Noelle Strzepek and Brynlee Holley do some watering

They probably won’t grow tall enough to reach the goose with the golden egg, but the lima bean plants being grown by Heather Church’s class are getting taller every day. The first-graders planted them from seed as part of the hands-on activities for their “Exploring Organisms” science unit.

The project gives students the opportunity to witness the importance of sun and water to growth, and learn first-hand about the structures of plants and their functions. To show the last stage of the process, Mrs. Church had grown a plant at her home a month before the kids planted their seeds. The mature plant, which is now just forming beans, shows the young gardeners what their sprouts will become if nurtured properly.

“It’s a lesson in patience, too,” said Mrs. Church. “The kids expect things to grow immediately. It’s exciting for them to raise something of their own.”

On the classroom window sill, each student has his or her own plant in a labeled pot. The students water their own individual plants every day and make sure they’re getting enough sunlight. The class had read a book that suggests that reading to plants will help them grow faster, so students also took some time right after planting to read to their seeds. 

Earlier in the unit the first-graders had learned about family traits and how humans grow. Next up, the kids will study insect life and observe scientifically preserved specimens of honey bees, ciccadas, crickets, dragonflies, and butterflies.

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