I’ve just posted the Animated Step-by-Step Planting … the first of hopefully many science projects!
When creating this step-by-step, I tried to keep the project as flexible as possible and tried to incorporate some background knowledge as to where seeds originate. Two pages encourage students to guess the origin of six different seeds. A series of hints can be provided to help students guess. For the younger grades, there is a page encouraging students to use words to compare and contrast seeds that differ significantly in color, size and shape. In addition there is content stressing the fact that plants need both water and sun to survive.
Spring is not that far off. When Spring rolls in, there is usually a planting activity underway in the early grades. Morning Glories are especially fun to plant as the teacher can run a string from each pot to the top of the window to create a lively competition. Whose plant will reach the top first? “Looks like Shanira’s plant is ahead this morning. Can you remember whose plant was in the lead just yesterday?” "Oh look, someone's plant has a bud!" In addition it creates a lovely screen of flowers in the classroom window.
Planting is also a wonderful unit for incorporating functional math concepts and introducing scientific observation (counting how many leaves, measuring how tall their plant has grown, noticing the first bud). In addition to the benefits of reading, the planting unit can serve as a writing unit encouraging students to keep a daily log of these observations. Depending upon the age of the students this can be as simple as checking off a series of observed events visually depicted on a chart (sprout … first leaf … second leaf … third leaf … 1” tall … 2” tall) or can require students to keep daily entries of their own observations. Most importantly, however, the planting unit can provide a valuable lesson on the importance of being responsible, someone you can count on. Each plant needs to be cared for …watered but not overwatered.
In the weeks before Mother’s Day many classrooms plant their seeds in a plastic cup. Closer to Mother’s Day they might conduct an Arts and Crafts activity to decorate a flowerpot into which the plastic cup can be inserted. Hopefully the timing will be just right and the flowers will be in full bloom by Mother’s Day.
...’til the next post …
© 2015 Carol Goossens’, Ph.D.