Students take a trip to learn about plants from a local expert.
- Grades: PreK–K
- Develop social awareness
- Practice language and science skills
- Cardboard clipboards
- Drawing paper
- Chart paper
- Markers, crayons, pencils, colored pencils
Set Up and Prepare
Plan a trip to a local botanical garden, neighborhood garden, plant store, or farm to observe plants and speak with an expert about how to grow and care for plants.
Step 1: Explain to children that they will interview a local plant expert and they will need to think of questions they would like to ask. Record their questions on chart paper and write them on a smaller sheet of paper to take along on your trip.
Step 2: Give each child a cardboard clipboard to take along. It can be made with pieces of cardboard and a large metal clip. Attach a few sheets of paper to each clipboard. Bring along sharpened colored and regular pencils so children can create observational drawings. Bring a camera to photograph the experience.
Step 3: Invite each child to ask a question of the local plant expert. If possible, record the interview so that children can revisit the experience later. Provide time for children to touch, smell, and observe the different plants they see. Invite them to draw plants they find interesting and encourage them to learn the correct names for the different plants.
Step 4: Play their interview during meeting time and develop a chart to summarize what they’ve learned.
Step 5: Give them the photographs from their trip to sequence and write about. Then create a wall display using their observational drawings, photographs, and charts.
Remember: When planning a trip, it’s important to make sure that there are enough adult chaperones present so that children receive enough attention to allow for optimal learning.
Have the children make drawings to send to the expert they visited as a thank-you gift. Encourage them to create drawings about an aspect of the trip they enjoyed or something they learned.
Send home a copy of children’s plant-learning summary to share with families. Suggest that families take their child on a nature walk or visit a plant store. Ask parents to encourage their child to share what he or she has learned about plants.