Sunday, May 20, 2012

How Plants Grow!

We have been talking a lot about plants for science lately. The kids have helped me plant the garden and go with me daily to water things, look at what produce is growing, and to continue to discuss what plants need to grow.

One of the things that Benjamin is supposed to learn about in science this year is how a seed turns into a plant. I decided to get out the science textbook that I have so that I don't feel guilty about barely cracking it. He got through it, but I am positive that he didn't learn much and didn't really enjoy himself. So, I turned it into a hands-on project.

I decided to do the "seed in the plastic bag" project that I did probably about 10 times in my elementary school career. It is super duper easy and I am sure that almost everyone has done this one at some point. You take a plastic ziploc bag, place a folded, wet paper towel inside, place in a seed, seal it up, and then put it in a sunny place. Ours is taped to our back slider. In a few days, the roots started to come out. The kids were all super excited to see the roots appear on their seeds. Benjamin even said, "Next will come the stem, and then the leaves, and then it will be a plant!" So yeah, he definitely gets it now. You can transplant them in theory once they grow a little bigger and you see all of the stages of growth, but I have found that mine tend to get moldy before they get transplanted. Oh well!

I also found some great hands-on activities at the Smart Start Resource Center and used them to follow up on the project. There were two puzzles and a stamp set that had the different stages of growth. We did the puzzles as we were "planting" our seeds in the plastic bags. I will bring it out again as our seeds hit each stage.

To check comprehension, Ben and Kate each made a plant growth timeline using the stamps. Then, they told me what was happening at that stage and I wrote the title for them. Both of them wrote the title of the project as extra writing practice. For this project, I just took a regular piece of construction paper, folded it in half "long ways" and then folded into thirds. That gave enough boxes for each stage and then one for the title. The kids really had fun with the stamps. Here they are!

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