Explore Together (indoors): Our Growing Seeds and Bulbs

  • children’s bean seed, grass seed, and onion bulb plants
  • magnifying lenses
  • science notebooks
  • bulb
  • leaves
  • plant
  • root
  • stem
  • survive

MA Standards

English Language Arts/Language/L.PK.MA.6: Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, listening to books read aloud, activities, and play.
Mathematics/Measurement and Data/PK.MD.MA.1: Recognize the attributes of length, area, weight, and capacity of everyday objects using appropriate vocabulary (e.g., long, short, tall, heavy, light, big, small, wide, narrow)

Head Start Outcomes

Logic and Reasoning/Reasoning and Problem Solving: Classifies, compares, and contrasts objects, events, and experiences.
Science Knowledge/Scientific Skills and Method: Observes and discusses common properties, differences, and comparisons among objects.
Science Knowledge/Scientific Skills and Method: Collects, describes, and records information through discussions, drawings, maps, and charts.

PreK Learning Guidelines:

English Language Arts/Language 2: Participate actively in discussions, listen to the ideas of others, and ask and answer relevant questions.
Science and Technology/Inquiry Skills 4: Record observations and share ideas through simple forms of representation such as drawings.

Explore Together (indoors): Our Growing Seeds and Bulbs

© Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Early Education and Care (Jennifer Waddell photographer). All rights reserved.

STEM Key Concepts: Plants start in different ways; Some plants start from seeds; Some plants start from bulbs; Plants have different parts: roots, stems, leaves, and fruit; Each part of the plant has a function in helping the plant survive; Plants need water and sunlight to grow; Some plant parts are below the ground and some above

ELA Focus Skills: Listening and Speaking, Vocabulary

Safety Tips:

  • Remind children to wash their hands before and after the activity.
  • Remind children not to eat ANY plants or touch any plants without asking an adult.

Have children continue to observe their growing plants. Invite children to observe their bean, grass, and onion bulb plants. Have children talk about ways the plants are alike and ways that the plants are different. Encourage lots of different answers from children. Help them notice details about the sizes, shapes, colors, and textures of the plants and plant parts, including the leaves, roots, and stems of the plants.

Let children freely explore their plants. Encourage them to observe and count the leaves on each plant, to compare the grass growing on paper towels to the grass planted in the cups, to compare the grass roots to the onion roots, etc. Ask questions such as,

  • What is the same about the grass roots and the onion roots? What is different?
  • Why do you think roots are creeping through the holes in the bottom of the cup?
  • What part of the bean leaf is the widest part of the leaf? Is that the same for the leaves on all of the plants?
  • What do you notice about the colors of the plants/leaves? Is the plant/leaf the same shade of green everywhere? Or are some parts lighter or darker?

Have children use their science notebooks to draw their plants. Encourage them to notice changes in their plants since their last observation/drawing.

Reflect and Share

After they have finished recording their observations, gather children together to share their drawings. Ask children what details they noticed about the plants and invite them to share their ideas about how each part of the plant helps it survive and grow. For example ask,

  • What did you notice about the colors of the plants/leaves? How were the colors the same/different? How was the green on top of the leaves different from the green on the bottom?
  • How do you think the different parts of the plant help it grow? How do you think the bean plant leaves/stems/roots help it grow? Why do you think so? (leaves capture sunlight for photosynthesis)

Educator Tip: When moving into these more abstract inferential questions, it’s important to accept all answers from children to help them generate ideas based on evidence from their observations. It is not important that children give a correct answer.

Adaptation: Adapt the materials and procedures if younger children will be working in a group. You might prefer to have each young child do the activities individually, with one-to-one supervision.

Adaptation: For groups with young children, you may choose to do a group chart to record children’s observations. Allow children to dictate as you record. Encourage children to illustrate the chart after the dictation.

Social Emotional Tip: Keeping a notebook/journal helps children develop an awareness of time and continuity.

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