Last spring Premier Homeschool Consultants' elementary-aged students conducted an extensive project to learn about plants. Through hands-on activities, observations, and journaling, these youngsters were able to learn while having lots of fun!
This project began with students learning about seeds and their parts. Instead of just doing worksheets, though, we had the children explore the magic of how nature works! The students began with measuring and noting the sizes of seeds and then wrapping the seeds in wet paper towels. Every day the boys took the seeds out of the paper towels and made observations and measurements...just like the scientists that all kids are!
After the seeds were big enough the students planted them and learned about the nutrients plants get from the soil. The great thing about doing this project with homeschoolers is that they learn as much as they want to and aren't limited by textbooks or supposed grade level material. These boys can now use words like "cotyledon" and know what they're talking about. They noted the same information every day so they could see the need for consistent observations and the pace of growth in their plants.
At the end of the project the boys made graphs of the data they collected, allowing them to learn more about computer programs in addition to their science lessons. They also gave speeches to explain the process, highlights of their observations, and to show their completed journals. The boys were excited to be able to show what they had learned!