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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Seeds Week...

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A couple of weeks ago, our TIVO “suggestions feature” picked and recorded the PBS Nature series: “The Seedy Side of Plants”.

It’s all about seed propagation, plant cycles, seed dispersal and…..bats and aardvarks pooping fig and melon seeds. Perfect addition to my backup activities bag for that unplanned dead time in class.

This week was ALL 4th graders. Two different schools, two different districts, totally different atmosphere.

The first two day assignment at the country club school was with 24 very well behaved, intelligent kids. It all went pretty easy. They were running through the assignments so fast, that they were becoming bored with all that extra silent reading and down time between lessons.

Me: “How many of you have seen the movie “Holes”?
Them: “Yea! It’s really funny! Are we gonna get to see the movie?...”
Me: “No! You get the sequel about what goes into holes. It’s all about seeds.”
Them: “GROAN!”

By the end of the video, the class comments seemed pretty evenly split between:

1) Eeeeewwwww! Grossss!
2) This is so awesome!

The third day was with a class of 35 kids. Lesson plan included a “Halloween art project” involving paper, scissors, glue, crayons and black paint! This turned out to be more or less partially controlled chaos.

No matter how carefully you explain what parts to cut and what not to cut, they cut wrong, painted wrong, colored wrong. I had a mess of paper parts and paint mixed with glue on tables and carpet.

After lunch, the lesson plan indicated a science project on.......“Seed identification and dispersal”!!!

The lesson plan explanation was an entire page, included worksheets, six little cups with different kinds of seeds to be passed from table to table, magnification lenses for seed examination that the teacher was very worried about losing. I was also directed to do a reading from a book about “Plant Sex”.

I looked at all six delicate little seed cups, the precious magnifier lenses and then at the art project debris on the back table that I would have to clean up after class and saw visions of seeds dumped all over the floor in the paint and glue mix.

The temptation and video topic convergence was too tempting to ignore. I bagged on the project and science class got the video instead. First time viewing for them, second time this week for me.

Comments:

1) Eeeeewwwww! Grossss!
2) Oooohhh!
3) This is so cool!

I penned a note the teacher report that I wasn’t confidant about doing the seed project the way I knew she would want it done so I showed the video instead.

I hope she understands.

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