Monday, January 9, 2012

Easy Plant Project for Your Classroom

Do you teach a science unit on plants in the spring? Here's a way to help review the work and words of scientists (observe, predict, data, conclude) and also build some prior knowledge with your students about the needs of plants. You can easily squeeze in some writing and math with this project, too! Grow one of these big, beautiful amaryllis plants!

The boxed bulbs are still in stores, and mostly marked down now. They come in red, white, and pink. Personally, I love the red ones for a punch of lively color in your classroom, and because they become part of the Valentines Day celebration when they bloom! When you buy yours, take a peek in the box to find one with minimal sprouting, so there'll be more action for your students to observe.

Everything you need to get started is right in the box: bulb, pot, and soil disk. The hardened little disk needs soaking to get started, and boy, is that ever a cool and amazing high-interest thing for the kiddos. It also involves some math (measure the water, watch the clock...).

Follow the directions on the box, put it in a sunny spot, and stand back! These plants grow amazingly fast, which is part of what makes them so interesting to grow with your class.

Here are some of the other learning opportunities:

* Have your students make journals to record their observations. This could be included in your writing center during the time you have the amaryllis in your classroom. Look below for a journal cover and word list. Print them back-to-back, staple with half-sheets of picture/story paper - voila - instant Scientist's Observation Journal! By the way, we brainstormed the words for writing, and did a shared writing of a chart list before I transferred them to the word lists for their journals.

* Keep an ongoing, dated record of growth to support the student journal writing. As you see in the picture, there was a good amount of shared writing going on! Also measuring, naturally!

* One year, we grew 2 plants side by side, which led to a whole slew of other learning, including lots of comparative word problems. "How much taller is Plant A than Plant B? ", etc.

* Even the word amaryllis was a learning experience: "Look, Mrs. Nelson! It's the /ar/ chunk!";  "I see is!" ; "I see am!"  :)

Click the picture for journal cover and word list for writing.

Do you have a favorite plant project that you'd like to share? Please leave a comment! Thanks!



  1. very cute blog!!I am your newest follower!

    Come check me out too!


  2. Thanks for following, Jeannie! I'll head right over to check your blog!

  3. We do this in 2nd grade. We made a diagram labeling the parts of the amaryllis and compared the bulb to the seeds that we studied earlier in the year. We measure and graph the results. It was growing about an inch a day before break. I went in today and it was at 21 inches! Maybe it will wait for us to return before blooming. Fingers crossed!

    1. Isn't it amazing to see how fast it grows? I hope you'll get to see it bloom - your kids will be so excited!


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