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Friday, June 12, 2015

Magic School Bus - Plant Lesson for K-2 – part 1 of 3

Magic School Bus book 
This is a lesson designed for a homeschool co-op class of eight K-2 students, but the ideas can be adapted.

I started by asking kids what they knew. They already knew that plants need water, soil and air. Some knew plants needed sunlight as well.

I asked them to draw a plant. Some were uncomfortable with that. I assume because there are so many types of plants that they had trouble deciding which to draw .

We watched the video Magic School Bus Gets Planted. I stopped when Phoebe (the plant) disappeared from under the box.

pathos plant
I brought in several house and potted bulb plants since it was spring. I passed them around with some magnifying glasses. I directed them to pay attention to the leave surfaces:
  • wavy
  • hairy
  • stiff
  • flexible
  • and placement on the stems (if there was a stem)
Then we reviewed ideas for optional homework:
  • make a leaf rubbing with crayons
  • make a leaf wax with wax paper and an iron
  • grow provided seeds: beans, peas, corn, marigold (in a sealed snack baggie for viewing, with a moist paper towel)
  • grow provided cuttings: pathos (in a sealed quart baggie with the end of cutting wrapped in moist paper towel and tinfoil)
  • cover a leaf with tinfoil for a week to see what it does
bean plant drawing
I had them color this picture of a plant as follows:
  • plant – green
  • dirt – brown
  • make a sun – yellow
  • make water of some kind (rain or a stream) – blue
  • draw a CO2 cloud – in red and label 
  • draw an O2 cloud - in orange and label 
  • draw a small square for the sugar produced by the plant – in purple
pop-sickle sticks marked as sun, CO2, water
Played Photosynthesis Freeze

-  can be played as tag outdoors or as Red-light, Green-light indoors.

One student is a turtle (IT) and the rest are plants.
    • the plants had to visit three locations provided with pop-sickle sticks marked as water, sunlight and CO2.

    • Once the plant had met all three requirements they could try to tag the turtle that had been trying to tag (or eat) them. (indoors - turtle tried to catch plants growing)
    • If they were caught before they had tagged the turtle, they gave up one pop-sickle stick and returned to start.
A fire drill interrupted us, so the game was under utilized and the kids were hungry for more. I'll post the second week next time.

If you find something you like, please borrow freely. If possible let me know what kinds of materials are useful and if you can give me credit for it that would be great, too.

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