Teachingartonthecheap's Blog

Kindergarten: “Stained Glass” Seed Sprout Envelopes

Posted on: March 29, 2010

Creative Reuse Lesson Plan         Kindergarten: Plants

Written by Keri Piehl for SCRAP /Whitman ES 2009-10

Seed Envelopes

Cost per student: $.15, but that includes the cost of permanent markers which would last 2-3 years

Materials: Permanent markers, laminate scraps (the laminating machine most schools have create a 6”x18” strip of waste every time they are used; it is built into the design of the machine. The librarian kindly saved the waste strips for me until I had enough), stapler, hole punch, yarn or ribbon scraps, newspaper, water, pipettes or droppers, paper towels, seeds you’ve soaked overnight.

Prep: besides soaking the seeds to give them a jumpstart on life, I made envelopes out of the laminate by folding an 8”x10” piece, in half, then turning in the edges, then stapling each side so it will hold water. See photos for a better idea.

Students will create an arty transparent envelope, used to sprout a seed.

Elements of art: Line, shape, color, form

Vocabulary: sprout, transparent

1. Go over the plant life cycle again (I have been cycling back to it regularly throughout these lessons) and discuss what a seed needs to grow. Talk about how you are going to make a project using a living seed and that the students will need to provide everything the seed needs to grow.

2. Show then the envelopes and markers. Go over special instructions on how to use permanent markers; push up sleeves! Put down a sheet of news paper for each student, in case they go off the edge. Have them decorate their envelope and mention that since they’re transparent, the light will shine through the color. If they color red shapes on the front and blue shapes on the back, when they hold it up to the light it will look purple, etc.

3. I  made a pictograph for the next steps. We finished our coloring and went over it together. It showed how many paper towel strips they needed, how many seeds ( I recommend 2 per kid in case one is a dud), how many pipettes of water to give their seeds a drink, etc.

4. As kids finished up their drawing and coloring, I sent them to follow the instructions, and we went back to the instruction poster many times to review what they needed. Also, I stressed that they had to be very gentle with the wet seeds – a firm squeeze could kill them.

5. When it was time to add the water, I had them work a few at a time with the classroom teacher, since the majority of them had never used a pipette before. I helped the other kids finish up and clean up. Later, I punched a hole in the top corners of each envelope and tied them together with old ribbon bits. I strung these up in the windows so kids could see the seeds put out a little sprout!

Note:  They needed remoistening every few days, and after about 2 weeks I cut the envelopes apart and sent the sprouts home, since they needed to be planted in dirt or tossed since they were getting too big.

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