Learning Vocabulary While Growing Plants
Flowers and plants are important to all cultures. A great way to explore and learn, while practicing speech and language, is to grow something with your students. Check in with families to see if there are flowers, vegetables, or plants that are special to them that you may be able to grow.
Learn about Plants and Seeds from a Book
There are countless picture books out there to read with children about the process of growing plants from seeds. A great book that is a lot of fun for everyone to read together is Oh Say Can You See?: All About Flowering Plants. This book by Bonnie Worth is part of the Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library. Familiar faces like the Cat in the Hat, along Thing 1 and 2 guide us through learning about the parts of plants/seeds/flowers, basic photosynthesis, pollination, and seed dispersal. The rhyming and fun in this book provide a great way to begin your own planting process together. Allow children to point out words that they may be working on, to note the rhymes, and to practice saying some of the fun phrases.
Make Grass Monsters
One of the easiest items to grow without a lot of fuss is grass. Seed is not expensive, and it does well with limited light and water. To do this project you will need plastic cups or empty baby good jars, potting soil, grass seed, and decorations to make faces on the outside of the container. For a spin on this you can have the kids create a fun monster face that will eventually have crazy green hair growing from the top of the cup. Spoonful has a post where they share how to make Plant Pals and explain how they set up the grass seed into the cups.
Window Baggie Greenhouse
A great way to speed up the germination process is to make your own mini greenhouses. This can be done with sandwich zip baggies, cotton balls or paper towels, soaked bean seeds, and take. Kids will be able to see the science taking place inside the clear bag and know when they are able to transplant them into something else. Some great project spins on this are available. One teacher shares her fun Sprout Houses that use this came process. The connection with Jack in the Bean Stalk is another fun idea that you can spin off and work within practice
No matter which item you grow there will be a lot of opportunities to make observations on growth and to talk about them. Questions can be asked and answered. Remember to think ahead when growing items. Preset the children that you work with that sometimes they do not always grow properly. Have a backup plan, or plant some extras for just in case on your own. Also think about making a pot or special vase with your students to incorporate these into a gift for Mother’s Day or to send home just in time for Earth Day.