In Unit 7, children explore plants. Children will plant their own seeds and bulbs and observe, compare, and measure, and graph their plants’ growth over several weeks. They will also compare plants that grow in their natural environment to plants that are cultivated. Through free exploration and guided, hands-on activities, children gain an understanding of the plant world in their environment.
- Sprouting Seeds and Bulbs (Week One). Children become aware that plants are living things. From planting bulbs and seeds, children begin to understand that there are many different kinds of plants and that some plants grow from seeds and others grow from bulbs. Children explore and compare different plants outdoors in the natural environment. They draw and write initial observations in science notebooks.
- Watch Them Grow (Week Two). Children explore seeds inside fruits, explore the many varieties of flowers and how they grow, and plant their own sunflowers. They visit a plant farm to explore cultivated plants and meet with a plant expert to ask questions. They continue to observe and record their growing seeds and bulbs planted in Week 1, and use measuring skills to record the growth.
- Still Growing (Week Three). Children continue to observe and record the growth of their plants and repot them to allow more area for growth. They continue their exploration of parts of plants and compare same parts of different plants. Children learn how a small wheat seed is planted, harvested, ground into flour, and baked in a loaf of bread. They continue to observe, measure, and record their plants.
- Explore Plants’ Needs (Week Four). During the final week, children observe that plants grow in different places and in different types of soil. They understand that plants get their needs met from the environment (their habitat). Children recognize that plants and animals, including humans have basic needs in common. Children identify worms as tiny animals that live in the soil, underground and they also observe a worm habitat and begin to understand how worms help plants meet their needs. Children continue to observe and measure the seeds and bulbs they planted.
Children’s learning is supported through daily hands-on exploration and by listening to read-aloud books and watching media throughout the unit. Children also begin to learn strategies they can use for communicating with others, making good choices, problem solving, cooperation and planning, and getting along with others.