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Posts Tagged With: plants

Bonus: Plant Projects for Mom :-)

You saw what my kiddos have been busy with in the Plant Thematic Unit, but I’ve been testing my green thumb too!  I’m a big believer in using thematic units because they work for kids across a wide range of abilities, including siblings in a homeschool family.  So I’m sharing some of the projects I’ve been working on as classroom enrichment, extensions for older siblings, or fun projects for mom!

Fairy garden in the dinning room!   {DaddysTractor.com}

This bird cage came from Hobby Lobby (please note: everything in my life seems to come from Hobby Lobby!)  Last year I saw fairy gardens at Graber Greenhouse in Jamesport, MO and I knew as soon as I saw the bird house it was the perfect!  So I found one of those plastic things you put under a plant pot to catch the excess water (what is that?), some tiny plants, and fairy paraphernalia and assembled this vignette while the kids “helped.”

A Fairy garden inside a bird house  {DaddysTractor.com}

You could have lots of fun building your own fairy items (or shopping on Amazon!), you could write a story, or you could follow Anna’s lead and dance around the house like a fairy for a week.

Live centerpiece  {DaddysTractor.com}

Brett helped me with this “art” project.  The box is a shadow frame (Hobby Lobby) we turned upside down so the glass is on the bottom.  Using 4″ square pots Brett and I could arrange and rearrange the succulents to our heart’s content.  I  wanted to hang this on the wall, like I’d seen all over the internet.  BUT… it  is heavy!  So I think I’ll use it as table décor.

Moss basket

This planter is a cheapie basket (NOT from Hobby Lobby, but I’m sure you can find one there.) and moss paper (Hobby Lobby!  Look by the floral foam.)  wrapped around with string.  You’ll need to choose a basket with a large enough weave to fit a large darning needle through the spaces.  Hot glue helps too!  The basket came with a plastic liner but you could probably line the basket with plastic yourself too.  Then you just need soil and plants!

And finally,

Create your own moss wall art with this tutorial {DaddysTractor.com}

This is more of that moss paper (heart!), a simple frame and piece of foam board.  All from Hobby Lobby.  They should be paying me for this post.

Moss framed art {DaddysTractor.com}

This requires math, which makes it the perfect project for a student who thinks they are making art. 😉  First, design a stencil.  Nothing too complicated because you will trace, cut and glue this many times!  Trace the stencil onto the back of the moss paper and cut. Over and over.  I recommend watching a movie.

Moss framed art  {DaddysTractor.com}

Then create a grid on your foam board.  Get a rough idea of how far apart you want to space them and lightly mark the middle.  Measure the distance between the center of two stencils so you’ll know how far apart to make your lines.  Do the same thing with the offset lines.  You’ll have two sets of grid marks, because of the offset lines. Do check it to make sure the math matches up with your eye.

moss framed art  {DaddysTractor.com}

Then remove the paper backing from the moss and hot glue to the foam board.  I suggest using a high temp glue gun.  Trim the edges as necessary.  Carefully erase the grid lines.  Remove the glass from your frame if desired and put in your beautiful creation!

Plants never looked better!

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Categories: Thematic Unit | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Plant Thematic Unit

Plant Thematic unit with activities, lapbooks, centers, and printables  {DaddysTractor.com}

Many of you said last month’s Insect Unit was oodles of fun, so today I’m sharing the Plant Thematic Unit we’ve been exploring .   It was perfect for homeschool since we are spending lots of time in the garden anyway, but its also the fun kind of unit I would have used as a kindergarten teacher to get us through the end of the school year or for summer school!

Plant Thematic unit with activities, lapbooks, centers, and printables  {DaddysTractor.com}

After reading about what plants need, this experiment was to observe what happens when you take something away.  I bought a four-pack of flowers, cut them apart and Brett labeled them.  Plant 1 was our control, Plant 2 we took away sunlight by placing it in a shoebox, Plant 3 we took away carbon dioxide (we called it “air”) by zipping it in a plastic bag, Plant 4 we took away water.  Then we used these pages Plant Need Experiment Plants Need Experiment 2 to record.  It worked pretty well, but the only thing that died in the ziplock bag was the flower part, so make sure your plant has one 😉

Plant Thematic unit with activities, lapbooks, centers, and printables  {DaddysTractor.com}

Of course we used play dough to learn plant parts!  In addition to leaves, Brett also added a stigma and stamen after I took this picture, which could enrich this idea for older children, depending on how complex they made their models.

Plant Thematic unit with activities, lapbooks, centers, and printables  {DaddysTractor.com}

Understanding plant parts led us to a project learning about the parts of the plant we eat.  I divided a paper plate into six sections.  Next we cut out the center circle from Plant Parts We Eat and attached it with a brad. Then we cut pictures from garden magazines. (For free catalogs try Gurney’s, Jung’s, Burpee, or Johnny’s.  They do take a few weeks to arrive.  You could also print the picture of food from the Who Grew My Soup post.)  The kiddos matched up the food to the plant part and glued.  This became a center activity because the brad allowed the circle to spin and become a puzzle over and over!

Make your own root viewer {DaddysTractor.com}

We found this root viewer at Wal-Mart, but after opening it I think you could make one of your own by filling a quart jar with potting soil, placing seeds 1/4 of an inch from the edge of the jar, and covering outside of the jar with black construction paper and a rubber band (they need dark to grow).  Simple and cheaper!

Plant Thematic unit with activities, lapbooks, centers, and printables  {DaddysTractor.com}

Since lap books are our new favorite thing I created a foldable book to review plant parts and what plants need.  Print this Plants Have Plants Need chart and glue it onto construction paper if you like.  These Plants Have Plants Need labels can be cut out and glued into place on the flaps.

Plant Thematic unit with activities, lapbooks, centers, and printables  {DaddysTractor.com}

Also for the lap book (or center) we made a flower petal math game.  I used an advertisement refrigerator magnets to make the circle for the center and covered it with contact paper.  Then I cut flower petals from cardstock and added snips of magnets.  Anna made patterns or used a wipe-off marker to write the number of petals I put on her flower.  Brett got two colors of petals and had to write addition problems with the marker.

Plant Thematic unit with activities, lapbooks, centers, and printables  {DaddysTractor.com}

To observe how seeds begin to grow we traced bean seeds and then allowed them to soak in water for a few hours.  When we came back we could clearly see how the seeds had swelled and the outer paper-y layer was peeling back!

And since I was unexpectedly promoted to Sunday School teacher during this unit, here’s a bonus activity I did for church.  My poor kids had way too much “plant” that week, but it was last minute!

Sunday School lesson comparing faith to a seed {DaddysTractor.com}

We compared faith to a seed, planted in our hearts.  Just like seeds need sunlight, air, and water our faith needs things to grow.  We brainstormed ideas and they drew three they like on the rain drops; things like praying, obeying parents, going to church, reading Scriptures.  Or you could just make the mobile with no pics at all :-).

And last but not least, no unit is complete without snacks!

Plant Thematic unit snack idea {DaddysTractor.com}

This is “dirt” pudding; chocolate pudding mixed with crushed Oreos and layered with a few gummy worms.  Sooooooo educational!

Categories: Homeschool, Thematic Unit | Tags: , , , , , | 11 Comments

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