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Check out this description of the project as taught by the author.

A tutorial for teachers new to problem-based learning.

Getting Started:
The invitation to learn for this lesson includes the online letter from an upper level class with access to weather information and data AND a sick plant. To make the task the most authentic, the sick plant should spend some time in the upper level class (maybe they want to "make it sick") so those students develop an interest in the research the younger students will do.

When the students brainstorm reasons for the plant to be sick, they should be identifying factors they know about that influence plant growth. For example:

This discussion leads directly to creating small research groups around one of he factors affecting plant growth.

Printing Student Pages:
This unit is targeted for second graders. The Website uses frames which makes it difficult for students to print out material. You should print out these pages for your students:

Making a School Website:
We have included five templates for students to make their own Website if you have access to a school server. While your students can view the templates from our server, you will need copies of the templates and three images.

One template is for the homepage. The others are for each small group that studies the effect of one factor on plant growth. We have included four templates set up for light, soil, temperature and water. Review the templates and edit them for your class. You can view source and save the HTML pages from the name link or download the files from the rtf file link.

To get the images, click on the image, hold own the mouse button and "save this image as." Be sure to keep the same name for this image. If you create a replacement image, use the same name for your image. Create a folder called graphics and put the images in the graphics folder.

Now, create a folder for the templates and the graphics folder and you are ready to serve the templates from your Website. Note that you add a photo from your own class to the homepage. Save the photo as a jpeg and name the file class.jpeg. Put it in the graphics folder.

Alignment with Standards

This project aligns with the following New York State Learning Standards. The student will:

Created for the NTEP II Fermilab LInC program sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office and Friends of Fermilab, and funded by United States Department of Energy, Illinois State Board of Education, North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium which is operated by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL), and the National Science Foundation.

Author: Pam Urso, Ridge Elementary School, New York; Edited by Marge Bardeen, NTEP II PI.
Web Maintainer:
Created: December 6, 1998 - Updated: January 31, 2000