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Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Dirt on Plants!

First of all, happy SATURDAY!!!!  Did you sleep in?? 

This week we had a Green Start- we began our dirt/soils/plants unit in science!  (on of my favs).  We started by making a chart about scientists!  I had to chuckle because many envisioned scientists as only those people who wear the long and white coats and have goggles on (could this be from a Disney flick or hot cartoon?)  One of my Youngers added that scientists also work for the environment- HOORAY for her higher level thinking and making great connections! 

After our brainstorm about scientists we took a little field trip in our school to the teacher's cafeteria.  We discussed the parts of the plants we eat-roots, leaves, steams, and seeds.  Many were surprised that they eat ROOTS-I think the pictured themselves chewing away on long, stringy plant roots!  I then took a piece of celery and an apple and asked what parts of the plant these two items were.  All of them knew the apple, but only one knew that the celery was a stem.  (this was a great pre-assessment for me)

Next I got a bowl of water and asked them to make a prediction about which one would float-all, none, or both!  Many predicted both would definitely float!  In they went into the bowl- the apple floated and the celery sunk!  I then inquired why.  One student's hand shoot up.  He was sure it had to do with the size!  "The apple floated because it is smaller than the celery."  (the celery was very long)  So, I cut up the celery into 1 inch pieces and the apple into 1 inch slices.  Guess what?  The same results-the apple pieces floated and the celery sunk!  This lead into a modified lesson on density!  I then asked them to relate this to their bodies and why they float on water and what else sinks/floats!  Concluding this portion I asked them to go home and with their parents permission test out some other parts of plants and report to the class their findings!

Yesterday I used the rest of the celery.  I had them examine a celery stalk and take note of the "holes" in the celery-what might they be for?  Next we put the celery in water-of course I added bright food coloring!  They then predicted in their science journals what the results would be and why!  Later on we went down to the kitchen and saw the results- Wallah!!!  Some of the food coloring was in the leaves of the plants.  Well, how did it get there?  Why?  Their answers were spot on!    They asked if we could leave it over the weekend and I asked them what would happen if I did.  Many reported they stalks would rot!  A few then asked, what happens when something rots.  Inquiring minds want to know!!!!!!!!!!!  Oh, how I love teaching Multi-age 1-2!

Up next- we look at dirt, ask if all plants need dirt and have roots, and we "plant" seeds in a towel.

Celery experiment

beginning of our chart

Does this plant need soil?

Do these plants need soil?

What is going to happen with the carrot tops?


Melissa said...

thanks for following. cant wait to see what happens to the carrots. lol

Teacher and Life Long Learner said...

I checked on them yesterday. They are already changing. I can't wait to see my students' faces when they see the carrot tops tomorrow! SMILES