Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Planting a Rainbow

This week we are studying “How Things Grow” for science. We are starting with a beautiful book Planting a Rainbow by Lois Elhert (she illustrated Chicka Chicka Boom Boom). We were introduced to this book about two years ago in daycare but every year we are able to enjoy it on a different level.

Age 3- Identifying colors of plants and color of the rainbow.

Age 4- Sight words of flowers working on phonics and then color mixing for different flower types.
Age 5- The science of growing flowers and how they are different. Identifying parts of a flower and how they function. Also, lead to a discussion on what is a rainbow and how to make one.

The book starts with this classic line…"Every year Mom and I plant a rainbow." It brings in all the elements I love about good kids books such as vibrant colors, simple engaging textured language and a way to “do something”.

To borrow a comment from an Amazon reviewer ” With its vibrant, full-page, cut paper (or the look of) illustrations, author Lois Ehlert demonstrates in simple text the flower gardening process. The magic of this book is in the illustrations. Though they are simple, the different bulbs, seeds, seedlings, sprouts and plants are highly recognizable. It is as if she was able to zero in on the one defining characteristic of the various living things and put that to page. “This book takes you through the season of plants as well as a guide for planting your own rainbow garden.

Day 1:
After reading, the book we talked about the parts of a flower and what they do. Here is a simple illustration.
Enchanted Learning has a great online plant glossary.

Day 2:
After reading the book again, we made our own “rainbow” books (K’s-Crew)(1/4 size strips of colored paper stapled into a booklet- red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple).

I gave him a gardening catalog and let him search for pictures of plants and flowers. He then cut them out and glued them on color corresponding page (red, blue, orange, etc.).

Then we talked about the flowers and he then wrote the name and one interesting thing about the flowers on each page.

Day 3:
Seed Viewers
Supplies: Clear Plastic Cup, Black construction Paper, Paper Towels, Bean seeds
Use a clear plastic cup that is 6-12 inches tall.
Cut black construction paper so that it fits inside, up against the cup walls. Fill the center with wadded up paper towels. "Plant" bean seeds between the cup walls and construction paper, about 1/2 - 2/3 down. Water the paper towels and keep MOIST. Bean seeds will grow and you can view root growth, what happens to seeds, etc. They can grow quite large and will be fine as long as you keep paper towels moist.

It was his job to cut the paper and wadded up the paper towel. (fine motor practice) This is an on going project to see the roots.

I will blog results later.....

Day 4: Field Trip

Off we go to Home Depot with fellow homeschool buddy dragging our big blue sand bucket with book to gather the flower seeds mentioned in the book.

Morning Glory

Then we paint small flowerpots the color of the rainbow (Targets $1 section) and plant our flowers.

Day 5:
Science and Art we painted a flower and identified the parts.

Day 6

Then we collected flowers from outside and laminated them to poster board with their names.

Looking at this now this may take a couple of weeks given our classes and co-op.



Amy said...

Hi! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. It is so nice to find another only child homeschooler! I look forward to reading your blog more and learning more about you. Come and check out Heart of the Matter too.

Jenny said...

Thank you so much for your kind comments about my blog.

And I just have to say, I love all of your flower lesson plans. We have also been learning about growing things and spent this afternoon planting our flower beds. I'm going to pick up the book you recommended at the library this afternoon to read it to my youngest.