Planting seeds, watching the process of growing and seeing the end product teaches children valuable lessons about science and the cycle of life. Even learning to care for a plant is a lesson children can easily learn. A hands-on approach makes the teaching easier and the learning deeper for kids.
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Bean Tee Pee
Inside the classroom, or outdoors by a window where the kids can see, grow a bean tepee. Let the kids help fill a planter with potting soil. Each child can push some pole bean seeds into the soil. Water the plant often. The seeds will sprout in a few days. When the plant begins to grow upward, push sturdy dowel sticks into the planter in the shape of a tepee frame. Arrange the growing plants around the dowels. The shape will make it easy for the kids to pick mature beans. Science lessons can include opening some of the beans to see inside, cooking and eating the beans, looking at the roots of the plant and examining the bean vines to see how they grew and twined together.
From Seed to Flower Pictures
Provide a variety of seeds, along with the packet that has a picture of the mature flower. Have kids draw a picture of the flower on construction paper. Glue the seed packet onto the paper. Glue some of the seeds on the drawing of the flower. Discuss how the seeds grow and turn into the pretty flowers.
Make a mural of various plants for the classroom. Teachers may write the name of the flower on the mural and display it so kids can learn to identify some flower seeds.
Plant a Seed - Song
Teach the children the following song, using the tune of "Are You Sleeping?" Make up some actions for the song, if desired.
"Plant a seed, plant a seed, in the ground, in the ground. Cover it with dirt, then we add some water. Watch it grow. Watch it grow."
My Own Planter Box
Provide a plastic box for each child. The box that diaper wipes come in works well. Let the kids decorate the outside of the box with markers, stickers and other craft materials. Help kids use a disposable cup to fill their planter boxes about three-quarters full of potting soil. Let each child plant one or more flower bedding plants that are bloomed or ready to bloom. Give kids some fast-growing seeds such as grass and bean seeds to plant around the flowers. Provide a sunny place in the classroom so the kids can watch their plants grow, water the plants and pick off any wilting petals. Explain and discuss all the processes during the time the planters are displayed.
Growing Plants - A Play
Teach the children some songs and rhymes about growing flowers and plants (See Resource 1). Write a simple play, if desired. Have the kids practice and perform a "growing plants" play.
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