From Seed to Bean
Second grade scientists have been learning about seeds and plants this spring through a variety of projects. In April, students worked with the Facilities Department to revive the Primary School Patio Garden, clearing out the beds and making a plan for a pollinator garden. Fay’s Director of Grounds Mike Casey chose native pollinator plants for the second graders to plant in the garden, and recently students were hard at work installing and caring for the new plants. Second graders also learned about native and invasive plants and read Flower Talk: How Plants Use Color to Communicate by Sara Levine, which explains how plants use color and scent to attract pollinators. Second graders will continue to be responsible for weeding the garden for the remainder of the school year and keeping an eye out for pests and diseases.
Students have also been learning about plant life cycles this spring by tracking the growth of a bean seed from germination through the full growth of the plant. Students learned the terminology for all the parts of the seed and plant and how the seed changes throughout the growth cycle. They illustrated and wrote about the growth process from the emergence of the first root, called the radical, to the cotyledons falling away when the bean plant reaches maturity. Each student planted and cared for their own bean seed, carefully measuring their plant's growth, tracking it on a large growth chart in the second grade classroom, and making daily observations about what they noticed in their nature journals.
Once the plants had reached maturity, second graders learned about constants and variables by setting up a bean plant experiment. This month, students selected a single variable to change in the care of their plant. Working in groups, some students chose to water their bean plant with sugar water, green tea, or hot water, while others were curious to see how a bean plant might develop differently if it were planted in sand or if multiple seeds were planted in the same cup. Students noted all the growth factors, such as sunlight, water, space, soil, and temperature, and determined whether they were the variable or the contents of their experiment. Students continued to measure their plant's growth and make daily observations about the changes they notice in their nature journals.