Observing and Recording
Growing plants is such a wonderful, easy, and fun activity for children. It is hands on, exciting, and they can learn so much from it.
Think about all the learning: procedures, cause and effect, processes, and caring for living things.
Above all the kids learn that they have to take ownership in a long-term activity - and this builds commitment and perseverance.
My kids planted marigolds in cups. Talk about easy! It took about 15 minutes to get all 15 cups planted.
For the first few days, the kids could use a spray bottle to water the plants. I never did it for them, and if they over-watered or under-watered, they learned what the effect is.
Once the plants were starting to sprout, I provide "scientist clipboards", safety glasses, magnifying glasses and tell them to observe.
The students came up with terrific thoughts about the plants like, "The plants are growing. If you give them water they grow."
My personal favorite was, "Lisa put too much water. Her plants look sick."
This area is open to my students every day to observe, discuss and write. It is easy to maintain and provides so many wonderful experiences!
I've also planted seeds in drink cups with lids. This created mini terrariums for the kids to watch.
These were much easier to maintain because once you watered them - all you had to do was watch!
The bus drivers also preferred these because they didn't spill on the bus!
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