Planting Seeds in the Classroom (c) Bernadette Rego (http://www.bernadetterego.org)
(c) Bernadette Rego (http://www.bernadetterego.org) Purchase seeds that you want to plant with children in the classroom. Consider that you will be planting them outside (after they germinate), as this will help you determine whether to buy seeds that need to be planted in full sun, partial shade or full shade. If you do not have space to plant them outside, determine which types of plants that families of children prefer to plant for their homes (with full sun, shade).
To prepare the activity, you will need containers to plant seeds, scoops or small spoons to put soil in the containers, and containers of water to water seeds once they have been planted. If you're doing this activity inside, you may also want some plastic bags or other covering to prevent soil from staining the floor. (c) Bernadette Rego (http://www.bernadetterego.org)
Present your seed packets to the children. This would be a great opportunity to introduce a literacy lesson in the classroom. Discuss with them why it is important to read the information on seed packets, elaborating that it tells us the conditions needed for the plant to grow, how to plant the seeds, and how long they will take to germinate. You may want to create a list of vocabulary words derived from the packaging for older children and place them on a word wall in the classroom. (c) Curriculo Infantil (http://www.curriculoinfantil.blogspot.com)
For science activities, children can study the parts of the plant and label a diagram of the plant from the roots to the petals. This would be ideal to do when they have at least seen full grown plants so they can make the connection. I created a worksheet for this activity and have included it in this site. Alternatively, children can create their own image of a plant and label it. Children can study where they can find as much full sun, partial shade or full shade. Ask them how they will find the answer. You may want children to observe and record sunlight exposure outside the classroom and the time of day where sun is shining. Ask children to create a map of the school to note the hours of day and sun exposure on it. (c) Bernadette Rego (http://www.bernadetterego.org)
There are also opportunities to teach math with this project. When it is time to plant the germinated seeds outside, children can use rulers to measure how much distance they need to separate the plants. Children may now measure the depth of the seed to be planted in the container. Children can also count on the calendar how many days until the seeds should begin to sprout. There are also opportunities to discuss the patterns in plants. If you are planting a variety of flowers, you can have them planted in a sequential pattern so that children can identify what is the pattern. (c) Bernadette Rego (http://www.bernadetterego.org)
Children enjoy sensory experiences. Encourage children to explore the seeds with their hands and describe how they feel. Ask children to describe what they see in terms of colors, shapes, and size. They can write their comments (or with your assistance) or can talk about what they observed with VoiceThread , accompanied by pictures of children with the seeds. (c) Bernadette Rego (http://www.bernadetterego.org)
Children also learn to care and take responsibility for living things in this activity. They may be responsible for giving water to the seeds and watering the seeds for children who are absent. They also develop an appreciation for nature as they watch their seeds grow into plants. (c) Bernadette Rego (http://www.bernadetterego.org)