Monday, April 6, 2015

Grassheads! (with Amanda from First Grade Garden)

Hi there! My name is Amanda and you can usually find me over at the blog First Grade Garden. I'm here today to share with you a fun spring, science project to make with your kiddos. 

But first, let me tell you a bit about myself! I live in Manitoba, Canada with my husband, my baby girl (who just turned 1 on March 31st.... waaaah!), my two labs, and my two cats. We live out in the country on 4.5 acres and are building a new house on our property this summer! 

I have been teaching for 8 years. I have substitute taught every grade from K-9, taught Grade 6, Grade 3/4, Grade 4, and Grade 1. The last four years have been in first grade and that's where I plan to stay! I am also going back to university starting this spring to get my Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Education. The first course I am taking is about problem solving in early years mathematics! 

I am currently on an extended maternity leave, but I go back to school in September. It was so nice to be able to spend a whole year at home with my baby girl, but I do miss the classroom. That's why the blogging world is so important to me--it keeps me connected with what is going on in other people's classrooms. :)

Ok, now onto my spring, science project. Spring is the perfect time to try a growing project in your classroom. We learn about living things in our science curriculum, so actually growing something is such a fun, hands-on activity for students to learn about how to care for a living thing and the needs of living things. I have grown different things different years, but the grassheads were definitely the most popular with my kiddos.

Materials Needed:
*beige panty hose (1 pair per two students)
*grass seed (about 1 tsp. per student)
*soil (about 1 to 1-1/2 cups per student)
*styrofoam or paper cups
*googly eyes
*elastic bands
*pipe cleaners

Cut the feet off the panty hose (at about the knee). Place a teaspoon of grass seed into the panty hose (so it's in the "toe"). Scoop about a cup or two into the panty hose as well. Tie a knot in the panty hose to keep the soil from falling out. Form into a ball shape. The knot will go at the bottom. 

On the side of the "face", take a small clump of dirt and panty hose and wrap an elastic band around it to create a nose. Noses can be all sorts of shapes and sizes! Then hot glue googly eyes and a pipe cleaner mouth to the face. 

Have students decorate the cup as a "body". You could be super creative and use paper scraps and stickers. We just used good old fashioned markers. Fill the cup about 2/3 full with water. Sit the grasshead on the cup with the knotted end dangling in the water. Some water will soak up the knot and into the soil. 

Place the grassheads in a sunny spot and give them time to grow! I keep a few spray bottles of water near the grassheads and once a day I would let students spray them. It was usually while they were writing in their grasshead journals and I would pick the quietest table to go water their plants first. I also tell them how many squirts to give. It gets them practicing their counting and prevents over-watering. Win-win!

On the very last day of our plant unit I let the students take their grassheads home. But first, we pull out the scissors and I let my students become hairdressers! Tons of fun!

During the unit we keep track of our grassheads in these little journals. We write about how to make a grasshead, what our grassheads need (soil, water, air, and sun), and a daily journal of how our grass is growing. If you want to try out your own grassheads, you can download the journal for free from {here} or click the picture below!

I hope you give them a try! Growing something all by themselves is definitely a valuable lesson they won't forget. 

Thanks for stopping by! Come visit me over at First Grade Garden sometime. See you next time!

1 comment:

  1. I am considering doing this in my classroom. I am wanting to know how long will it take for the grass to grow? Any tips on how often I should water them?