"How does a scientist (student) investigate how a seed becomes a plant?"
(Science 21: Science for the 21st Century, Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES)
|Our Literacy program begins with the story "The Garden" from Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad Together - a perfect match for the project!|
In this humorous tale, Frog tries some unusual ways to encourage the growth of his garden. He reads poems to his seeds, sings, plays music, and even provides candles for a nightlight. We decided to do the same!
The class was divided into four groups:
|Before we began our project, we listened to the story A Seed is a Promise and then dissected and examined lima beans that had been soaked over night. We were amazed to find tiny baby plants inside!|
Thanks to the wonderful store, Learning Tree, we had donated pouches for our project. After soaking bean, corn, and pea seeds overnight, the children placed one of each in their pouches, along with a moistened paper towel.
For four days we spent a daily 10-15 minutes in groups reading, singing, and playing music for our seeds.
Each day the children would place their pouches around their necks and go to their group's area.
The "We will read a story and give extra light to our seeds" group met in the hall with their reading books and flashlights. They came up with the idea to place the tiny flashlights inside the pouches, shining directly on the seeds as they were reading "The Garden" and other stories to them.
The "We will sing to our seeds" and the "We will read poems to our seeds" groups used the songs and poems from our Flower and Garden Songs and Poems page. The "We will play music for our seeds" group used our boombox to play a cd from Yuran's piano teacher and even a tape of Charles playing the piano, along with other music.
Each day we were surprised and delighted in the changes in our seeds. On Friday each group voted on whose seeds from their group had grown the most. We then measured the length of each sprout. Here is what we found:
First of all, WHY had the "Read a story/extra light" group's seeds grown so little? The children decided that although the flashlight in the pouch warmed their seeds, it also made the paper towel dry up, leaving them no water. Hunter's seed had grown the most (Poem Group), but all the other seeds were fairly close in growth, so the conclusion was drawn that water plays an important role in germination.
Everyone got to bring home their pouches on Friday with a ziploc bag filled with soil so they could plant their seeds at home.
At the same time that we had placed seeds in our pouches, we had planted some in soil. These seeds were left alone (just like Toad finally did in the story). Here's what they looked like by Friday.
Note: Date was September 16th, not 15th
Stay tuned for future updates.