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Organisms: Life and Growth


K, 1st, 2nd


Science, Biology, Visual and Performing Arts


105 minutes

Regional Focus



Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Salt and Plants (Water and Plant Survival #4)

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Dec 8, 2023
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In this lesson, students reflect on how salt affects plants, learn how some communities are finding ways to grow plants in saltier conditions, and create a mural to share their learning with the community.

Step 1 - Inquire: Students reflect on the results of the experiment in Lesson 3 and the effects of salt on plants.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students read about the effects of salinity on crops around the world and consider the requirements for plant survival in a different context.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students combine knowledge from Lessons 1-4 of the unit and create a mural to educate their community.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson creates a collaborative learning environment for students to share information about their learning with their community.

  • Students do an art experiment to learn how salt affects plants.

  • Students think about plant adaptations and changes to landscapes over time.

Additional Prerequisites

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

  • It is necessary to prepare materials for the Inquire section before class: 

    • Distribute 3 containers of water to each group. 

    • Add 2-3 drops of food coloring to each container to make red, yellow, and green paint. Alternatively, students can use watercolor paints.

    • Distribute paintbrushes or manipulatives to paint with (ex. plant material, grasses, leaves, sponges, or Q-tips).

    • Distribute cardstock for each student.

    • Prepare a small container of salt for each table, but do not distribute it until it is time for students to sprinkle the salt on their paintings.

  • In the Investigate section, students will read about farming in Bangladesh and Pakistan. The texts explain that both countries are in Asia, but you may want to show students where the countries are located on a globe or a world map to give them a more precise understanding of the countries' locations.

  • Students need a large section of butcher paper for the final version of their group’s mural. Additional materials may include markers, paint, or crayons.


  • Students can read on their own using the leveled texts about Bangladesh or Pakistan, or the teacher can read aloud to the whole group using the Farming in Bangladesh slides.

  • Students can dictate their ideas to an adult to write about the mural.

  • Students can answer specific questions about the mural one by one or work to put their ideas in paragraph form using either option in the Individual Writing Sheet.

  • Possible extension: Share the mural with a group or organization in the community by displaying it in the neighborhood, in a city building, in a store, or in another school.

Scientist Notes

Soil is an important component for plants' survival. This lesson allows students to evaluate the impact of saline soil on plant growth. It explores two country case studies on ways farmers adapt to soil salinity to grow crops, especially testing out crops that can tolerate saline conditions. This lesson has passed the science credibility process and is recommended for teaching.


Primary Standards

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • 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.
    • LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
      • 2-LS4-1 Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.
  • National Core Arts Standards
    • Visual Arts: Standard 7 - Perceive and analyze artistic work.
      • VA:Re7.2.Ka Describe what an image represents.
    • Visual Arts: Standard 10 - Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.
      • VA:Cn10.1.Ka Create art that tells a story about a life experience.

Supporting Standards

  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Writing (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.K.2 Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.1.2 Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.2.2 Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.
  • National Core Arts Standards
    • Visual Arts: Standard 3 - Refine and complete artistic work.
      • VA:Cr3.1.2a Discuss and reflect with peers about choices made in creating artwork.


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