Thursday, April 19, 2012

Preschool: Planting Truffula Trees

In honor of Spring and Earth Day, we are doing a planting unit in our classroom.  Because I love The Lorax, especially the positive "the seeds are in your hands now" message at the end, I thought the class would get a kick out of growing their own Truffula Trees.

The closest real-world matches I could think of were marigolds and zinnias, so I picked up some seeds on sale at the grocery:

A pretty close match, I think!  I told the class that we were planting Truffula Trees, but in retrospect I wish I had said miniature Truffula Trees; they are probably expecting tree-sized plants.  We did some outdoor exploring recently to discuss trees and their features (wide or narrow, needles or leaves, short or tall, branches, bark, etc.), and luckily we did make a stop at some very short gardenia trees.  When our marigolds and zinnias come up, I plan to explain that they are also called marigolds and zinnias and that they are not really full-sized Truffula Trees.  We can continue the magic though and call them mini Truffulas.

For growing the seeds, I was inspired by this tutorial for sprouting seedings in recycled materials:  

Source: via Frances on Pinterest

I had some cardboard egg cartons on hand, so we put those to use.  

I am hopeful that, when the time comes to put them in the ground, the cardboard will degrade under the seedlings and not impede their growth; I think it would be a good lesson in composting.

We now have some little green shoots coming from our Trees.  Today we read The Lorax again and went outside to inspect our new growth.

I also applied this Pinterest inspiration for watering our plants:

Source: via Frances on Pinterest

The water pitcher I had been using was flooding the soil out of the shallow little egg cartons, so this was a welcome suggestion.  My version, of course, is not as elegant as this one, but that is life in a classroom: done with a pair of scissors on the fly.

Maybe when our Truffula Trees come up, we can make some pompom trees to take home:

Source: via Frances on Pinterest

Here is a Kid Quote from the classroom today: 

3-year-old:" I went to see the Titantic and guess what!  It sank!  And it hid behind a bush and the bush made the Titantic sank and one person died."


Jen said...

It is such a good idea to teach science to the little ones. You know you can ask the parents to donate some materials. It will be easier for you, and it is always great to incorporate family.

Aaron's mom

Ms. Frances said...

That's a great idea! One of our moms did bring some extra squash plants last week; we had a very messy, fun time putting them in the raised beds!