Flower Science

This week my class has begun a unit of study on plant life cycles.  Second graders need to understand the concept that living things grow and change.  On Monday, we opened a lima bean seed to see what was inside.  Students discovered the seed coat, the germ (baby plant), and the cotyledons (food for the germ).  My students were interested and engaged.  I think some were grossed out by the sliminess of the bean seeds.  I had soaked them in water earlier in the day to make it easier to open.

Over the weekend, I purchased a bunch of white carnations.  I planned on doing the food coloring in the water activity so the students could see that the stem’s job is to carry water and nutrients to the other parts of the plant.  On Monday, I put several drops of blue food coloring in the water, understanding that it would probably take several days for the blue coloring to travel up to the white carnations.  Here is a picture of the flowers on Monday (I am embarrassed by the messy table behind the flowers!).


On Tuesday, we did not have time for science.  Howerver, today we were able to read about the different parts of a plant and what their jobs were.  We discussed the stem.  I looked closely at my white carnations and didn’t see much of the blue food coloring.  You could see some blue on the edges of the flower, but it was very faint.  Here is a picture of the flowers today.


You can see a little blue on them, but not a lot.  I was surprised that not many children knew that the carnation would turn blue.  They were able to get a closer look at the flowers as we lined up to go to lunch.  They were so excited to discover a little blue on the carnations.  There were a lot of, “I see it!”  And, “Where?”  And again, “Right there!”  It was comical.

I am going to leave the flowers in the blue water for as long as I can before they start to wither.  Hopefully, we will get to see more blue in the white.  The flowers were definitely a welcome additon to the classroom.  A teacher at my school commented on how it brightened up the room.  I had to agree.  It will be sad to see them go.