At the start of new theme units with my class I give each student a large piece of construction paper folded in half to make the cover of a booklet. As the students complete various graphs, poems, worksheets, activities, and recipes these pages are added to the booklet. At the end of the unit the students take home a complete unit for their parents to look at.
-Plants are living things that have many parts (seeds, leaves, stems, roots)
-Seeds grow into plants.
-Seeds are planted in the ground. Although some seeds will sprout in water.
-Seeds needs air, water and food to grow.
-Plants produce seeds so they can make more plants.
-Some seeds are edible.
-Many people/farmers plant and harvest a variety of seeds/plants.
-George Washington Carver was a scientist that studied plants and plant growth.
-Seeds can grow in pods, look like feathers or wings, be sticky, grow in puffballs.
-Seeds get moved by the wind, by animals, by people, by water.
-Inside a Seed -Soak lima beans in water overnight. Use a hand lens to examine the outside of the seeds. Peel off the seed covering. Split the seed in half. Look for the parts: seed coat, root, leaves, food storage, and embryo. Students draw the inside of the seed.
-Gathering Seeds - Allow a week or two for the students to bring in many different kinds of plants that contain seeds. In the fall most seeds are abundant in plants (for example: sunflower, flowers, corn, weeds, wheat, grass, etc.) Label all the different kinds of plants the students brought in. Complete various sorting activities with the plants. Use several of the plants, carefully remove the seeds. Graph the amount of seeds found in the various plants. Use the seeds to create mosaic patterns.
-Matching Seeds to Fruits and Vegetables - Gather an assortment of seeds from various fruits and vegetables (apple, orange, squash, tomato, plum. peach, grape, cherry, etc.) Also have 1 of each of the whole fruit or vegetable available. First, show students the various seeds. Ask them to identify what fruit or vegetable the seed come from. Next, show the students the different fruits and vegetables. See if they can match the seed to the fruit or vegetable. Enjoy sampling the fruits and vegetables at the end of the lesson!
-Egg Carton Nursery - Prior to the lesson gather egg cartons, half egg shells, potting soil, and seeds. Students place the half egg shells into the egg carton. Fill each egg shell with potting soil. Plant seeds in each. Carefully water each egg shell. When the tiny plants are ready to plant outside, crush the egg shell and place it in the ground. You may want to plant leaf lettuce, radishes, marigolds or other fast sprouting seeds.
-Finding Wild Seeds - Before the lesson give each student a large white sock. Find an area that is overgrown with tall grass, weeds, wildflowers, etc. Have students place the sock over their hand and sweep their hand through the tall grass and weeds. Look at the sock to see if it caught any seeds. Repeat this process several times. If there are seeds that are not sticking to the sock pick them up and place them in a container. Back in the classroom students will investigate their socks to find many different kinds of seeds. Students can sort the seeds, make graphs, use the seeds for an art project. Plant some of the seeds in an egg shell/carton garden to see if they will grow! The complete lesson can be found at: http://www.reachoutmichigan.org/funexperiments/quick/wildseedfun.html
-Seed Packet Memory - Collect pairs of a variety of seed packets. Mount on construction paper. Play memory a game.
-Seed Memory Game - Collect pairs of seeds. Mount on construction paper and cover with clear contact paper. Use flatter type seeds. Mount seeds in various formations and groups for added variety.
-Vocabulary Bingo - bingo cards - Use beans are bingo markers!
-Planting seeds - Prepare instant vanilla pudding according to package directions. Each student will put the pudding in the bottom of a clear plastic cup. Make dirt (crushed chocolate cookies, like Oreos). Sprinkle the dirt on top of the pudding. Plant seeds in the dirt (small candies like M&Ms, skittles). Eat your yummy seed plantings!
-Seed Mosaics - Spread a layer of glue inside the top of a plastic lid, such as a margarine or cool whip lid. Students will place various dry beans and seeds to create a mosaic design.
-Green Hair - Decorate a styrofoam cup using markers, crayons, etc. to look like a face. Fill it with potting soil and plant bird seed or grass seed just below the surface. Water sparingly and carefully. Green hair should sprout in 3-4 days!
The Berenstain Bears Grow It
Mountain that loved a Bird-by Alice McLerran /Ill. By Eric Carle
WI State Standards - following is listing of the state standards addressed in this theme unit.
RESEARCH AND INQUIRY
AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE