Explains how to teach children firsthand about plant parts, plant growth, and plant care.
- Observe different kinds of plants
- Recognize different parts of a plant
- Write about plants
- From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons
- Large sheet of chart or butcher paper for brainstorming words
- A variety of plants
- Index cards
- Magnifying glasses or pretend paper magnifying glasses
- Observation notebooks, one for each student
- Nonfiction books about plants (see the Plants and Trees Book List for suggestions)
- Optional: Digital camera
- Optional: Printer for digital photos
- Plan a walk either inside the school or outside it. Along the walk, set up and number stations on a map. Each station should feature different plants or flowers. Make sure there are multiple plants to observe at each station. Label each station with a number written on an index card.
- Make observation notebooks for each student, if they don't have them already. Every page should have a space for drawing and a space for writing.
- Cut out a large paper flower or plant from the chart or butcher paper. Hang the paper in your classroom for the brainstorming session.
Step 1: Read From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons.
Step 2: Brainstorm words students may want to use when writing about plants. Record these vocabulary words on the prepared flower/plant paper.
Step 3: Have students pretend they are "Plant Hunters." Take a guided walk around the school. Stop at your stations and announce the number of the station.
Step 4: At each station, have students record the number and make notes. The Plant Hunters' mission is to record what they notice about plants in their observation notebook. They may write or draw. Some of the students may use a digital camera to photograph the plant, especially the different parts of the plants. Some students may want to use the magnifying glasses to help them search for plant parts.
Step 5: When you return to the classroom, discuss student's findings. The numbered stations and notes will help everyone talk about the same plants. Add additional words to the brainstorming word chart.
Step 6: Have students write about their plant hunting adventure and the different kinds of plants they found.
Optional: Print out digital photos taken during the plant walk. Help students add them to their stories.
Step 7: Bind students' writings into a book.
Step 1: Share another nonfiction book about plants to help students learn about the parts of a plant. How a Seed Grows, A Tree Is a Plant, and the Let's Find Out Science books are good places to start. See the Plants and Trees Book List for more suggestions.
Step 2: Discuss types of plants and parts of a plant. You may want to draw an example on the board or a sheet of chart paper.
Step 3: Have students draw a diagram of a plant in their observation notebooks.
Have each student tell you three facts about plants.
- Was there enough time?
- Were the students successful or frustrated creating a diagram?
- Were the students able to write about plants without a lot of help?
- Could the students tell me about plants?
Copies of students' writing about plants and their diagram drawings should be saved for their assessment portfolios.
- Were students able to differentiate plants from other things?
- How many students were also able to identify the parts of a plant?