In the Garden with Dr. Carver
Historical fiction picture book about Dr. George Washington Carver and his teachings about botany, agriculture, and includes farming, successful land care strategies and the importance of soil health management. This story is told through the eyes of a young schoolgirl, and provides practical examples of how to "listen to the plants, and they'll tell you what they need" which is a wonderful introduction to the principles of the scientific method of observation.
This book beautifully illustrates plants in all shapes and sizes and cleverly diagrams the plant growth process cycle from seed to plant, flower, and fruit and then back to seed again. Book engages children with a guessing game to which allows the discovery of the plant secrets with the turning of the pages. Roses, tomatoes, peas and oak trees are the familiar but diverse plants used as examples.
Topic: Gardening, planting, soil, growing, seeds Age: Primary (K-3) Active Learning Strategy: Hands-On Experiment
Type: Hands on planting experience/experiment
Title: Plants, Plants everywhere!
Learning Objective: The student will:
Description: Students will be able to observe and handle various seeds and soil, gardening equipment and learn about the components of successful seedling and plant growth, ie: water, soil, sunshine. Students will participate in a hands on seed planting activity to engage them with the concept of plant growth. A root view display may also be used to enhance students' comprehension of roots and seedlings. Growth checks will be performed to observe, evaluate and discuss plant health and issues.
This activity can be adapted in so many different ways and with different literature texts. As part of a larger curriculum about nature and agricultural literacy, this activity is a wonderfully engaging introduction to the planting and growing process. The sensory portion is key, in my opinion, to connect children with actual soil, seeds and plants, and a garden visit/demonstration would reinforce and enhance the instruction and knowledge retention rate. This activity will also help students practice their observation skills in nature and construct questions based on those observations. Discussion about the various plants seen and what their particular growth stages look like is a great exercise to demonstrate the variety of "fruits" that exist.