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Volume 5, Issue 7
March 26, 2007



Explain to children that a seed is really a small package that contains a baby plant and the food it needs to start growing. You may want to cut apart a bean seed to help them understand this concept.

Invite children to learn this little finger play.

Green tiny shoots [wiggle fingers]
Push up from the ground [wiggle fingers up]
Come on soft tiptoes [children tiptoe]
Not making a sound. [put index finger to lips]

Where do they come from, [hands up to sides shake heads]
Growing with such speed? [raise arms up high]
Oh, now I remember… [point to head]
I planted a small seed! [cup hands together as if holding a seed]

Susan LaBella
Editor, Early Childhood Education Newsletter



Read aloud The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle. Next provide a variety of seeds for children to examine. Challenge them to compare the seeds -- their size, shape, color. Help children plant seeds in potting soil and cups. Then invite them to keep a journal, recording each stage of growth. Each student might glue a seed to the first page and write the name under it. Encourage children to record through drawings or words what happens as their seeds sprout. When the seeds grow, Ask: Did the size of the seed have anything to do with the size of the plant? Which seeds grew fastest? Which seeds grew flowers?

Place a carrot in a cup with water and blue food coloring. Explain to children that a carrot is really the root of the carrot plant. (We eat roots!) After a few hours, cut off a small section of the carrot near the tip. You should see blue dots where the water is being carried up into the plant. Talk about how the roots bring water and minerals to other parts of the plant so it can grow. Continue cutting in small sections to track the water.

Collect pairs of matching seed packets and mount each one on oak tag. Place them face down and let children turn them over, two at a time to make a match in a memory game.

Let children choose a colorful page from a plant catalog. Mount it on oak tag and cut it into puzzle-shaped pieces. Place pieces in an envelope and let children re-assemble the puzzle.

Give children red felt half circle shapes. Help children glue green trim onto the shapes to make watermelon mats. Next, give each child a handful of watermelon seeds. Let children place the seeds on the mats for counting, to show number sentences, to work with sets, and so on.

Read to children Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert. After talking about the steps taken in planting a garden, create sentence strips with these phrases:
--- buy bulbs and plant them in the ground
--- order seeds from catalogs
--- wait all winter long
--- spring comes to warm the soil and sprout the bulbs
--- go to the garden center to select seedlings
--- sow the seeds
--- set out the plants in soil
--- watch the rainbow grow
--- all summer pick them and bring them home
Invite children to take turns placing the sentences into a pocket chart in the correct sequence. Review the book for the correct order.

Talk with children about trees in spring. Ask: How do spring trees look? If possible take your class on a walk to observe trees that are beginning to bud. Next, give each child a drinking straw and a piece of paper. Let children use brown paint to paint a line part way up the middle of the paper. Tell children that is the tree trunk. Next place a spoonful of paint at the top of the trunk. Help children blow through their straws over the paint moving the straw upward and outward to form branches for the tree. Let the paint dry and continue your discussion of how trees change. When the paint is dry, let children dab a cotton ball in green paint and make new leaves for the spring tree. If grass has started to grow where you live, let children paint some under the tree. If you still have lots of mud in your area, children can paint mud beneath their trees.



Check out the following Web sites for additional background and activities.

Dandelion-Science Museum of Minnesota
Find out about dandelions! It's all here.

Spreading Seeds
This provides some good information on how seeds grow.

Kids Splash
This can help you explain why plants have flowers.

This terrific resource has a "Teacher's Room" filled with classroom projects, gardening activities, and lots more.

Gardening Snacks
You'll get some fun snack ideas here.

Poems and Songs
Strike up the band and have everyone sing along!