Category Archives: Planting
As part of our IB/Science unit, we are learning about plant parts. The National Geographic science curriculum suggested that I bring in real plants to let the kids observe. It’s been frozen here for so long, nothing is growing yet, so I looked around for some other options:
This was grass that the snow plow dug up when plowing our parking lot. Free roots! 🙂
I found these tulips in this cool vase at Wal-Mart early last week and the tulips have grown from just over the top of the vase to this in 1 1/2 weeks.
This was my Amaryllis bulb from Christmas. I was letting it die all the way back before storing it for next year.
The kids were given one plant to observe and take notes about it in their science notebook:
We had to wear our safety goggles. We also used our magnifying glasses. 🙂
Ponds and Plants
Jack and the Beanstalk
I found this great website that has an awesome version of Jack and the Beanstalk available for my K kids to watch. They love it (and love the accent too!) and have watched it many times.
There are also other stories on this site that your children can watch! 🙂
The new greenhouse
Check out my great find at my local Big Lots store… I was able to get this greenhouse for $30! It has four shelves and doubled our growing space! I let a teacher down the hall borrow my two shelf model so she could grow some plants of her own. There was also a walk in greenhouse model available for sale and if I would of had a place to put it, it would of been mine!
In keeping with the green theme here, we (the kids and I) decided to use as many recycled containers as possible to grow our seeds in. We used both halves of a cardboard egg container, complete with egg shell half cups! We also used a plastic cupcake tray that one of my students brought her birthday cupcakes in last week. We used some old cookie sheets I got at the Goodwill Outlet Store for way cheap as trays to put our containers on.
Here is a look at the plants I got/made at NSTA this year:
One is a plant called “Mother of 10,000’s”. That’s the one in the little portion cup. The other plant is a Wisconsin Fast Plant. The booth where they had them was shutting down and the vendors did not want to take them back with them, so they were giving them away. I’ve had them in my classroom before, so I was excited to get another one! I also made another garden monster (I posted about them last year).
One of the sessions I was able to stand outside the doors of at NSTA this year was about gardening with children (or something to that effect). I can’t remember the presenters name right now, but I’ll try to find it and come back and add it. The room was PACKED and I got there just in time to see this idea about Garden Monsters–they are cute monsters, I promise!
Here’s what you need to make them:
1 bag of soil (this is a 10 qt bag and I had plenty)
1 bag of grass seed (I hear rye grass works well)
1 10 x 10 piece of tulle for each child (make sure it has tiny holes not large ones)
roofing nails (2 per child)
glue dots (at least 4 per child)
wiggle eyes (2 per child)
mini zip ties (one per child)
lids (any lid will work, but the deeper the better for watering purposes)
Place the tulle on a scrap piece of paper. Put 1-2 spoonfuls of grass seed in the middle of the square of tulle. Cover with 4-6 heaping teaspoons of soil. Gather up the sides of the tulle and form into a ball. The extra tulle will be on the bottom of the garden monster. Pull tulle tight and secure with a zip tie. Pull tight, snip off the extra. Using glue dots, secure two wiggle eyes to the roofing nails and push into the side of the garden monster’s head, creating eyes. Use the other two glue dots to secure the monster to the lid.
Here’s what they will look like:
The Three Stooges! 🙂
I set them on this lid and poured some extra water on the lid so I don’t have to water for a few days. The grass will grow out their heads and then the children will need to give them hair cuts. I made these today (4/2/11) using much smaller pieces of tulle (5 1/2 x 5 1/2) so if you use 10 x 10 yours would be twice as big. I’m also thinking that you could grow different kinds of herbs out of their heads for different looks. Couldn’t you see chives or parsley or even cilantro garden monsters?? 🙂
I think I’ve spent about $30 for a whole class to make these and will have enough materials left over for next year’s kiddos too (probably even the class after that as well)
($5 for the soil, $7 for grass seed, $1.50 for roofing nails (100+ nails), $2.35 for 100 zip ties (I bought 2 packs), $4.00 for two rolls of tulle (36 yards long each), $2.50 for 124 wiggle eyes (I bought two packs), and $4.99 for 250 large size glue dots (great time to use your Michael’s or Jo-Ann’s 40% off coupons!)
You can see that this is a pretty inexpensive project to make with your students and it takes up very little space. The children can take them home after their first hair cuts. Think of all the directions the conversations could go with these little guys! 😉
Of course, we will be charting their growth in our own Garden Monster baby books (After I create it, I’ll post it for you) to keep track of their hair length and hair cuts. 🙂
I’ll try to post pictures as they grow and their successive hair cuts. If you try this out, please send me pictures to post! 🙂
The Grouchy Ladybug
We began our study of insects/bugs by reading The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle. After taking a picture walk and reading it aloud to the children, we discussed the clocks that are pictured on most of the pages. The children learned that we would be learning about telling time and addition (with ladybug spots) this week during math.
