Sunday, April 21, 2013

Plants, Plants, Plants!

We started our three week theme of plants this week.  We approached the area of plants from many different points of view and the students are loving it!  I love the plant unit because it is something they can see before their eyes and care about.  They are motivated to learn and they are excited to see science happen!

Please take a look at my plant unit in my  my TpT site.  Click HERE for a direct link! 


We first read The Tiny Seed, by Eric Carle.  This is a great book to talk about seeds because it talks about seasons, the lifecycle of a plant, predators to the seeds, and more!  I even finish the book and start it again to emphasize the cycle of it.  They loved the book too!  They asked for it twice on day one and we read it many times throughout the unit!


We started the week off by setting up our plant experiment science journal.  (available in the pack).  I was originally going to do this activity as a small group time, but I wanted them to work with the science journals.  The pack can be printed for the whole class or printed for each individual child and stapled to make a journal.

I polled my small group on what plants need to grow.  Many knew, but if they didn't, they were using the context clues in their journal.  I would then write the word they gave me and they had to follow multi-step directions to know where to copy print onto the correct line.  I wrote the answers on a small dry erase board (hand held) and held it up for them to see.  I taught them new vocabulary for dirt--soil.  Students did better than I ever imagined on this project!
We have the greenhouses: the correct one, one with no soil, and one with no water on the window.  The one with no sun is in the drawer at circle time so we can check in on it.  We just did predictions today, we will be doing observations of the the next few weeks.

We are also testing if we can "trick" our seed into thinking paper towel is soil.  If we give the seed paper towel soil, water, and sun, will it grow?  We shall see!

We made seasons of the trees as well.  They go through life cycles, but they also go through cycles each season.  We used our hands and arms to make trees, me made budes (fists) that slowly unfolded into leaves (open hands).  

We started with folding a large piece of
construction paper into four pieces
(in half and then half again).
We then did one brown handprint
 at the top of each of the sections.
I added a trunk to each piece.


Students wrote in the initial sound
 they heard for each season.

We used tissue paper bunched up for buds on the spring trees.  
We sponge painted green on the trees for summer.  
We colorful tissue paper squares for colorful leaves for fall
We put glitter on for winter. 
They were quite the mess, but they look awesome and were fun to make!

We also did lifecycle yoga.  This procedure is also available in my Plant Pack!  The students loved using their bodies to learn about seeds!

The seeds position of yoga then taught us about the safety position for our state wide tornado drill we had this week.  

We had to add some days/hours to our schedule due to snow days/2 hour delays so we also had time to watch the Magic School bus.  I found full episodes online and they have subtitles so it helps build literacy too!




Earth week is next week so we will be focusing on saving our earth/plants with The Lorax, a garbage/recycle sort, and a tree subtraction problem.  Tune in next week for MORE PLANTS!

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