Saturday, March 15, 2014

Plant Life Cycle Unit

We started our Plant Life Cycle study this week! I started now for two reasons - next week is Spring Break so when we get back to school on March 24th we should have some sprouting action within a few days. This cuts down on the wait time so that the kids aren't checking day after day with no results for so long! The other reason is that I want to start our Butterfly Life Cycle after Spring Break as well, and to do that we need plants! You see, this year I am ordering Brassica Butterfly eggs so that we can see the complete life cycle from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly - in the past with the Painted Lady caterpillars I ordered we always skipped the egg phase. Since we won't be getting that nasty "food" stuff that comes with the caterpillars (and really, the kids are always confused that caterpillars eat leaves but come with brown sludge lol) we need to have some Brassica family plants ready to feed our caterpillars when they hatch!

I start our Life Cycle study by putting together a folder for each student. I make sure to buy enough of each color folder at the beginning of the year when they're on sale so that I have one for each student. The green folders are always Plant Life Cycle, my blue ones will be for Butterfly Life Cycle, and yellow will be for Chicken Life Cycle. This means that when I tell the students to get out their Plant Life Cycle stuff they just have to grab their green folder and they're ready!
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Plant-Life-Cycle-Pack-Including-Observation-Journal-Labeling-Pages-and-More-649266
In the left side pocket go all of the printable sheets - life cycle calendar, labeling pages, kwl sheets, sequencing sheets, writing prompts and color by code sheet. The right hand side has the easy reader and the Observation Journal.
 
I always start my seeds in a Jiffy Greenhouse - the kids love seeing the little peat pellets absorb the water and expand! Then everyone gets a turn to poke a hole and plant some seeds. This year we planted radish, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and cabbage to hopefully feed our Brassica Butterflies!

I'm lucky enough to have huge windows, so we set our greenhouse in the window and wait for sprouts.
Every day we get our folders out and complete part of our unit.
 
 The kids love the Plant Life Cycle reader - we take our time coloring it and read it each day:


 The labeling and sequencing sheets are favorites too:
But, my favorite part is the Observation Journal. There are 10 pages of prompts for students to draw pictures, answer questions, and describe the life cycle.

One of the best things is that whenever someone comes to visit us, the students can quickly grab their folder, bring the visitor to our greenhouse area and show off all they know about the life cycle!

If you'd like a chance to win your own copy of this unit, check my Facebook page for a fun giveaway today! Also, don't forget to go enter my Joy Crowley Big Book giveaway!

4 Rustle Up A Response!:

Kimberly said... Reply to comment

Love your plant life cycle folders! Enjoy your spring break! We're still digging out of the snow. :)
Kimberly
Funky First Grade Fun

Kelly said... Reply to comment

I love your whole plant unit! I wish I had thought to plant seeds before Spring Break...great idea! Thanks for the idea!
Kelly
I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher

Danielle Tisdale said... Reply to comment

Where did you order your caterpillar eggs from?

Jennifer K. said... Reply to comment

@Danielle Tisdale Hi Danielle! I ordered them from Carolina Biological - http://www.carolina.com/

Thanks,
Jennifer

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