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Showing posts from May, 2014

Plants in the Midst: Poetry

Music, art, photography, poetry and stories are different ways to share information about a topic. The children researched these different ways of expressing knowledge in relation to plants. The book "The Tree in the Ancient Forest" by Carol Reed-Jones had the children talking about the roots and their function. An image of a hollow tree in the book provoked a conversation as to what may have happened to that tree to cause it to die. Jayla noticed that the tree was still important because a squirrel was living in it.

The children used watercolours to paint their own picture and share their knowledge about plants. Some of the children sang "What a Wonderful World" as they painted. After the paintings were completed, each child wrote a poem to describe their image.  Here are their pictures and poems:

Plants in the Midst: Observations

A few weeks ago, the children put a flower (with no roots) into some soil with a potted plant.  We have been monitoring the flower and today the children noticed that it has dried up but the plant is thriving. The children concluded that the even with water this flower could not survive without roots. From this, we checked on the beans we have been germinating as well as the carrots and pumpkins. The carrots and pumpkins are not showing any visible signs of growth yet.  The beans, on  the other hand, have begun to display roots.  The children took the seed coats off the beans and were able to see where the roots and the plant itself are beginning to grow.  We will plant the rest of the beans and monitor the growth.

Our discussions over the past week have related to the life cycle of the plant. Today the children made a book depicting this cycle.

Plants in the MIdst: Seeds

The previous actives related to  roots and leaves led the children to asked to study seeds.

We read the book "Flip, Float, Fly: Seeds on the Move" by JoAnn Early Macken. The book taught us all the different ways seeds travel to how they root and the plant cycle begins again.    The children were keen to explore  the forest and eagerly went on a seed hunt. We brought the seed collection back to the centre to explore what plants they came from.  The collection consisted of dandelion seeds, maple seeds and pine cones.

The children asked to grow seeds. Before we could become gardeners, we needed to identify what was needed to grow a plant. The children knew that they needed seeds, water, soil, and sun for plants to grow. The children were confident that they could grow a plant and

planted pumpkin and carrot seeds.  We also wrapped beans in wet paper towels to see if the beans would germinate.  We will chart the progress weekly.

Plants in our Midst: Roots We Eat

Exploring the function of roots, led me to ask the children if we could eat roots.  The group was split on the answer.  
Yes     No Grace                                    Byron Jayla                                       Esme Tyreese                                   Oliver                                                Sophie
We did some research and found that there are roots we eat! The children were adventurous and tasted three roots today: carrots, radishes and beets.  Jayla and Sophie preferred the carrot.  Oliver and Grace couldn't decide what was the tastiest and said all three roots were good.

Plants in our Midst: Roots

The children have identified many ways as to how trees and bushes are used by humans and animals. This week, we began to explore in more detail parts of a plant in particular the roots.  I asked the children what does a root do, they replied with two ideas: helps plants grow and helps plants to stand.  
We did a number of activities to support the children's knowledge of the function of roots.
We examined the roots of plants (weeds) found in our area and conducted an experiment to see how roots send water to the rest of the plant.  The children put the end of cotton yarn in blue coloured water to simulate how water moves up a root.  Over the course of the day, the children could see how the water travelled up the string as a root would to nourish the plant.
To see how roots help plants stand we put a cut flower stem in with a potted plant.  It was clear to see how the flower stem had no stability and was easy to pull out of the soil unlike the potted plant. The children asked to …

Plant's in our MIdst: Child's Question

Wednesday's discussion  as to whether or not a bush (shrub) is a tree guided our group activity today.  Using the internet, the children discovered that a bush is not a tree but both trees and bushes are plants.  The children made a chart outlining the similarities and differences between the two types of plants.  The children listed many similarities and one main difference.  The difference being that a tree has one trunk (stem) and a bush has many. We ended with an art activity that had the children practicing their fine motor skills.

Plants in our Midst: Trees

We are beginning this unit of inquiry by investigating trees.  We began by listing the things a tree can be used for:

Byron: climbing, building houses.  Trees can be made into logs.
Tyreese: playing.
Esme: animals can hide in them. It can be camouflage.
Grace: the wood can be used to make doghouse.
Sophie: we can find flowers on trees.
Jayla: we can get wood.

 We read the book  "Trees Can Be...." by Judy Nayer and found that many of things the children listed were in the book. The author wrote that a "tree can be a place full of food." This prompted the children listing different foods that come from trees. A discussion amongst the children as to whether blackberries come from a tree or a bush. Resulting in the children asking "is a bush a tree?" We will explore this further tomorrow.

Plants In Our Midst: Formative Week

How We Share the PlanetTransdisciplinary Theme: How We Share the Planet

Central Idea: Plants play a unique role in our lives and the lives of animals.

Lines Of Inquiry:
- the features of the plants in our local areas.
- how animals/people using plants.
- the needs of plants in our local area.

Continuing with the formative assessment that Wendy began, we went on a nature walk.  The children had a checklist of different items to find. All items were found except an acorn.

This is what the children know:
Byron: A pine cone and an acorn are not the same. A pine cone has spikes.
Esme: Some trees have needles not leaves.
Grace: Fire ants live in the forest.
Jayla: Worms are in the dirt.
Sophie: Flowers are different colours.
Tyreese: Leaves are different shapes.

 On Thursday, all of the children of Creative Minds went on a walk to explore another area of the forest.