Thursday, April 28, 2011

What Plants Need to Grow

For the opener, I will read another book on plants that in more scientific.  After the story, we can post our ideas about "What Plants Need to Grow".  I am hoping for answers such as water, sun, dirt.

1st activity will be soil exploration.  I will have different soil samples that Indi and I dug from around the yard (you can bring some soil samples too if you like...maybe about 2 cups soil of each)  I want the kids to take note of how each one feels, smells, looks, etc.  I was thinking we could try putting them in order from the sandiest (lightest) sample, to the densest and heaviest sample (like from sand or silt to clay).  I don't want a ton of samples...just 3 or 4.  I have plenty of heavy clay in my yard and I have some nice garden soil and compost. I have sand in the sandbox I could use.  If you have anything in between you want to contribute, feel free...otherwise, no worries.  I think we will have enough.

Making hypotheses...Which soil will hold the most water?  Since plants also need water, it is important that soil be capable of holding water like a sponge. We can have them pour a measured amount of water on the sponge, then lift the sponge to see how much was absorbed and how much is left over in the bottom of the dish.  Then we can pour the same measure of water on each or our soil samples placed over a piece of mesh to see if each sample absorbs more or less thatn the sponge.  We can then place them in order from the least to the most absorbant.  Then make a hypothesis as to which soil might be the best soil to grow plants in and why?  Is there such a thing as a plant getting too much water?  not enough? (I don't think we will make it through all of these questions with each kid...but you see where I am going I think).

Break for snack, water, and stories.

Plant a bean seed in 3 types of soil...sand, clay, and humus/compost mix.  Observe at home...which one grows the best.

I thought we could try flower pounding for an art project if we get to it.  I have a book here on it and we can go outside and pick some dandelions and try it out if we get there.

We need to add ideas to our board after we do our "lessons" and observations.
Obviously lunch needs to happen at around noon.  What do you want to do for lunch?