4th Grade Plant Growth Challenge


There is a shortage of farmland due to new construction of buildings and human expansion. Your parent has asked you to help with this problem, by finding the best way to grow tomatoes for your family to eat.

Essential Question:

How does light affect the growth of a plant?
What are possible light sources?


Math Standard:

4.NBT.B.4 Fluently add and subtract multi-digit whole numbersusing the standard algorithm.

4.MD.A.1 Know relative sizes of measurement units within onesystem of units including km, m, cm; kg, g; lb, oz.; l, ml; hr, min,sec. Within a single system of measurement, expressmeasurements in a larger unit in terms of a smaller unit. Recordmeasurement equivalents in a two-column table. For example,know that 1 ft is 12 times as long as 1 in. Express the length of a 4ft snake as 48 in. Generate a conversion table for feet and incheslisting the number pairs (1, 12), (2, 24), (3, 36)

Science Standard:

GLE 0407.3.1 Demonstrate that plants require light energy to grow and survive.



TSW plant three separate tomato plants. The constants are: container size, amount of soil and amount of water. The light is the variable: sunlight, no light, or light bulb. TSW measure the height of plant, the temperature of the soil, and the amount of tomatoes growing to decide which light source is best. TSW measure the amount of soil placed in the containers and the water given to the plants. When finished, the students will graph and discuss their findings with their groups.

Experiment Materials:

Same amount of water, same container, same amount of soil, same tomato plant. Three different types of light - sunlight, no light, light bulb.

Real - world connection:

Talk about household locations. Some students live in apartments without yards, houses with lots of shade, etc.

Math Connection:

Find the difference between the size of the plants and the number of tomatoes produced, based on the light used. Measure using rulers, tape measures, graduated cylinders, measuring cups, and thermometers. Convert measurements for length and capacity.

Plant Length Conversion Table

Plant 1
Plant 2
Plant 3
Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Downloadable Resources

Source: Teacher Created for 2015 Summer STEM Trainings, 4th Grade