Saturday, October 18, 2014

All about plants!

As a preview to lead us into out pumpkin life cycle unit I did a plant unit. I actually had a science workbook that has a chapter all about plants so I was lucky enough not to have to create my own! The kids had such a blast with this little mini-unit we did all week. 

Monday we started off with a BIG poster that we did together during our carpet time.

Yes, I know 'leaf' is easier than 'leaves' but I made the thing pointing to more than one, so when the kids said "Those are leaves!" I couldn't argue with them! Smart little kiddos! I introduced the concept of phonetic spelling (my kids are still trying to learn all their alphabet letters so this was more for my advanced students who know the sounds and letters already) and we spelled plants and stem together. I also worked on color identification by holding up the marker and having them tell me what color that particular part was. Apparently, light colors are called "baby" colors. So light blue is baby blue, baby pink, and in our case it was baby green. Adorable! 

After we did the poster together they stood up and we did little motions to help us learn what each part does. We would echo each other for the chant but here it is with motions (as best I can describe):

My roots hold me to the ground (point to feet and make a strong grabby motion with hands.)
My stem makes me stand up tall! (Hands on hips in superhero pose.)
My leaves give me food! ( jazz hands out to the side and make a sweeping motion to the mouth.)

It's so stinking cute when they do it. I just look like a fool but they rock it during carpet time!

Tuesday we did our science notebook page where they had to color their plant parts the correct colors. (Mrs. P didn't read directions very well the day before and her big chart example was backwards!) The did an awesome job with it ALL ON THEIR OWN!

 I think they did a GREAT job coloring inside the lines! Our coloring rules are REALLY starting to work!
Silly I know...but this little guy finally wrote his name ON HIS OWN!!

I posted the finished papers on our science board and the kids were so excited to show mom and dad when they came in the next morning. 

Wednesday (you can't see it) they had to draw their own plant on the back of their science notebook pages. It REALLY gave me a clear idea of who understood the different parts and who didn't. We did our dance/chant again to finish off the lesson. 

Thursday we did a nature walk and they got to find all the plants on campus and point to the different parts. The roots of most plants were a bit of a challenge because they wanted to rip up the plants to actually SEE the roots, but I can proudly say not a single plant was harmed in the making and learning of this unit!

Friday was our craft day. Now I was nervous about this part because it was complicated and a bit tedious but I plugged along and they turned out really cute! We made plants from straws pipe cleaners and paper leaves!

I got Starbucks straws and cut them in half to use for stems. Everyone received a straw, some brown pipe clearners and 4 leaves. The first thing we did was push the pipe cleaners up into the bottom of our straw. Then we filled our straw with glue to hold the pipe cleaners in. The kids rolled and pushed some green tissue paper into the other end to "cork up" the other end so glue wouldn't spill out everywhere. From there I used a glue stick to put glue on their straw and they had to stick their leaves on their straws ( I went back with white glue and glued the leaves on after school because they kept popping off!) Here is the finished product!

My students will be taking these home on Monday to show their moms and dads. They are really excited to start our pumpkin unit! Hopefully I'll have more pictures for that unit than I did for this unit. It's a lot more involved. We do a science experiment to see if pumpkins sink or float, we do ten frames from the seeds, we stick letters to individual pumpkins, we count how many cubes tall our pumpkin is, we even do a sequence of the pumpkin life cycle on a 3-D paper pumpkin. So much fun and all in time for Halloween! I can't wait to show you our Pumpkin Olympics! Anywho, that's another blog post for another day.

I hope your classes are having as much fun as we are and your kids are enjoying the season too! 

Always remember: any moment can be a learning moment!

Sincerely from TK,
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