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Wonderful World of Plants

Essential questions
Which plants and which parts of plants do we eat and why?
Why are seeds important and why do they need our care?
What do plants need to grow healthy and strong?

This module includes the following lessons:

Lesson 1: Eco-101: We Eat Plants (Estimated time needed: 45 minutes)
In this lesson, students recognize that healthy food comes from nature and that humans eat plants, especially seeds, fruits, and vegetables. They explore examples of a variety of fresh seeds, fruits, and vegetables that are offered to them. With prompting and support, they learn the parts of the plants as they explore the parts we usually eat: seeds, stems, leaves, roots, fruits, and nuts. To conclude, students help to prepare a salad with a variety of fruits and vegetables, and then they enjoy the tasty finished product together!

Lesson 2: Eco-Activity: Plant Needs (Estimated time needed: 45 minutes)
Students learn that plants need soil, sunlight, water, and love and care to grow healthy and strong. Based on observations using their senses, students compare two plants—one that is healthy and one that is sick—and learn how to help a plant that is not getting all of its needs met. Students learn that plants actually move, often in response to needing water and light, and students dance to mimic a plant's growth process from seed to flower. Finally, they use their new knowledge in a role-playing activity in which some students are seeds growing into plants, some are gardeners, and one is the sun.

Lesson 3: Eco-Action: Seed Guardians (Estimated time needed: Two 45-minute sessions plus 5 min. every day until seedlings sprout and additional time to periodically monitor plant growth)
In this lesson, students begin to understand the great importance of seeds and to assume the role of Seed Guardians. In the first session, students examine a variety of seeds and identify foods that contain seeds and foods that do not contain seeds. Students conclude the session by becoming guardians of their very own seeds. Students will make a Seed Guardian necklace that they can proudly wear, care for, and watch germinate. In the second session, students work together as a class to learn the correct way to plant seeds and create a classroom nursery by planting seeds in milk cartons, egg cartons, or other recycled containers that will serve as pots. In these hands-on activities, students witness the germination process, learn how to care for seeds and seedlings, and discuss why seeds are so important and why we must care for them.

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