Activity #3: MaST

“Let’s look at where you will be planting your seed. This is a seed starting kit.” “There are two trays. Here is a bottom tray and here is the top tray which contains all the peat pots or cells where you will plant your seed. Besides planting your seed in this soil in the peat pots, is there anything else that your seed will need so the embryo in your seed can grow?”
“Do you know what your plant needs to grow?”
(If they do not come up with water, show them the container of Lima bean seeds soaking in water.)
“We can fill this bottom tray with water. Once your seed is planted in the soil and receives the water that it needs, your seed can begin to germinate (begin to grow). It will need food which is another necessary thing a plant needs to live. As you saw in the Lima bean, the seed can find food right inside of itself.”
Demonstrate how the seeds should be planted.
“You can see that on the table we have peat pots in a container. Each one of you will plant a seed in one of the cells and place your popsicle stick with your name in the cell. You have now given your seed another thing that it needs to grow —— its own space. Our peat pots will be covered with a plastic top and our volunteers will be taking them and putting them in a very warm place until we begin to see little green leaves poke up from the soil. This is the beginning of germination when the plant begins to grow” .
The children will be watching their plant daily, so when the stem and first leaves show…
“Now that you see your plants growing, isn’t there something else that your plants need?“
If the children do not respond with sunlight or (warmth), ask them where in your house would you put a plant, near a window or in a dark corner? A window would be a good choice in order for your plants to get enough light. If you have a set of grow lights in your classroom, these are the best to use.
“Now, we need to put our plants under this set of lights [or at this window]so that our plants will receive both warmth and light. These plants will be our control group as we control the right amount of warmth and light that they receive.”
“About every five days, you will measure your seedling and record how much they have grown in your new journal Kindergarten Is Growing. When it is time, you will transplant your plants into the George Washington Vegetable Garden. You can come to visit the garden all through the summer and watch your plants grow. When you come back to school in the Fall, you will be in first grade. It will also be time to harvest the vegetables that you have grown. We take all the vegetables to the Hinsdale Food Pantry so that someone who cannot get fresh vegetables is able to do so.”
“Look at what we have done today.You have planted seeds and have found that they need water, light, food, and we even gave each of them their own space. Are you wondering about anything so far?”
If they do not have any questions, on to our next lesson!