Pollination Games II

So my original pollination games page is by far the most popular posting on my page. With this in mind, I’ve gathered some additional activities and resources for you to use in your classroom.

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Fall Cleanup in the Garden

Don’t put away your gardening tools yet! Fall is one of the best seasons for accomplishing many tasks, and right now is the best time to prepare for next spring.

Why Do Leaves Change Color in the Fall?

It’s the perfect time of year to explore why and how leaves change color!  This leaf chromatography experiment makes the answer to those questions a bit more tangible and understandable. Why DO leaves change color? So let’s start off by making sure we all understand how leaves change color in the fall.  Basically, leaves are made…

Kid-Friendly Tomatillo Salsa (salsa verde)

My tomatillos are ripening, and it’s almost time to make some garden-fresh tomatillo salsa!! Salsa made from tomatillos is usually called salsa verde, or green salsa, and is a staple of Mexican cooking. Having a husband who is a Mexican chef, I’ll send you to his blog for an AMAZING salsa verde recipe made for…

Tips to Make Gardening Fun for Kids

Create a class of students who all love to garden!  Here are some tips: Younger students have smaller attention spans; try not to overwhelm them with too large of garden plots, or plants that need extensive maintenance, and expect to spend some of your own time with maintenance tasks that are too difficult for them…

Why does a tomato have so many seeds?

This activity would be a great to do towards the end of a seed unit, once students have already learned about what a seed needs to grow and also seed dispersal.  I love the connections made and the discussions that often happen here, even with very young students. Start out by asking students to predict…

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…

Learning through Scavenger Hunts

One of my all-time favorite activities to create is the scavenger hunt.  There are so many ways to use a scavenger hunt as a tool of exploratory learning in the garden.  I’ve used scavenger hunts to: Teach students to recognize the plants in their garden plots (ex:  find the cucumber plant, find the carrot plant,…

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….

What do plants need to grow?

Using the scientific method, students get to see first hand what happens when a plant does not receive everything it needs to grow. Motivation:  Ask students, “what do kids need to grow?”  (water, food, sleep, shelter…) After some brainstorming, tell students, plants need things to grow too. Procedure: 1)Start brainstorming with students what plants need…

Plant Parts Song

Use music and body movements to learn plant parts.   The movements for the song can be used alone, in moments where students needed a movement activity to get out some energy.   We would simply act out the plant parts without the song, or play a version of Simon Says using the movements.  We…