Thursday, April 17, 2014

Plants, First Grade Time Lapse Photography, and FREEBIES

We have been celebrating spring by learning about plants.  Every spring, I get this surprise box in the mail.
I am not sure who signed me up for this, but I am so happy about it!  The box full of soil pods, seeds, and cups.  Just add water and time and... VOILA! PLANTS!!!  There were a variety of seeds in my box, so I had each group plant a different type of seed.  I drew around the top of each cup with a sharpie that correlated to the group color so that we could easily tell what was growing.  The red table grew squash, orange had pumpkins, yellow got marigolds, green was lettuce, blue grew basil, and purple planted sunflowers.

We were very scientific and used magnifying glasses to inspect the seeds.  We recorded how they were similar and how they were different.  We predicted which plant would grow the fastest and which would be the biggest.  Does the size of the seed effect the size of the plant?  We wrote our predictions in our science journals.  They loved it!  I have never met a first-grader who wasn't crazy for science.

I have planted seeds for years, but this year I wanted to add a little techie-twist to the project. I taught the kids about time lapse photography.  Here is a great example from YouTube:

We took pictures of our plants every morning and every afternoon.  I made the slideshow in front of them using the projector to show them how what I was doing.  We edited the song and added it to our video.  This was a really simple project.  Many kids mentioned that their parents make slideshows, but I don't think any of them had ever made a slideshow.  I think we will play around some more with this because it is such a simple way to integrate real-world technology.  Our video is not nearly as cool as the one above, but we had fun making it! The music on my video is by Ken Sheldon.  I love ALL of his songs!  This was also one of our morning songs this week.  To read more about morning songs, click here!

I made some fun crowns that show the life cycle of a plant.  When the band is assembled, it shows the cycle in a circle around their heads.  Quick, easy, and they can tell their parents all about it!  To print your own crowns, click here! 

I also found a WONDERFUL plant journal freebie from Carillo's Kinder"garden"!  This resource has 5 different pages.  It was really easy to put together and exactly what I wanted to go along with my plant unit.

Hydroponic garden in action!
One of our fourth grade teachers is really into gardening and her class actually has a hydroponic garden.  We visited them today and learned about how this works.  My firsties brought their plants to share with the fourth graders.

It was pretty neat to hear the younger kids ask about how the plants got nutrients without the soil and the older kids explain to them how they hydroponic system works.  The kids talked about the similarities and differences in the two types of gardening.  The fourth graders also have a garden outside that they planted at the same time.  They are experimenting to see which plants grow faster.

My kiddos took their little plants home with them today.  Some of them were getting really big and need to be re-potted.  This was one of my favorite years for plants.  Thank you to Wal-Mart and Burpee for putting plants in my classroom.



jbales said...

So cool. Thank you for sharing. My children will love the crowns.

Darlene Potts said...

I have this kit and can't find the directions! Ugh! How many soil pods do you use and how much water do you add?

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