Marquis has a Doctor of Education degree.
Plant Activities for Kindergarteners
Kindergarten is a time when children are exposed to the basics in all subject areas, including science. As part of the kindergarten science curriculum in many schools, students are given the opportunity to learn the basics of nature and plant life cycles.
Being able to plant and watch seeds flourish to full blooms will be a wonderful hands-on experience for children. Students will learn the importance of observation, patience and data analysis. It can also be used to teach children about responsibility as they care for the plants by watering them and making sure they get enough sunlight to grow.
Your kindergarten students will have a great time watching different kinds of seeds grow. All you will need are several types of seeds (i.e., tomato, marigolds, etc.) from your local garden center, clear containers or clear disposable cups (make sure they are clear so you can see the roots form) and planting soil. You may even introduce the activity by finding a fun book like The Tiny Seed by Eric Caudle, a picture book that details the life cycle of a seed. From there, you can use several related activities to keep them motivated to learn more about plants.
Keeping a plant journal will allow your students to document the changes in each seed as it grows into a mature plant. You will start the lesson by having students write down what they noticed about the seeds before they are placed in the dirt. At least once a week, you can have students document any differences they may notice in the seed, such as the formation of roots, buds and leaves.
Personal Plant Booklets
After reading the story of the tiny seed, you could have your students write and illustrate their own booklets about the seeds that they will watch grow in the classroom. Once they have completed their personal booklets, the children can share them with their classmates.
Parts of a Plant
This is a simple activity where you can make copies of a plant diagram and have students label each part (i.e. seedling, roots, stem, leaves, etc.). As the class plant grows, students can document on the sheet when they first observed certain parts. For example, during week two, your students may notice the roots forming from the seedlings that were planted. On their diagram sheet, next to the image of the roots, they would write week two. Students will anticipate what they may see next each time you have them pull out their diagram sheets.
Plant Picture Dictionary
Students can create a picture dictionary, which is more or less a book of words that are associated with or related to plant life. Students' plant dictionaries can be arranged in alphabetical order from A-Z to include plant-related pictures for each letter that they have learned a word for (i.e., for B a picture of a bulb) or the dictionary can just be plant-related pictures (i.e. seeds, stems, roots) that students can use as a reference for their plant studies.
Have students cut out word cards that have plant-themed words like seeds, petals, sunlight, roots, etc., in addition to cutting out word cards that have basic nouns and verbs. Students will then arrange their word cards to make as many sentences as possible. You may want to have your students glue their sentences onto a piece of construction paper and display them around the classroom. A sample sentences may be: Seeds need sunlight to grow. They can even add to the creative flair by drawing a picture or two to go along with their sentences.
Plant-Related Science Projects
It's never too early to introduce students to science projects. Of course, you will probably want to be a bit flexible since this is kindergarten. One simple activity that you can have them work on is comparing plant growth using different types of soil. Students may use organic soil versus regular soil and see if there is a difference in how much each plant grows. You could also have students see whether plants placed in direct sunlight grow at a faster rate than plants placed under a sun lamp. The possibilities are endless, and students can actively participate by keeping a chart of how tall each plant grows (which incorporates a little math here). You can have students make predictions about which plant will grow the most. After a couple of weeks, you can have students write about what they observed with each plant and whether their predictions were correct.
Plant activities are a great way to introduce your kindergarten students to the basics of science and plant life cycles. Students will not only get to see seeds grow and become mature plants, they will learn important skills like observation, patience, responsibility and data analysis.
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