Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Science
- 5 or 6 potted plants
- Magnifying glasses
- Clay or play dough
- Construction paper
- Science: plants need food, air, and water
Hold a discussion about parts of a plant. Talk about how plants need food, air, water, and sun to live. Why are plants so important? What are the parts of a plant (roots, stems, leaves)? Can anyone name them? What does each part of the plant do to help it stay healthy? Talk about how leaves absorb energy from the sun. The stem supports the leaves and flowers. The roots collect food and water from the soil and send them up through the stem.
Divide the class into small groups of four to six children. Pass out a plant for each group to examine with a magnifying glass. Notice the size and shape of the leaves, stem, and roots. What color are they? Are the leaves or stems textured? Walk around to each table and encourage a discussion about the plant's different parts and their jobs.
With children in pairs, pass out enough clay or play dough for each pair to create a plant. Invite children to create a model of a plant together. Remind them to show its three major organs (leaves, roots, stem).
Ask children to put the plant down on a piece of construction paper and label each part. Some children may be able to label and write what each part does for the plant.
Set up an area to display the plant project, as well as some of the plant books and magazines that will be used throughout their study of plants.
Remember: Young children may not remember the specific jobs that each part of the plant does and may need help writing the words.
Send home a letter explaining that children are learning the parts of a plant. Ask parents to walk around their homes with their child and point out all the products that come from plants.
CURRICULUM CONNECTION: LANGUAGE
Have a discussion about compliments, what they are and when you give them. With children in a circle, pass a bouquet or a flowering plant to a child. As you pass the plant, pay the child a compliment. (For example: You are a good skater. I like the way you draw. You solve math problems fast. You are a great friend.) The child who receives the compliment says thank-you and passes the plant to the next child while giving him or her a compliment.
Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert (Voyager Books, 1990)
How Are You Peeling? by Saxton Freymann (Scholastic, 2004)
The Reason for a Flower by Ruth Heller (Putnam, 1999)