My class has taken on a science project of their own asking. For my birthday and teacher appreciation week, I was given a planting kit and a cactus. My kiddos wanted to grow and observe the plant and compare it to the cactus. I had them set up the planting kit. Then we got out our science journals to draw pictures and take notes on what we did. Many of them were real excited about using their science journals. “We FINALLY get to use our science journals again!” Sadly, the journals had started to collect dust in their desks. It’s one of those endeavors of mine that I’ve not been consistent with yet (second year attempting it…third year’s the charm, right?).
They’ve had to do some problem solving. One was where we were going to put the plant since our window does not get sunlight (I’ve got a lovely view of the gym). One student wanted us to just plant it outside and let nature take its course. If it dies, so be it. It always amazes me when students are so matter of fact about things like this.
Her opinion was, “It’s a plant and meant to be outdoors. Would you bring a bear into your home if you found it wandering around outside?” My class was upset by this; they wanted to grow the plant inside and were coming up with other solutions to finding a light source. I said the point of doing the planting kit was to observe its growth, and that would be easier done inside and find it a natural light source. I also told her it’s unlikely the plant will want to maul us like the bear would. The bear can stay outside. Their final solution that they all agreed on was putting it in the window of a teacher across the hall whose window received plenty of sunlight.
We’ve been documenting its growth. Now we are starting to compare it to the cactus and learning about the similarities and differences between the two. They have been OBSESSED with this entire process. Some have been sneaking over to the other classroom and checking on the plant when it’s not in our room for our observations. They have really taken on this project and their enthusiasm is contagious.
What scientific (or non-scientific) endeavors have your students wanted to take on and how did it go? Feel free to share in the comments section below.