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The beginning of our  kindergarten plant inquiry
The beginning of a plant inquiry
22 Mar, 2017. 3 Comments. A Day In First Grade, Kindergarten, Kindergarten Science, Reggio Inspired, Science. Posted By: Kristen Smith

Hello friends! I hope that this post finds you well. We are currently in the middle of a giant plant inquiry. This year, I wanted to make this unit super engaging and hands-on. To do this, I contacted my favorite local gardening store, The Natural Gardener, and told them what we were about to learn about plants. I asked if they would be willing to donate any supplies to help make this unit come to life for my young learners and they were more than willing to help our classroom out! (Lesson learned: Call and ask! The answer might be yes!)

With their help, I bought a few seed packets, 20 pounds of soil, and a few plants to bring in to the classroom.

Reggio inspired plant provocation

To inspire my students, I set out a few plant provocations.

Reggio inspired plant provocation
Reggio inspired plant provocation- "What shades of green do we see in plants?"

“What shades of green can we find in plants?”

Reggio inspired plant provocation (sensory play)

Sensory play in soil (A favorite!) Tip: Place a tarp underneath your table to contain the mess!

Reggio inspired plant provocation using the Montessori botany cabinet

“What shapes are leaves?” {These are from the Montessori botany cabinet.}

Reggio inspired plant provocation "What is a bulb?"

“What is a bulb?”

Reggio inspired plant provocation "What is a bulb?"

Reggio inspired plant provocation

My students walked in Monday and were so excited to begin a new inquiry! We read the book, “A Seed Is Sleepy” and by the end of it, my students were hooked! They had so many questions and wonders! (They also could not wait to grow their own seeds!!)

That afternoon we examined a variety of seeds. My students were amazed at how some could be so tiny and others could be so large!

Kindergarten student examining seeds during a plant inquiry

Seeds for a kindergarten plant inquiry

I showed my students how to read the pictures on the back of each seed packet. We discussed what germination meant, how deep to plant each seed and how much water we should give them. The germination time was the most important factor for most of my students because they want their plants to grow quickly!
Kindergarten student planting seeds during a plant inquiry Kindergarten students planting seeds during a plant inquiry Kindergarten student planting seeds during a plant inquiry Kindergarten student planting seeds during a plant inquiry

We also explored the differences between a seed and a bulb this day. My young learners were so fascinated by the bulbs.

Kindergarten students examine bulbs during a plant inquiry

They wondered what it looked like inside a bulb so we dissected one!

They carefully removed the outer skin and were amazed to see what was inside!
Kindergarten students examine bulbs during a plant inquiry

“It looks like a pumpkin!”

Kindergarten students examine bulbs during a plant inquiry

After we examined them, we planted the largest bulb. I did not tell my students what this is going to grow into and have students making predictions daily!

Kindergarten students planting bulbs during a plant inquiry

(It is an amaryllis bulb!)

Kindergarten students measuring a bulb during a Reggio inspired plant inquiry

Each day my students have been coming in and measuring our bulb to see if there is any growth. What a great real life application of measuring!

On Tuesday we began an experiment to explore what a plant needs to survive. To do this, we watched a brief video to teach us what plants need to survive.

Then, to better understand the needs of a plant, we planted four different jars of sprouts and are not giving the seeds one of their needs.

Plant number one is our control. It is receiving everything a plant needs: sunlight, water, and has good soil.

Plant number two is not going to get any water.

Planet number three is inside our bathroom cabinet so that it will not receive any sunlight.

Plant number four is not in soil! It is in a jar, by window being watered daily! (They think this is so funny!)

Kindergarten students learn about what plants need by conducting a science experiment

My students carefully helped plant the seeds and label each jar.

Kindergarten students learn about what plants need by conducting a science experiment

This plant is not going to receive any sunlight. My students predict it is not going to grow at all.

Kindergarten students learn about what plants need by conducting a science experiment

Kindergarten students learn about what plants need by conducting a science experiment

After we set up each plant, my students wrote down their predictions as to what they think is going to happen. We learned the word “hypothesis” and added our thoughts to our investigation chart! Kindergarten students learn about what plants need by conducting a science experiment. Kindergarten students learn about what plants need by conducting a science experiment A Day In First Grade-352Kindergarten students learn about what plants need by conducting a science experiment

{I didn’t get a picture of the finished chart, but here it is in action!}

We will check back on this experiment daily!

The next day, we learned about the stem of a plant. To do this, we conducted the crowd pleasing celery experiment.

To make this a bit special, we added a rainbow twist to it. My students followed an experiment procedure in small groups. They worked together to fill up their jars with water, add food coloring, and place their celery stalk into the jar.

Kindergarten students work together to complete the changing colors celery experiment. Kindergarten student works to complete the changing colors celery experiment.

Then we labeled each jar.

One of my students proclaimed, “I think I know what is going to happen! I think that they will change color just like our carnation that we put in blue water!!” My other students eagerly agreed and were very excited to see the celery changing colors already!

 How does a stem work? Students explore this by completing a science experiment.

Come back soon to see what happens throughout the course of our science experiments and the rest of our plant unit! If you would like any of these lesson plans written out for you, as well as the posters, recording pages, and word cards, they are all available in my plant life cycles pack. You can get it from my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Simply click on the link below! I hope you are having a good week!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Life-Cycles-Plant-Edition-3063027

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3 Comments
  1. Reading this makes me go – why spend all my time and energy being creative when you already have such wonderful ideas?? Thank you so much for sharing. I’m pretty sure I’m going to copy every thing you’re doing and I know my students will be delighted.

  2. I loved reading this post about everything you are doing with plants in your classroom! Your students are so lucky. You’ve done a great job in helping them learn all about plants. *love*

    Shelley

3 Comments

  • Reading this makes me go – why spend all my time and energy being creative when you already have such wonderful ideas?? Thank you so much for sharing. I’m pretty sure I’m going to copy every thing you’re doing and I know my students will be delighted.

  • I loved reading this post about everything you are doing with plants in your classroom! Your students are so lucky. You’ve done a great job in helping them learn all about plants. *love*

    Shelley

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