# Activities and Ideas: Plants, Trees, and Seeds

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1 Mathematics Measurement: Take students outside to the playground with a list of plant and/or tree items they will find there (tree trunks, branches, leaves, seeds, flowers, etc.) and a measurement tool (ruler, yardstick, tape measure, etc.). Once outside, ask students to take measurements of the items on their list. Students could be asked to measure length, width, and circumference. As a class, compare measurements. Who located a needle with the longest length? Who found a branch with the greatest circumference? Tailor the discussion to the ability of your students and the items available on your site. Note: If measurement tools are not available for all students, string or yarn may be cut to standard lengths and used. Sorting: Provide each student with a small bag and take a short field trip around the school grounds. Ask students to collect leaves, seeds, flowers, and branches from plants that are found. Once back in the classroom, do one of the following sort activities. -or- Ask students to sort the items they found individually. Make a chart /graph of all of the different ways students chose to sort the items they found (size, color, type, shape, texture, etc.). Discuss. Ask students to place the items they found into a single location. Make a list of all of the possible ways to sort the items (size, color, type, shape, texture, etc.). Have the class choose one ore more of the options they ve listed and sort the items using that criteria. Weight: Provide students with a balance scale and at least 3-5 different types of seeds. Using a balance scale, weigh different kinds of seeds. Prior to weighing the seeds, ask students to predict the order in weight of seeds from least to greatest. Then, test to see if their predictions were correct. Discuss the outcome. Next, place a small math manipulative (bear or dinosaur counters) or other small object on one side of the balance scale. Choose one type of seed and weigh the object with it. Then, based on their earlier observations, ask students to predict how much the object will weigh in the other seed types. Weigh the object to test predictions.

2 Graphing: Provide each student with a small bag and take a short field trip around the school grounds. Ask students to collect leaves, seeds, flowers, and branches from plants that are found. Once back in the classroom, do one of the following graphing activities. Provide graph paper for each student and ask them to create a graph of the number of plant parts they were able to locate and collect. -or- Tally the counts of the whole class and create a group graph of items collected. This activity ties in very well with the sorting activity on page 1 of this idea sheet. If combined, there are multiple graphing opportunities. For example, students could sort and graph by size (small, medium, and large) or by color (red leaves, yellow leaves, and green leaves). Note: This activity could be done using a tally sheet rather than collection bags. If this is desired, create a tally sheet for student to use as they take their field trip around the school grounds. Students can be asked to assist in the creation of the tally sheet by making a list of all of the plant parts that the would expect to see. Counting: Give each student a baggie full of seeds. Ask them to group and count the seeds: by 2s by 5s by 10s If time and interest allow, combine all of the seeds into one large pile and count them all as a class using one ore more of the groupings (2, 5, and 10). Science Celery Stalk Experiment: This experiment will help your students see the job of stems. Fill a cup with water and a few drops of red food coloring. Place a stalk of celery (with the leaves on top) in the water. Leave it overnight. The next day, invite students look at the celery. What do they see? Overnight, the red water will have traveled up the tubes of the celery. The celery leaves will have turned red or pink colored water reaches them through the xylem of the plant the path the water takes from the roots to the leaves.

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