Saturday, May 14, 2011

My Curious Gardeners

I introduce our plant unit with the book The Curious Garden by Peter Brown.  

The kids are immediately hooked and transformed into curious gardeners themselves.  Here is a bit of what we do during our plant study:

We run several plant experiments and record observations, facts & vocabulary in science journals.

We begin with the quick and easy experiment of putting freshly cut stems of white flowers in colored water.  We go through the entire scientific method.  The kids record their questions and hypothesis in their science journals, recording observations for several days.  A few students always write "When we put the flower in colored water it will die."  As luck would have it, one of them did shrivel up within two days so that added a whole other element to our experiment.

The cups are our mammoth sunflower seeds we planted this week.  We will plant them outside and harvest them in the fall.  The baggies hanging on the line are another experiment.  We are wondering whether roots ALWAYS grow down.  It is a ziplok with a wet paper towel and a lima bean inside.  As the stem and roots grow we will rotate the bag 180 degrees every few days and record observations in science journals.

We also do a lot of gardening in our school's outdoor classroom.  All of the seedlings we've grown in the classroom will be transplanted into gardening boxes (photos to come). We fill one gardening box with pumpkin and gourd seedlings as a gift to next year's first graders to use in the fall.

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