Today is the last day of “field trip season” here at Phipps. Every day for the last several months, we have taught thousands of students about butterflies, worms and seeds. It has been a very busy and very wonderful spring indeed! Several weeks ago, we were lucky enough to host four school field trips for St. Killian’s Parish School. We taught a Stupendous Seeds for their three year-old class and Worms for their four year-old class. We had such a wonderful time with their students! St. Killian’s lead teacher, Mrs. Staudacher, very kindly sent us her reflections on the day for us and we loved them so much that we wanted to share them here.
The children became “scientists” today! They investigated seeds and learned all about plants. Ms. Amanda, our Phipps instructor, told the children we use plants all the time. She asked the children, if they like bananas, cookies, apples, and chocolate! The children were a little surprised to learn some of their favorite foods come from plants. They laughed when they heard their clothes, furniture, paper for books, and pencils all come from plants, too!
The children used two of their five senses in their investigation: Their eyes to see and their hands to touch! Working as scientists, the children used magnifying glasses to examine a variety of seeds. They carefully examined the attributes of the seeds (color, size, shape, and their “favorite funny”). Lima beans that had been soaked in water were passed out. Each child received one bean and was asked to remove its “coat”. The children learned all seeds have “coats.” The coats protect the seed. The children learned that all seeds have an embryo (baby plant), and it has its own food!
Soon it was time for the children to pretend to be plants. Assembling in the back of the classroom, some children were given signs to wear (sun, clouds) and little puppet bees were passed out, as well. The remainder of the children pretended to be seeds growing in a garden! They began to sprout as the sun gave them warmth, and the clouds gave them water. After waiting and waiting and waiting, the flowers began to bloom!
Worms: Our Composting Friends
The children enjoyed learning about soil composition and red worms with Ms. Melissa and Mr. Steven. The session began with Ms. Melissa asking the children what plants need to grow. They answered, “Plants need “dirt”, water, and sunshine.” Ms. Melissa took the opportunity to then introduce the “scientific” word for “dirt”, which is soil. The children remembered from that point on to use the “scientific” word, “soil”, when referring to this plant material.
Small containers of soil, tweezers, and a magnifying glass were given to the children. They assumed the role of “scientists”, as they began their investigative mission picking out soil parts such as rocks, leaves, roots, and parts of a plant in their trays. The question was asked, “What’s missing?” The children’s quick response was, “Worms!”
The children used four of their five senses when working with the worms: their eyes, nose, ears, and touch. No mouth! After carefully observing the worms, the children were asked to describe them. Some of the adjectives they used: red, wiggly, long, colorful, short, long, no eyes, and stripes.
The children learned some interesting facts about worms: Worms have muscles like people, but no spine. Each stripe on a worm is a muscle, the tiny hairs on the worms is called, “setae” (that is how the worm wiggles around0, worms breathe through their skin, and worms do not have eyes beause they do not need eyes since they do not like light and they live underground!
The children also used flashlights to shine underneath their plates of worms to see “inside” the wormss. Melissa shared the worms’ home as well as the banana peels that the worms eat! Steven taught the afternoon class. It was a repeat performance of the morning class. The afternoon class pretends to be wiggly worms!
What a fun group to teach – they were great scientists!
Check out the slideshow below to see more pictures from St. Killian’s field trips.
Thanks again to St. Killian’s Parish School for all of these wonderful photos and reflections!