I have several sheets that I will post in the next few days that deal with telling time and ladybug addition…so stay tuned! You can download pictures to sequence by going to my PDF page and searching for them–they will only download on certain computers (not sure why!!), and so far there is nothing I can do about it! Sorry! You can search on Google for images and print those out.
We also checked in on our beans that we planted last week and noted our observations in our Bean Journals: beanjournal (you can switch these so that the journals take up 1/2 of a page side to side instead of top to bottom like they are here).
Our Painted Lady Butterflies (caterpillars really) have arrived and are eating lots and lots! They have doubled in size since arriving last Thursday, so we will soon transfer them to our netting we have set up for them.
We also looked at our Scholastic News: “How Do You Know It’s An Insect?”.
I’ve got so many awesome ideas about Science floating in my head right now, and some ideas for Math Work Stations that I’m going to be working on this summer, so I’ll post as I think! 🙂
Jack and the Beanstalk
Last week (yes, I’m a little behind) we read Jack and the Beanstalk, which ties in nicely to my seeds and planting theme. We began by reading Jack and the Beanstalk (the version by Little Golden Books). When we finished reading the story, we noticed that there was a large note hanging on our Morning Message paper:
The Giant had left us a message and some of his footprints:
The directions in his note were to find things that were the same length, longer than, and smaller than his footprints:
Tuesday, I gave the children plates of beans (the same ones from the previous week that they had already sorted). This time, I asked them to come to a consensus at their table about which 5 beans that their table would plant and care for. That was interesting!! We planted them in clear plastic gloves so that the children could watch them grow and change over time:
I asked the children to make sure that they all planted at least one lima bean and then asked them to consider these questions as they chose their beans.
Here they are hanging in the window.
I introduced the word hypothesis today and the children though about what kinds of beanstalks that their various beans would grow. Some one asked if there was a way to see inside the beans.
Wednesday, I asked the children if they could figure out a way that we could see inside the beans. They concluded that they knew that seeds opened once they had been planted so one of the things that was used to plant them must be the thing we would need. We made a list of things (sun, water, soil, love, air) and checked each one of the things off on our list. We decided that we had planted seeds in soil on Monday, so that was taken care of. We held our beans up to our hearts and talked to them (love) and although that did not work, it was awfully cute to watch! We also tried holding the beans up in the air and nothing happened. Finally, we decided that our experiment to see inside the beans would involve sun and water. Our hypothesis was that one of these ways was sure to make the beans open so that we could see inside them!
We also decided to use our greenhouse rather than take the beans outside. Some of the children were worried that squirrels and other animals might take the beans and we would not see what happened to them.
In the greenhouse.
Soaking in water.
We determined when we would check on them and also wanted to write something down to show what we were doing:
Thursday, we noticed that the beans that were soaking in the water had expanded and cracked open, so we used magnifying glasses to check them out (I was at Science Academy, so there are no photos for this!! Sorry!)
The children then got to plant beans of their own to take home and observe.
Because we had quite a few steps involved in planting these beans, we made a list of “Lab Notes” so that the children could refer back to them if they forgot what to do next:
That was our week last week…now on to this week!
We are reading a big book this week titled “Seeds”.
Because there are a few students who will be leaving early this week to head out on Spring Break, we did not do a Predictable Chart, however we did do several neat Inquiry Based things in Science. I like to begin almost all my themes/units with a KWL/OWL chart to asses where my children are at and what they are interested in. We completed the “K” portion of this chart first, then after Observing the seeds (see below) we completed the “O” portion and the “W” (wonder) section. I like to change the “W” from “What we WANT to Learn” to “What we WONDER” because it gets the children asking questions of the “I Wonder…” variety, something that is holding them back from exploring the world! At this young age, they know what they want to learn about somethings, but they have no basis to draw from for many Science concepts (some do!!). Asking “I Wonder…” questions sets the ground work for them to wonder, so ALL of my KWL charts are either KOWL or OWL charts.
This is the “Wonder” section continued…
I gave each table of children a random container of seeds that I had leftover from previous vegetable plantings:
Today, Tuesday, we planted all kinds of vegetables in Containers. My kids took such an interest in the Seeds book that I went and got many of the seeds mentioned in the story.
The next few months (until the end of May) will be spent on growing things/plants/bugs/insects/Monarchs/Jack and the Beanstalk/and anything else that fits in to one of these categories! 🙂