Spring time means it’s time for learning about plants and living and non-living things. And that means we’re using our Plants Research Project!
The ‘staches will be using our Plants research creation to research and write about plants!! We will learn the parts of plants, plant life cycles, how we use plants, what plants need to grow, and how plants help people! We will also plant bean seeds and observe how our grass grows! Students will record their seed observations in their seed journals! However, before we start with plants, we study living and non-living things!
This research project contains suggested books, recording sheets for plants as well as all the materials needed to create your research journal and graphic organizers! We have also included rubrics to assess student writing. This 2 week plants unit is aligned to the NGSS. (NGSS: KLS1, KESS2, KESS3)
Living And Non-Living
Before we learn about plants, we de some investiagation into living and non-living things. This sets us up to understand plants.
After we learn what living things and non-living things need, we explore living and non-living using earthworms and gummy worms. We measured each worm, described the worms and decided if each were alive or not. Ya’ll there’s nothing like the squeals and giggles when you get out the earthworms! (Note: no worms were harmed and all were released outside after our lesson)
My students also did a scavenger hunt to find examples of living and non-living things. This serves as a great assessment to see if students can identify living/non-living and explain their thinking.
As always, our research project kicks off and ends with a schema map. We add our schema on the first day of our research project. Before we do any learning about plants, the students share their schema or what they know about plants and we record it on Post It Notes. As we learn about platns, we add new learning and address any misconceptions!
As we research and study plants, we record our learning on our class charts. We use tree charts, brace charts, true/false sorts for higher order thinking and labeling to learn about vocabulary and adaptations!
The students then record their learning in their very own Plant Research Journal!
To assess the student’s writing, we also include writing rubrics in our research projects!
To help us understand how the parts of a plant work, we do our rainbow flowers experiment! Use any white flowers. Snip off the stems and place the flowers in water that has food coloring added. Have students make predictions and draw that they think might happen. And then watch what happens! This is a great kick off lesson for your plant research project! We always do this on day 1 so we can watch how our flowers change!
As part of all of our Mad Science Experiments, we make predictions and record our hypothesis and outcomes!
These are included in our Mad Science Creation!
Of course we have to do art projects involving plants! And there are so many fun ideas!
First up, we use art as an assessment tool. After studying plants, their parts and their needs, the students create a plant poster and label the parts of plants and the needs of plants.
We also draw flowers, paint carrots and use plants to paint pictures!
This is one of my ultimate favorite art projects! I LOVE feet painting projects because it’s hilarious to watch the kids giggle and squirm. And let’s face it, this is a pretty big bonding moment!
This is a celery painting! Simply cut the bottom off of the celery and dip in paint. Stamp the flower onto the paper. Students then use their fingers to make stems!
Directed drawings are great and EASY and QUICK art projects. These are also great for listening and following directions and working on spatial awareness! These directions can be found on Pinterest. I got mine from Bright Concepts For Teachers!
We also learn that plants give us food. And we all love to eat so of course we learn about the parts of a plant that we eat! The kids are always shocked to learn that we actually eat all the plant parts!
Our first plant food activity is our Tops And Bottoms salad! We kick off our plant research project with the book Tops and Bottoms. We do a fun sort of which plants grow on top and which ones grow on the bottom!
And then we make a salad of all the plants from the book Tops And Bottoms!
Our final project for our plant theme is to eat the parts of plants! I pass out the food to the students and have them sort the parts of plants. Then we discuss each part and see if we were able to identify the parts of plants that we eat!
Tops And Bottoms Comprehension Activities
As part of our plant unit, we read Tops And Bottoms and work on comprehension skills using our Read It Up creation!
Tops And Bottoms Sensory Bin
Here’s a fun and easy idea to bring some tops and bottoms fun into your sensory bin! Use pasta dyed green and orange to make the filler. THen add carrot tops and bottoms from our Carrot Sight Word game to make a sight word sensory bin! Students match the tops and bottoms of the carrots and write the words!
Click the images to see the books on Amazon!