Sunday, May 15, 2011

Garden Science: Studying Plants

 We continue to love the activities in the Junior Master Gardener Curriculum. I love that all three of the kids can be fully involved in these activities!  This week we continued to look at monocot and dicots, studied plant roots and looked at the age of trees.

In our first activity the kids gathered flowers from our yard.  Then they had to determine whether the plants were monocots or dicots by counting the number of flower petals.  Flowers with multiples of three petals are monocots. Flowers with multiple petals of four or five are dicots.  (The other day we did an activity looking at the leaves. Monocots have parallel veins in their leaves while dicots have netted veins (like a maple leaf.)) 
In our next activity the kids looked at roots. There are two types of roots -- fibrous roots (like grass) and taproots (like carrots).  We went around pulling out lots of weeds and talked about the roots. We had some good discussions because some plants had a main root, but also had lots of small hair roots as well.

 Finally, our last activity this week was looking at the age of trees by counting the number of rings.  We looked hard to see if we could find rainy years and dry years.  And tried to count the rings (it was harder on some stumps than others).  One large tree stump had over a hundred rings! (We and our neighbors cut it down last fall because it was dead and had the potential of falling onto our house.)
This is one of the smaller stumps that LD counted.

Here are some of our previous garden science activities.


  1. Great activities! Does the curriculum come with worksheets, teacher's manual or picture illustrations to know what to look for?

  2. The curriculum is great -- it comes with a workbook and a teacher's manual. I was hesitant to get both, but the teacher's manual adds in a lot of hands-on activities (hundreds of pages!). I wrote a more detailed post about it here -- and have pictures of the workbook. It's kind of like a scout manual in that the kids can do activities on their own and the teacher/leader initials that the activity was completed.

    Let me know if you have other questions!

    And by the way, thanks so much for your other lovely comments. I keep meaning to write a quick comment and keep getting pulled away. It makes my day to hear from other homeschoolers out there since my adult conversation time is limited at times!! :)