Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Exploring Botany

On the first day of school, I posted our first steps in a formal botany study and posted her science notebook entries.
First Pamela matched the seeds to the packets. She knew five of them, which left her to guess correctly the sixth (buckwheat). Since she also needs to work on describing what she sees, I guided her through a written narration about the seeds.
For about a week, nothing happened. Pamela added a picture of our seed-sprouting containers to her notebook.

Exactly a week later, Pamela noticed the first signs of life. (I had noticed them a day or two before but I waited. I want her to see it for herself.) The first seed emerged. Then, the second and the third. We had neglected to add markers, so we weren't exactly sure of what seed was sprouting where. That turned out to be a good thing.

As of last Monday, five of six seeds had sprouted. We dug up the lone hold out, which ended up being the sunflower seed. Pamela decided it needed more water and she is going to give it more time. She can be quite patient. Sometimes.

Last Monday, we also searched online for pictures of seeds like ours germinating. We easily figured out the bean, corn, pumpkin, sunflower, and buckwheat. By process of elimination, we figured out the seed. Pamela labeled all of our seedlings. Then, she went back into her science notebook and labeled all her drawings of seedlings, too. You may notice that we prefer writing directly into a notebook. I could make my own worksheets, but then I would be doing too much of the thinking.

Pamela wrote the order in which the seedlings emerged from the soil. Next, she will write a narration about how differently they emerge from the soil. Each kind of seed has its own personality in how it makes its debut. I never thought about that before this study of botany.

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