Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Investigating seeds

I am finally writing a new post! Blogging is easy when you get into a routine but as soon as I get off the wagon I find it hard to get back onto it again.
I thought I would show you what we have been up to recently. I try to follow Finn's interests closely. He has some deep, long term interests (dinosaurs and trains) and others that are more seasonal, more fleeting.
Interestingly, he has been asking to do activities about dinosaurs and trains but what I offer never seems to quite satisfy his desires. Mostly, he just wants to talk about his and ours favourite trains and dinosaurs, and I think he revels in hearing names and facts he already knows rather than learning new information. I assume hearing the same dino or train related vocabulary reassures him in some way and helps him feel secure and confident in his knowledge.
Things are different when it comes to his more short term interests. Recently he became really interested in insects. We made an insect table with models, books, caterpillar habitat, insect cards... and watched videos to answer his questions about insects. It was intense but short lived. He did learn a lot, and maybe because he had learnt so much, needed to take a break. We cleared the table for a couple of weeks.
Then I caught him curiously dissecting his peas and beans at the dinner table. Not just once. He also investigated any seed pod he found outside and was really interested in flowers. Our next area of investigation had been found, and we set up our seed table.
I like to keep things simple, so we have three books, some blossom, beans on a tray, a magnifying glass, microscope, and a lovely poem about seeds.
Here is the poem:
The Little Plant
In the heart of a seed,
Buried deep so deep,
A tiny plant
Lay fast asleep.

"Wake," said the sunshine,
"And creep to the light."
"Wake," said the voice
Of the raindrops bright.

The little plant heard
And it rose to see,
What the wonderful,
Outside world might be.

I didn't write it, and haven't found an author for it.

We talked about what a seed may look like, and what it needs to grow. We cut up fruit to find the seeds inside, planted the pips found in an apple, soaked seeds in water to see what would happen, looked at them closely with our microscope...

and dissected them! This chart is a printable from Playful Learning. I recommend the lesson "Seeds: an inside edition" which we used.

More ideas for Finn to explore seeds further are:
- Going on a seed hunt
- Planting seeds in different environments to find out which is most suitable for healthy growth
- Digging deeper into the many ways that seeds travel
- Finding out the connection between seeds and insects
 We'll just see where he wants to take his interest to and I will follow the best I can.
What have your children been interested in at the moment? Have you also noticed interests at different levels that require different approaches?
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