All About Plants

Today, we started a new science project. For the younger kids, I try to use projects for History and Science.  The kids love the hands on projects and hopefully retain more of the information.  We took advantage of the after Christmas sales and bought 2 Amaryllis and some Paper White Narcissuses for this project.

The first step was to hydrate the soil.  The soil comes in the form of something very similar to a hockey puck.  We added warm water and let it soak.  The kids were amazed at how big they grew.  

Once the pucks expanded, it was time to get dirty!  Now, they had to break up the dirt and fill the pots.

Before planting, we took some time to examine our bulbs, look at the roots, and learn a little about photosynthesis and plant structure. We also got a tiny bit of math in.  We had to plant 1/3 of our bulb in dirt.  We got to work on our fractions!  Always a bonus when math can come into play.

Once the bulbs were planted, we are done with the dirty work.  We still had to figure out how to keep track of the plants’ growth.  Every scientist knows you need a method of measurement. Since we wanted it to stay in the pot with the plant we opted to create our own unit of measurement.  It will be  to be the straw length.  Abbreviated S.L.

Here they are making their measuring sticks.  Once done, sticks will be placed in the pots so they can be used to see how much the plants have grown over the course of the experiment.

Here is our finished project.  Now, they just have to monitor and log the plants growth.  They have already made observations.  One thing they noticed:  the leaves were white instead of yellow.  This was a great chance to talk more about the importance of light for plants.

Next week, the squirts will be excited and the worksheets will come out.  We’re going to label plant’s parts, do some reading, and go a little deeper.  We’ll also probably track down a related Magic School Bus video or two.

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