Going and Growing Green

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garden-flower-classroom-speech-activityThe start of spring means it time to plant flowers, grass, trees, and more. As the rain comes down, the outdoor environment begins to come alive with colors after the cold winter. Take time to talk about plants that are important or significant to kids. Do their families have certain flowers for holidays or around their house in the summer? Write home to see if there are any seeds that families would like to donate for a multifamily and possibly multicultural importance garden.

Learning How Seeds Grow

Plants and the vocabulary related to them are a wonderful topic to utilize in April. Talk with teachers to see what they may be doing within their classrooms. This way, it can supplement and support what they plan during speech and language sessions. Take time to go over how plants grow from seeds. Books like Oh Say Can You See?: All About Flowering Plants by Bonnie Worth uses characters from The Cat in the Hat to share parts of the plant, photosynthesis, pollination, and movement of seeds. The rhyming in the book is also a nice way to focus on that and think later on about additional words in the rhyme family.

Mini Greenhouses for Older Children

A sandwich-sized zipper baggie can be used to make a small green house experiment with older children. For this activity, you will need the baggies, paper towels or cotton balls, bean seeds that have been soaked in water, and tape. Kids just need to place the bean seed into some of the wet cotton balls or paper towels. This is then placed into the baggie and it is closed up. The top is taped shut, and these are put onto a classroom window to grow. Being able to see the science in action will allow children to use their new words and vocabulary in proper context. While the bean seeds are growing, acting out and talk about Jack and the Beanstalk tales. Kids can take turns telling their own tale as if they were Jack.

Creating a Grass Critter

Younger children may not understand if their plant seed does not grow when a classmate has success. Take time to make grass critters with them, because grass seed does very well when given limited light and water.  You will need plastic cups or empty baby food jars for each child, potting soil, grass seed, and decorations to make a critter on the outside of the container. Allow kids to take time to be creative as they make their critters. When they are finished and some of the grass has grown, give everyone time to tell what they have.

Think ahead with ways to use these plants. You may send them home in a pretty pot for families to celebrate Earth Day just in time.

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