Monday, May 11, 2015

Planting Seeds: An Integrated Learning Experience

This time of year is a perfect time for helping children to understand sequence in a NATURAL way.  Planting seeds lets you use the important words: first, next, then, and finally. Children have a hands-on experience each day with observing their plant sprout and grow along with verbalizing its natural course of development.

First have children plant seeds in cups. * This is a good opportunity to talk about all the natural things a plant needs: air, soil, sunshine, and water.

Next observe the plant. When will it sprout? Have children make predictions. This gives them a real experience with time passage and the meaning of a day and a week. Make a chart of children’s predictions. It helps to let children know it is just fine to have made an incorrect prediction. The important part was taking the guess. This helps children learn an important lesson about how science works. 

Then watch the plant grow. What an opportunity to integrate measurement into this experience! Children can measure their plant using cubes or other handy items. Compare and contrast by stating, “Charlotte’s plant is 3 cubes taller than Elizabeth’s plant.”

Finally watch the plant bloom. Did you plant flowers or vegetables like beans?  Make the connection that bean seeds produce beans. Marigold seeds produce marigolds.

As you observe the plant, encourage children to draw a picture of each stage of development. You can put these together in a sequence book at the end of the experience.

*I always like to plant a few extra seeds.  When I was in kindergarten, my seed never sprouted. I still remember my disappointment. You can always change a cup after the children leave if a seed doesn’t “cooperate.”  

We encourage you to print out our drawings and have children add details like the sun, rain, etc. to show what plants need to grow. You may want to ask them to draw cubes to show the measurement of their own plant.

Standards Alignment:

NAEYC – 2.D.03, 2.D.06, 2.F.05, 2.G.02, 2.G.03, 2.G.05. 
Head Start – VIII.B., X.E., XI.B.

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