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.7

Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.

Materials

  • Assorted photographs of cacti
  • A screen to show the video and full-color paper copies of the text for the lesson Cactus Lesson for Kids: Facts & Adaptations
  • A worksheet created using the quiz from the associated lesson
  • Modeling clay
  • Paper plates
  • Plastic spoons
  • Toothpicks
  • Green acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes

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