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Mystery Seed Project
Submitted by Kathy from Kentucky
4th and 5th Grade Teacher
When I am teaching about plants we usually do an activity with seeds. I will buy several types of unfamiliar fruits and vegetables with various types of seeds so the kids have no idea what the seeds are going to look like.
The kids will first predict what they think the seeds on the inside look like by drawing their seeds in 3 inch grid blocks. After they have drawn their seeds for each food item, they then describe each food on their description sheet using sensory words which we will use in a poem about one of the food items of their choice later in the unit.
As we cut into the fruits and veggies we start comparing the real seed with their predictions ie... ( size, shape, number, edible or inedible, color, etc...).
This type activity and lesson lends itself to many discussions about how the seeds might travel, could they float, be carried by the wind, would animals transfer them through their droppings, what animals might eat specific seeds and why, what type fruit or veggie is this and what type climate does it need...There are so many directions you can take a lesson like this.
I always try to incorporate other disciplines as much as possible. Writing is always a great place to end a unit. Poetry or informational articles are great extensions of a unit.
A fun science activity that I have done for a couple years now, and has been successful, is disecting a plant. When we do our plant unit, I take in a plant, take it out of the soil and I let the students see and touch the parts of the plants. Anytime, hands on is possible, the students seem to be so much more engaged.
Integrating Plants into Math and ELA
Submitted by Angela from Bayonne, New Jersey
5th - 7th Grade Special Education Teacher
This year we started a indoor Green House. We began by discussing seeds and plants. We planted our own seeds. Not only do we get to care for them and watch them grow, but we are able to see how different things effect them. The students can measure growth of the plants (Math) and read and write about plants (Language Art). The students really enjoy taking part in this Science activity.
Styrofoam Tiki with Grass Hair
Submitted by Christy from Wilmington, Delaware
Simple lesson for younger grades. styrofoam cups with faces drawn on. Fill the cups with soil and pour on grass seeds. Let the children monitor and record the changes. When the cup person grows its 'hair' the children can give him/her hair cuts! Very fun project.
Submitted by Kristin from West Virginia
4th Grade Teacher
Each year in the Spring my students and I make an indoor "greenhouse" and start our own seeds, then when they have gotten big enough to plant they each take a plant home and plant it in their garden- we usualy do alot of pumpkins since I do the fall fest at our shcool then we use the pumpkins that the students grew. They love it.
Plants Projects for High School
Submitted by Monique from Ohio
9th Grade Teacher
We do plant projects. Our classroom is full of plants and flowers. Our first experiment was one with music. We wanted to see if music could cause change in the way a plant grows. Later in the year we did a negative positive plant treatment to see a plant environment causes change. Now we’re working a project with colors. We want to see if a rooms color effects the growth of a plant.
Dissecting Lima Bean Seeds
Submitted by Emily from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
3rd Grade Teacher
When I am teaching about the parts of a seed I buy a bag of lima beans and soak them in water overnight. Then I give the soaked beans to the kids. I have them gently pull the bean apart. They can slide the seed coat right off the bean. They can open the bean using their hands so that they can see the cotyledon (stored food) and the embryo (baby plant). They love it. It's hands on and easy to do. :)
Celery, Carnations, and Food Coloring
Submitted by Kara from Falconer, New York
5th Grade Teacher
We were learning about vascular plants. We cut celery stalks and carnations into different lengths. We put them into colored water (which we colored with food coloring) We journaled what happened daily. We discussed and learned about xylem and phloem as well as capillary action. WE learned how vascular plants carry their water and nutrients.
Acid Rain's Effect on Plants
From Christy in Louisiana
We are studying the effects of acid rain on. There are two activities that we are doing. For the first each child will be given a piece of chalk and a toothpick. They will create a sculpture out of the chalk. Then, they will have a cup of vinegar and a dropper. They will drop 10 drops, then observe and logging any changes on their lab sheet. This will continue through 5 rounds of making drops. For the second activity we will have 2 identical plants that will sit in the same classroom window. Plant A will be misted with plain water every day, and plant B will be misted with a mixture of half water and half vinegar. We will observe the changes in the plants over the entire unit and log our observations on a lab sheet.