Monday, May 25, 2015

Exploratory Science Unit: Plant Anatomy Research at the Library and Creative Art Activity

As a follow-up to our Flower Anatomy: A hands-on, interactive preschool lesson, my son and I visited our local library to research flower and plant books. As we sat on the floor, perusing bottom-shelf books, he accumulated an impressive check-out pile...



He was particularly excited to find a book on carnivorous plants...



...but then equally aghast to discover why they are called carnivorous plants...


Moving on from that picture, he then found a diagram, similar to the one we made the day before! He excitedly named each part that we had labeled on his diagram...


With books in tow, we went home to work on a fun, creative flower project! We started by reviewing his science journal and the parts of a flower.


Then, I gave him a bag full of cut-out felt shapes, including long rectangles, ovals, triangles, squares, diamonds, and circles.


To take advantage of the opportunity for a math lesson, I had my son categorize the shapes before working on his art project. Here is his result, and a video explaining his thought process...



While he categorized his felt-shapes, I tapped into the "Depth and Complexity" icons by using the "language of the discipline" to help develop his vocabulary. By asking him how he planned on separating, or categorizing, his shapes, I used the correct terminology, categorize, while scaffolding its meaning, separate into groups that are the same.

Once he had all the shapes separated, we discussed the flower parts and he began constructing his felt-shape flower...




As you can see, I allowed him to tap into his creative side on this project by using any color and shape for his flower. As I shared in my previous post, there is a time for students to reflect their "scientific" observations and a time for expressing their creativity. In either case, though, I was able to cross disciplines and make my son's learning deeper and more meaningful.

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