Sunday, June 7, 2015

Exploratory Science Unit: A Plant's Life Cycle

For the final activity in our preschool plant unit, we investigated a plant's life cycle. In our first activity, Flower Anatomy, I opted to give my son authentic, hands-on research with flower parts before we read any books; but for today's lesson, I flipped my approach and began with a book:


In this book, we learned about the four phases in a plant's life cycle: seeds, sprouting (or germination), full-grown plant (or, as my son likes to say, "Flowers and leaves"), and pollination. As a cycle, once a plant is pollinated, new seeds are produced, starting the cycle over again.


After reading a few books on plant life cycles, I gathered our science materials for a scavenger hunt.


On this scavenger hunt, my son and I searched for objects that represent each of the four phases of a plant's life cycle. We found lots of flowers, with a little help from our four-legged assistants...









...and some pollinators...


...but we had to get creative when finding the seeds. I suggested my son pick one of our red bell peppers, cut it open, and discover what was inside...





We also cut open a lemon, to which he helped himself a few licks...


Since Spring has already sprung, most of our crop is well past the sprouting stage, so we had to settle for a picture of one of our earlier seedlings...


Once we had all our materials, I had my son review the four stages of a plant's life cycle by placing the items in the corrector order in a circular shape...


We found the butterfly already dead, by the way! We would never kill an animal or insect during our science investigations!

To reinforce the four phases of a plant's life cycle, my son used his hands-on, manipulative model to draw a diagram in his Science Journal. I helped with the arrows and numbers, as well as with some of the writing, so he could focus his energy and efforts on the pictures...




Here is his completed diagram:


A wonderful culmination of our plant unit!

I'm already anticipating our next exploratory science unit: rocks and gems. During our many nature walks for the plant unit, my son showed a particular interest in the rocks we stumbled across, so I am in the process of creating some activities to take us in that direction :-)

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