21 May Plant Themed Unit
Learning about plants and growing them from seeds NEVER gets old!
In the months of March and April, my students and I have loads of fun learning around the theme of plants and flowers.
Science Inquiry table ~ Plant & Flower Exploration
I always like to make learning as hands on as possible so the first thing I do is set up a Plant & Flower Exploration at our Science Table (future blog posts to come on this topic so subscribe and stay tuned) where my students have the option to explore plants and flowers during Free Choice center time.
To set up this center, I have my student help me transplant some pansy flowers into terracotta pots. Then I hang the grow-light above the flowers. The light creates a nice ambience in the classroom and enables the plants to photosynthesize. Note: The grow-light is actually just a shop light that is 6500 K and I tape cardstock paper to the top to make a shade.
Within my Plant & Flower Exploration printables, there are photographs of various flowers along with labels of each of the flowers names. I display these on the wall so they are visible.
The students can participate in various activities at the science table such as a plants parts labeling activity, a plant exploration activity, or watercolor paint various flowers. There is also a basket of books for them to research and look up interesting facts about plants and flowers. This center is a big hit!
Plant Life Cycles
During our Science block, we learn about a plant’s life cycles. We read different nonfiction books that teach us lots of different facts related to the plant lifecycle. Below is an example of one.
After we learn about the life cycles from our reading time, we then do an activity where we label each part of the lifecycle.
Parts of a Plant
Within our reading block we learn about text features in nonfiction books, specifically labeling. We talk about what labels are and how they help teach us. We then do a labeling activity on an enlarged anchor chart paper. Following our whole group practice, students are then released to their seats to independently label the parts of a plant.
Shared REading Poem ~ a Little Seed
Another overlap in our literacy block is a fun shared reading poem called “A Little Seed.” This poem has cute hand motions to it and is fun for the children. We also do a sight word hunt on this poem, looking for words we know.
We also spend some time learning about all the things a plant needs to grow – water, sunlight, air, soil, and space. I play an educational video that teaches and shows the children all the things a plant needs to grow.
On a different day, after we’ve learned what a plant needs, we will do a fun labeling craft called “Plant Needs.”
I prep this activity by pre-cutting the parts of the flower but I have the students color and cut out the plant needs. See example pictures below.
Planting our own seeds
After we learn about plant needs, we then plant our own seeds. We review all the things we need to give our plants so they will grow. We also discuss how we will be taking care of them each day.
I have the student use a spray bottle to water the plants because it helps prevent water messes that could happen.
After we plant our seeds, we observe the changes and growth that occurs little by little each day. As our plants begin to grow and change, we will document this in our observation plant journals called “My Plant Journal.”
My students really enjoy learning about plants! I hope you can take away something for your classroom. I’ve made a sample of my “Parts of a Plant” labeling activity a free gift for you. Find it here.
Enjoy and happy teaching!
“Doing little things with great love!”