Sunday, 16 May 2010

How do Plants Grow?

I am doing a Montessori Early Years Teaching Qualification and my latest assignment requires that I write a planning web for a topic before choosing one of the 'cultural activities' and doing it with the children.  As it is currently a 'hot topic' with the children here, I decided to plan for 'How do Plants Grow?'I thought of lots of things to extend children's knowledge about plants and their growth and decided to share them here as I'd like to do lots of them and post about them and then you will all know what I am talking about!  I have combined Montessori curriculum headings with EYFS to suit all interested parties!!

Literacy (Communication, Language and Literacy)
  • Booklets or spinning books (i-dials) on the life cycles of seeds.
  • Sequencing cards on stages of growth.
  • Books and stories
  • Language tray with initial sounds that relate to seeds and plants (b-bean, p-pot, c-compost, s-sun, w-water, g-grow, l-leaf)
  • Word wall - new vocabulary relating
Mathematics (Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy)
  • Measuring the plants as they grow.
  • Ordering seeds and beans from largest to smallest.
  • Making bird cake from seeds - following a recipe card.
  • Volumes of compost in pots.
  • Measuring rainfall.
Creative (Creative Development)
  • Make bean collages.
  • Sunflowers - Van Goch painting, pallet of colours mixed to match and paint sunflowers.
  • Natural paints using mud, dandelions, other flowers, leaves.
  • Maracas with dried beans/rainmakers.
  • Music and Movement - growing as plants grow.
  • Songs and poems about growing.
Activities of daily living (Physical Development - fine motor)
Cultural (Knowledge and Understanding of the World)
  • Cooking and tasting recipes from around the world that use beans.
  • Biology - set up a wormery and put leftovers from the children's fruit into it.
  • Botany - parts of a plant/ what parts of a plant do we eat?/ life cycle of a bean
  • Science - what plants need to grow/ celery stalks and food colouring/ dark box for plant to grow to the light.
  • Leaf shapes/types.
Sensorial (CD, PSRN)
  • Paint colour swatches in green to match to leaves of plants as they grow.
  • Matching herbs by their smell.
  • Leaf skeletons in the nature basket.
  • Matching shapes to plant related items - cone (pot) seed(ovoid) etc.
Although Montessori curricula don't specifically have a section for Personal, Social and Emotional Development, by the approach that Montessori setting take, PSED is supported through all other activities, so you can look for aspects of this as the children take part in activities, just as you would normally.  I'm hoping to post about these activities as we go along, and will link them back to this plan as I go to make it easier to find them.  I'm anticipating that we will spend all summer investigating the way things grow though, so don't be disappointed if it isn't all here in the next couple of weeks.... if you want more information about any of these activities now, please leave a comment and ask and i will do my best to help you out!

1 comment:

  1. retired teacher granny18 May 2010 at 16:41

    Being a scientist, don't forget to get the children to predict what will happen to their plants and to explain their thinking. You can record their thoughts in a speech bubble to go with a display/ photos/in their file etc.
    When you are measuring plant growth, give some thought to how.
    Good scientific thinking is
    "How are we going to measure it?"
    "How are we going to show others?"
    You can cut a string or strip of paper and glue it down day after day.
    You can use a standard unit of some kind such as blocks or cotton reels.
    Then you can count the blocks.
    More able children could colour blocks on squared paper to make an early graph representation.
    Don't give them all the answers. Children explaining their scientific ideas is a joy!