Talkin’ trash! (reducing trash and litter)

After these last postings about compost, it seems only natural to teach about reducing trash and litter.  Here are some activities, including poems, coloring pages, online videos, songs, and hands-on explorations, to make this topic fun and thought provoking. Watch a Fascinating Short Video  Watch the teaser video for the movie The Landfillharmonic, where children…

Composting 101

The topic of composting is huge, and a pretty great jumping off point for about a gazillion subtopics.  From composting you could easily move to exploring different types of soils, composting critters, vermicomposting (composting with worms), the benefits of organic gardening, or waste reduction/conservation.  I’ll eventually post activities  on all these topics, but for today I’ll start…

Stem Activity–classic celery dye experiment and some new variations

This experiment is so satisfying because it shows great results in just a few hours.  Demonstrate how stems transport liquid with the classic celery experiment, and then extend the experiment with a couple interesting variations. First off, pick celery with leaves still attached, as it will quicken the process and also show more dramatic results….

Root activity–Grow a sweet potato

Start off with a firm sweet potato from the grocery store.  If it has little buds already, great!  The potato will grow even faster.  I like to start off by asking students if they think the potato is alive (it is).  Then I would ask what part of the plant students think the potato comes…

Seed Dispersal Teaching Ideas

Here is a whole collection of ideas to incorporate into a lesson on seed dispersal.  Students will predict and then test seeds to see how they could disperse.  Additionally, students could watch a video on dispersal, play an online game, and have a choice of a wide range of projects to illustrate their mastery of…

What is Germination?

Read a poem, watch a video, and create a seed germinator to watch germination taking place in the classroom!  This lesson is probably most appropriate for grades k-2. Begin by asking students, “Are these seeds sitting on the desk alive?”  After listening to students’ thoughts, discuss how the seeds are alive, but waiting to grow. …

Seed Dissection

A great hands on activity where students can clearly see the parts of the seed. Procedure: 1)  As a class, start a KWL chart about seeds. 2)  Show students a Lima Bean and ask if they know what type of seed it is.  Ask: What kind of plant does it come from? Is this seed…