FROM SEED TO SEEDLING

What to Do

1. Give the children marigold, radish, and pansy seeds. Ask them to predict what the seeds will grow into.

2. Give the children their own containers. Help them fill the containers with soil, plant the seeds, and then water gently.

3. Ask the children to describe and draw what they did. Record their comments in a planting journal, and add their drawings to the journal.

4. Guide the children to water the plants and observe their growth each day. Take photos of the plants, and encourage children to draw pictures. Record children's comments in the journal, and add any photos and pictures.

5. Guide the children to measure the height of their seedlings with string each day. Cut the pieces of string at the height of the plant, and then paste them in the journal as a visual recording of the plant's growth.

6. Help the children replant their seedlings outside in a garden or in flower boxes.

Extensions

  • Create a chart to represent the information recorded in the planting journal. Children can draw bar graphs to show the changes in the plants' height or can describe and illustrate the steps involved in planting and tending seeds.
  • Help children see what happens to seeds underground. Fill a clear plastic cup with water, and stuff a folded piece of paper towel in it. Then place a lima bean between the paper towel and the side of the cup. Over the next few days, the bean will sprout roots, which will be visible through the plastic.

Discoveries

Children learn that plants need soil, water, and sunlight to grow. They observe the stages of growth from seed to seedling and conclude that some seeds grow faster and taller than others.

INSECT INSPECTION

What to Do

1. Look for insects on the ground in a garden or yard. Guide the children to find and observe the insects in their natural habitat. Bring along a camera and take some photos.

2. Use a plastic spoon to place a few insects in a clear plastic container with ventilation holes punched in the cover.

3. Guide the children to collect some leafy plants to feed the insects. Invite them to also collect soil, twigs, and rocks to add to the container

4. Back in the classroom, have the children observe the insects' movements and listen closely to the sounds the insects make. Encourage the children to provide different foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and watch to see which ones the insects prefer

5. Talk together about what the children notice, and record their observations on a chart. Add the photos and the children's drawings too. After a few days, release the insects in their natural habitat.

Extensions

  • Invite the children to listen carefully to the sounds the insects make. Ask them to imitate those sounds. Then encourage the children to observe how insects propel themselves forward. Let the children have fun making bug sounds as thev move around like insects!
  • Work with the children to create a book about an insect. After they've named their insect character, ask questions to help children think about what the insect's life might be like. Where would the insect live? What would it eat? Where might it go? After you've helped children write about the insect, put all the pages together to create a book. Send copies home to parents.

Discoveries

Children learn that insects eat plants, crawl with their many legs, and make a variety of sounds.