We began this week by watching the PEEP video, “Peep Plants a Seed.”
This video does a remarkable job illustrating the passage of time. After watching, my students have a new favorite chant. Ask them how long it takes for plants to grow from seeds and they will now respond, Days and days and days and days and days (with a giggle of course).
Lucky for me, those beans have started to do their thing and I was able to begin having the children examine them. It’s always a thrill for me to see their eyes grow large and their mouths drop open in amazement as they notice changes in their seeds and beans.
Let’s check those paper towel beans, I said as small groups of children came to the science table. They opened their sandwich bags and emptied the contents. Reactions ranged from quiet amazement to screaming, clapping, jumping, and irrepressible expletives.
The children were obviously excited and wanted to really examine their beans and seeds up close. Most of the beans had developed roots and some had already begun to sprout little leaves. I provided magnifying glasses for a more concentrated observation.
I wanted to now be sure to give them the appropriate vocabulary for the developments they were witnessing. I purposely used the terms roots, stems, leaves, growing, soil, sprouting, germinating, and developing when asking questions or when “noticing aloud”.
Naturally all this excitement led the children to ask to do more planting. I want to plant one for my mother, one for my father, and two for my two uncles, said one child. Instead of filling all of our windows with sandwich bags, I asked if they would like to plant something different. I brought out an assortment of bulbs. Have you ever seen these? I asked. It looks like a seed, said one child. A giant seed, added another. They noticed the graphics on the bulbs’ packaging. These are flowers seeds? a boy asked. His friend responded, Yes, look… they make red and yellow flowers. With very little direction the children began planting bulbs in soil in little pots. I asked, Do you have everything you need? Most children were able to narrate their steps as they planted. I was surprised that many of them seemed to know intuitively how much water was required without excessive overflow.