Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Plentiful Plants #4 - Parts of a Plant and How They Function

Water group explored FORM and FUNCTION from the key concepts for this unit. We discussed the different parts of a plant and how each part functions. We read the book, Plant Magic by Aileen Fisher, and the children learned that plants can do magic -- they can make their own food! When the children heard that, they all said, "How?" We watched a video on Brainpop Jr. that explains the process of photosynthesis. The children learned that with light(energy), water and carbon dioxide, plants can produce sugar and give off oxygen. Below is a link to a game about growing plants and a song about photosynthesis that the children really enjoyed playing and listening to.

Plant game - http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/gamesactivities/plantsgrow.html
Photosynthesis song - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1_uez5WX1o

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Plentiful Plants #3 - Responsibility

FUNCTION, a key concept for our current unit, helps the children develop the understanding that everything has a purpose, a role or a way of behaving that can be investigated. And during our play time in the forest, the children were really interested in the slugs. We decided to bring a few from the forest to put into our aquarium to help us learn how animals use plants. However, after two weeks, the children started to complain about the smell coming from the slugs.  To help the children understand, RESPONSIBILITY, another key concept for this unit, the children undertook the job of taking care of the slugs’ habitat. 

Plentiful Plants #2 - Formative Week

For the formative week of our Plentiful Plants unit, the teachers recorded the children's knowledge about plants through different activities. First, the children created a living and non-living things venn diagram with a rock and a plant. Then Wendy presented the children with a large leaf with bug holes and asked, "How did these holes get here?" We used a human graph to record the responses for, do animals need plants?

Another day, the children took a walk through the forest to see what they can find. Along the way the children collected materials to make a forest collage.

Collecting materials from the forest

What is this white thing?

Forest collage

Jack: I hear a woodpecker!
Judy: Where is it?
We found the woodpecker!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Plentiful Plants #1 - Art Project Week

Before we began our new unit, Plentiful Plants, the children made connections to it through various art projects.

Monday - Exploring contour lines with tissue paper flowers

Tuesday - Lines and shapes with printed birds in a tree

Wednesday - Colour and shapes with finger painted flowers

Thursday - Texture and shapes with garden collage

Building Together #6 - Helping our community

On our chinatown fieldtrip, some children noticed that there were people sleeping on the bench. Owen asked, "Why are they sleeping there? They should sleep on their beds." This prompted our conversation on how the community could help those in need. We brainstormed some ideas and the children came up with providing necessitites for them (warm clothes for cold weather, shoes for walking, food when they get hungry, and toys for children). Then the group organize a food, clothing and toy drive and it was a success with the support of the Creative Minds community! After, the children stayed committed to the events by carrying all the donations in their backpacks and walked to a donation bin to drop off them off.