Friday, April 11, 2014

Life Cycle of a Plant

To go along with our flower felt board, I created a week-long unit study to learn about plants. We focused on their life cycle and how bees and butterflies aid them. 

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We used our Safari Ltd Life Cycle of a Green Bean Plant along with the Life Cycle of a Monarch Butterfly and the Life Cycle of a Honey Bee. These replicas are realistic and perfectly sized for little hands. The manipulatives are also perfect for examining closely, since they wouldn't be damaged. The kids enjoyed drawing each stage of the life cycle in their garden journal. 

Our printables are from Lakeshore Learning. I found them in the Science section. We printed off some for the parts of a plant, as well as the life cycle of a butterfly (not pictured).

Bean used the printables to learn the different parts of the plants. She's now able to name each part and practiced writing them too.


Munchkin used our felt flower pieces to match them to the printable. I cut out a few different sized and coloured seeds, because each seed is unique to a certain flower or plant.

We moved our parade rose into a clear flower pot so that when the roots spread out they might be able to see them. And it just started to bloom again! They used a magnifying glass to look closely at the leaves and bud.


We also compared the rose's leaves to other leaves we found outside. Bean observed that the rose is redder on certain parts. We also created a sensory bin using fake leaves. Bean loved comparing their sizes.

But the highlight of the unit study was the felt board! They loved that they could create different scenes to show me how plants grow. Their favourite was when the clouds rained down on the flowers. It was so easy to create a layered felt board. I simply used a medium shade of brown for the soil, a thin layer of green for the grass and blue for the sky. We usually use the lighter blue felt board for the sky, so that the rain drops stand out more, but it was being used in their Marvel city. Munchkin was also sure to point out how the sun helped the flowers grow by "shining" on them and demonstrated how the rabbits devour the plants.

Here's our library reading list that we used to go along with our felt boards and mini unit study ~

Natural Treasures: Field Guide for Kids was Bean's favourite because it had lots of pictures of wild animals and she loved bringing it along on our nature walks to see if she could find any of the creatures from the book. We mainly used it for the "signs of spring" section.

 The Magic School Bus Inside a Beehive MSB is a favourite in this house and our bookshelf wouldn't be complete without a few adventures with Ms. Frizzle! They love how she gives the kids a closer look at what they are learning about.

A Seed Is Sleepy This book has lovely illustrations on different seeds and plants. It was what inspired us to create a garden journal.

From Caterpillar to Butterfly (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science, Stage 1) We love the Let's Read and Find Out Science series and this one is perfect for little ones interested in butterflies.

It's a Butterfly's Life This is a beautiful book that was fun to read and perfect for learning about the life cycle of a butterfly!

The Reason for a Flower: A Book About Flowers, Pollen, and Seeds (Explore!) This book gives kids a closer look at seeds and flowers and what bees and butterflies do with pollen.

Seed, Soil, Sun: Earth's Recipe for Food This was another book we used to learn about the life cycle of plants and what kinds of plants people eat.

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