A school year has passed quickly. This is the day where we get to see the benefits of our hard work from when we planted bulbs last fall. Before we entered the woods, we reviewed our notes about bulbs from their past lesson last fall when we studied daffodil bulbs. I passed back their writing from the past fall and asked them to review their work. Many realized that they write much better paragraphs now and they could see that areas of punctuation and spelling had grown. How exciting for them to realize it on their own!
Today, was the day that we would see our bulbs blooming! I asked them what they thought they would see? Most thought all the flowers would be blooming and that they there would be a lot of them.
I told them that there were external parts of the plant that I wanted them to sketch and measure. This data needed to be entered in their notebooks. I wanted them to measure the height of the plant, count the leaves and measure any other external part of the plant they wanted. If they could not find their bulb blooming, then they were to share or measure another plant.
We were ready to head outside.
Materials: We carried iPads, measuring tapes or rulers, and our science notebooks to take notes on any observations we needed to note.
As we approached the area of planting from the fall, I asked students to look at their questions they had photographed on their iPads as they observed their daffodil. They noticed the other plants around it, the anthills and the signs of early spring. They located their daffodils and I heard echoes of "We found it!" and laughter. They were in a lot of awe as they found the ones they had planted. They began measuring their bulbs and gathering notes. Some were photographing too. This feature on their iPad always proves to be a great record keeping method for science. I have had them use their cameras all year!
This lesson is relaxed and simply the introduction prior to dissecting the daffodils. I did not hold them accountable for their notes, but they seemed to do that on their own! Notes were mainly about stem height and counting leaves. We would leave the discussion of the mastery of the standard as we dissect the bulbs tomorrow. It was time to move on and explore the woods a little more and reflect on the reason all of the bulbs were planted.
As we entered the woods, we read the memorial sign behind us and talked more about the meaning of the word "memorial". The path led through the woods and we were immersed in just the walking and discovering other things that the woods presented on an early spring day. The moss beneath a tree proved to be a great fascination. It was beautiful! This walk was both important to their science education and citizenship understanding as it was laying foundations in appreciating a public park, how to behave and appreciation of the plant life around them. We talked about the age of the oaks, identified shag bark hickories and silver maples. We listened to the rustling leaves and noticed insects. Suddenly the path broke out to the place where they had planted bulbs when they were in first grade. Some thought it was kindergarten. I asked:"What do you remember?" The comments were about joy and how much they liked being there. This walk was an important one!