Ready-to-Use Teaching Ideas: Science & Literacy
- A copy of "Jack and the Beanstalk"
- Dried lima beans
- Plastic cups and soil for planting beans
- Plastic sandwich bags and paper towels for germinating beans
- Chart paper and markers
- Art materials for observational drawings, including paper and colored pencils
- Science concepts
- Math skills
- Observational skills
- Language development
Read or tell the classic story of "Jack and the Beanstalk." When you reach the part about the magic beans, show children several dried lima beans. After completing the tale, ask children to make predictions about what would happen if they planted the lima beans.
Provide each child with a plastic cup, soil, and three beans to plant. After planting the beans, put a name tag on each child's cup and add a little water. Place the cups in a sunny area of the classroom.
The following day, give everyone a paper towel, a plastic bag, and a lima bean. Invite each child to dampen the paper towel, wrap it around the bean, and place it in their plastic bag. Then place their bags in another sunny area of the classroom. Ask the class to predict what will happen to the lima beans and record their predictions.
Create a chart to record the children's observations over the next 14 days. Create columns with the following headings: Day, Planted Lima Beans, and Damp Lima Beans. Write the numbers 1 through 14 along the left side of the chart, under the Day column, and record their observations each day. They can also document the experiment by doing observational drawings or photographing the results. When the 14 days are over, help children develop a summary of what they have learned.
Remember: Young children may not yet be able to make accurate predictions because they have not had enough experience. Asking questions and engaging them in conversations will encourage thinking and language skills.
Eating plant parts. Ask parents to make a salad with their child that includes all the different parts of a plant. As they make the salad, they should remind their child about the different parts of a plant that each ingredient represents.
CURRICULUM CONNECTION: DRAMATIC PLAY
"Jack and the Beanstalk": Re-read or retell the story of "Jack and the Beanstalk" so that children can become familiar with the story line. Provide them with the opportunity to act out the story in the classroom. Children can take turns portraying the various characters. They can dramatize the story as you read it or tell the story in their own words. Enhance the performance with props and costumes.
Jack and the Beanstalk by Annabelle James
Look, Listen and Learn by Susan Canizares and Pamela Chanko
The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle