2 October 2009

What do we already know about plants?

One of our first challenges in this new Unit of Inquiry was for us to bring something to school that has a connection to the world of plants.  It was with great excitement therefore that we assembled round the rug on Wednesday morning, for our first sharing ‘session’ of the new school year, most of us clutching packets and pots and rustling bags.

Let’s begin with Taylor.  She ‘brought roses because they are my favourite kind of flower.  I like them because they come in different colours’.  Mmmm – me too!


Sebastian wondered, ‘do they need that water to grow?’

‘They’ll die without it,’ answered Delfine. 

Paulina concurred.  ‘They will go brown.  They won’t be colourful any longer.’

Alex was also clutching roses.  ‘They’ve got prickles on them and they have a little tiny smell and they are brightly coloured.’


‘What colours are the spikes?’ asked Sam.

‘Green’, confirmed Alex.

Sebastian was holding this green ‘posy’.


‘My kind of plant is a hortensia.  My mum and my gran planted them.  We have pink and white and green.  And also you can put them in a vase.’  Or a plastic cup!

Liv was puzzled.  ‘Are there lots of flowers or are they all on one stem?’ she asked.  What do you think?

Liam told us, ‘I’ve got seeds.  They are brown and white.  You put them in soil and they can grow.  I bought them at Jardiland.’  Closer inspection revealed that they were in fact crocus bulbs.  Flowers like this…..


should appear in the Spring if we do with them as he says.

‘Is there going to be fruit on them?’ wondered Liv.  Good question!

Can told us he had got ‘seeds.  You have to be careful because they are small and can get lost.  You plant them in soil’ (like the soil that Johannes brought to show us) ‘and they grow up to flowers.’  Flowers like the ones on the packet.


Kareem observed, ‘They need water and the sun.’

Camille has been busy.  This is what she showed us.


‘They are some peas.  I put some cotton under and water in it and they grew,’ she explained.

‘Why do they grow with cotton under?’ wondered Delfine.  My goodness; aren’t we getting some well-thought out questions!

Enakshi told us, ‘I brought some seeds and you have to put them into the container with water.


Then you see something white coming out and when you wake up in the morning you can eat them for breakfast.’  Beanshoots for breakfast?  Well, why not!

‘If we don’t eat it, could it grow even bigger?’ wondered Liv.  Another great question!

Sean had me a bit confused.  ‘I brought some lettuce seeds,’ he said.


Hmm.  They look a bit BIG for lettuce seeds.  ‘Frogs live there,’ he continued.  Nope; still befuddled.  Let’s look at the packet.  Aah…..LOTUS seeds! 

‘You put them in water and leave them in the sun.  You have to change the water.’  How exciting.  I do hope we manage to grow them.  Imagine; lotuses in the classroom!

Daniel was quick to point out that lotus leaves are also called lily pads.  Well, they are not the same plant, but certainly they are similar.  Good thinking.

Afif brought a tiny packet.  ‘I brought so tiny seeds and they are going to grow like this.’  Pointing to a photo on the packet.


‘We need soil and water and light,’ he concluded.

Paulina had a bag full of treasures.  She (carefully) pulled one of them out. 


‘These are very spiky leaves,’ she said.

‘Holly’, confirmed Delfine.

‘They have little red balls.  They are poisonous,’ continued Paulina, undeterred.

‘Berries.’  Delfine again.

Liv unwrapped something small from a piece of cling film.  ‘It’s a seed,’ she told us.  ‘It comes from my home.  It is from a tree.  It was inside the fruit.  I cut it in half.  It’s a plum.’

Leo also had seeds.  ‘I found them in the playground.  They were inside those spiky balls on the tree.’


Arathi showed us this ‘weed’. 


‘This is a plant and it was in the garden.  It’s got leaves and soil on it,’ she said.

I wonder what would happen if we put it back into the soil.  Would it die do you think?  How could we find out?

Kareem ‘brought a plant.  There are three baby flowers on it.’


‘They are called buds’ clarified Daniel.

Dhaluni’s flowering plant was cleverly put inside a miniature watering can.  Self-watering, perhaps.


Daniel’s was in a much bigger pot. 


‘This is a hibiscus,’ he told us.  Hibiscus is the flower of Malaysia.  They like hot countries.  The flowers are red.’

Liv noticed all the different ‘branches’.  ‘Are they all on the same root?’ she asked.

Finally to Shinnosuke.  He had us puzzled.  Why, we wondered, had he brought a toy to show us.


‘They have made it out of wood.  They sharpened it to make a piece of rail.’  He brought it ‘because it is made out of wood and wood comes from trees.’  Ahh – that makes sense!

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