Thursday, October 1, 2015


From Seed to Plant

Last week we started planting as an extension of our tundra study.

Planting Day

First, we gathered and observed seeds. We planted a dozen varieties in a class garden (part of a DSM Science Kit). We also planted in individual cups in small groups: sunflowers, beans, corn, and peas.

I loved all the language that was happening here! One child observed that the marigold seed looked like porcupine quills, and another described seeds as wrinkly, smooth, or scratchy. Great descriptive words!

We planted a few seeds in bags too so we could watch the root development.

Paper Sunflowers

The following week, we cut out and constructed a sunflower in teams, determining the proper place for each part. We had to figure out where to put the stem, roots, leaves, flower, and cup of soil. Great practice in teamwork!

Measuring Growth

In the third week of our study, we predicted the height of our small-group plants, recorded that information, and then measured them with wooden cubes!

Graphing Heights

We then graphed the heights and compared them. The kids had to cut their paper strip to the correct length.

Our bean plant was a little too tall for our graph!

Absorption Study

Of course, we had to try the classic celery absorption experiment to observe how plants "drink" water. Learn more about this at TinkerLab.

Bean Patterns

To end our unit, we "planted" patterns with beans! I love this paper (it's also great for collages) - I get it from Lakeshore Learning. I just cut it into strips, they write their names with sharpies, and then they make a pattern. They can choose to make a simple AB pattern, or can try an ABB or AABB pattern for a challenge. I don't let them get glue until they show me their pattern- some kids do need to double or triple check their work for mistakes.

We were working toward ALL these Common Core standards!

Reading and Writing:
SL.K.6 Speak Audibly and Clearly
SL.K.1 Conversations with Peers
L.K.1d Use Question Words
RL.K.5 Genres: Informational Text
L.K.1f Use Complete Sentences
RI.K.1 Answer Informational Text Questions
W.K.8 Gather Information to Answer a Question

K.CC.4 One-One Correspondence and Cardinality
K.CC.6 Compare Groups
K.MD.6 Coin Names
K.CC.1 Count to 100 by ones and tens
K.MD.1 Describe Attributes
K.MD.2 Compare 2 Objects
K.MD.3 Classify and Sort

Book List

Here are my favorite books for studying plants.

The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle


From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons

Treats from a Tree by Susan Canizares


Do You Know Which One Will Grow? by Susan Shea

What's Alive? by Kathleen Zoehfeld


Other Favorites


Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert

Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert 

The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss

Anno's Magic Seeds by Mitsumasa Anno