"Let’s look at these pictures. What do you see in these pictures? If we were telling the story of a life cycle of a plant, which picture do you think comes first?" Walk through the whole life cycle of a plant, taping the images to the board in a ‘cycle’ formation. With image of seed, emphasize that plants need to grow in soil to be healthy because it’s full of nutrients, like vitamins for plants. Just like we need to eat healthy food to grow up, plants need the nutrients from soil to grow up. With the image of a small plant, use the vocabulary of seedling. With the adult plant, introduce and identify the parts of a plant using your adult plant image—roots, stem, leaves, flower. Once the cycle has been established, review the whole cycle with the students.
Transition: "Now that we know the life cycle of a plant, we are going to use our bodies and imaginations as actors to become plants."
1. Space: Alright, everybody now we’re going to pretend like we have our own garden. In your own space, you are going to plant your own seeds. We have to give our seeds plenty of room or they can’t grow.
2. Hole: First, let’s pretend to dig a hole. Next, we are going to plant a seed. (Walk around and shake pretend seeds into each student’s hand, for a large group modify: let’s all take our seed out of our pocket.) Let’s cover it up and pack the dirt down so it doesn’t wash away.
3. Seed: Good, now that you’ve planted your seeds, can you show me what a tiny seed looks like with your body? Now, I’m going to come around and water my seeds (mist water bottle in the air above student’s heads). What else do we need to grow? How about some sunshine! I’m going to come around and shine some sun on you. (Shine flashlight on their arms or toes, sweeping over whole group of students.)
4. Sprout: Now, wiggle like seeds getting ready to burst! Start wiggling slow, and a little faster and faster! Now, when I clap my hands, let’s sprout out of our seeds, just a little bit. Make sure your roots are planted on the ground.
5. Seedling: I’m going to give you a little more rain and a little more sun. When I clap my hands you are going to grow into a tiny seedling, you’ll be halfway to a full grown plant. Ready, grow (clap)!
6. Plant: You are such thirsty young seedlings, let me give you some more water! And some more sun! This last time I clap my hands you are going to grow into a full sized plant. Ready? (clap)
7. Flowers: You are all such grown up plants, now it’s time to blossom. Can you use your hands to make flowers?
8. Parts of Plant: Everyone reach as high as they can toward the sun. Show me your leaves-wiggle them around! Wiggle your flowers. Are your roots planted firmly in the ground? Wiggle your roots. Now glue them to the ground. How tall is your stem? Can you wiggle your stem in the wind? Slow wiggling and fast!
9. Seed distribution: Now plants, the wind is going to take your seeds and blow them away. Can we pretend to blow in the wind like a seed? Let’s all find a new place to land. (Find a new place to land in 5-4-3-2-1!) Now everyone show me how you are a seed again ready to be planted.
10. Back to students: Now when I clap my hands again, we are no longer going to be plants. We are going to be boys and girls back in our classroom. (clap) Everyone shake out your arms and legs! Everyone let’s take a seat.
Transition: "Alright, friends now that you are expert gardeners, there is someone who needs our help. Now, when I put on this bandanna, I will be an actor playing a character. My character’s name is Rose and she wants to be a gardener. Everyone close your eyes while I put on my costume. When I clap my hands you can open your eyes. (Clap.)
(sad, crying) I am sad because my family moved away from my grandpa and I miss him so much. My grandpa always had the prettiest garden, full of roses and daisies and sunflowers! My name is Rose because my grandpa’s favorite flower is a rose. I thought if I planted a garden, I might not miss him so much. The only problem is, I tried to plant some seeds and they all died. Do you think you can you help me? (Let students respond) Alright, so what is the first thing I need? Okay, so I have some seeds. What do I do with these? Oh, plant them in the ground? I think I will plant them in my sandbox! Is that a good idea? I can have flowers next to my sandcastle. Oh, I need soil. Okay, well it’s so hot in Texas; I think I’ll plant these seeds in the shade, under my swing set. What do you think—is the shade a good place for a plant? Oh, plants need sun? Okay, so I will plant them right here. So, I have my seed. I’m going to put it right here on the top on of the soil so it’s closer to the sun. (Put packet of seeds ‘on top’ of the soil) What do you think? Oh, I have to dig a hole? Can you all help me dig a hole? (Dig holes, everyone plant a seed.) Now what do I do? How can we make sure it doesn’t blow away? (fill up hole and pat down dirt.) Alright, well I planted my seeds, so I guess I will go watch TV and wait for them to grow. My seeds don’t need anything else, right? Oh, I forgot water? (pretend to water seeds) Let’s all pretend to be flowers in my garden. I’m going to put you into flower rows. (Arrange students in rows or groups-if they can handle it, ask what type of flower they are) Alright let’s start in a tiny seed. And can everyone grow to a tiny seedling. And now, can we grow to a full grown plant! You are beautiful plants—show me your leaves. But, what about the flowers? Can you all blossom into flowers? Uh-oh. It’s really hot outside! Can you show me what a thirsty plant looks like? Oh no, I have to save my plants! (Water with watering can/spray with water.) Show me with your body that you have enough water. Can everyone show me the strongest and healthiest flowers with their bodies and faces! Everyone freeze in 3-2-1! Alright, I’m going to walk through my garden and smell all of my flowers. Oh, I’m going to take a picture to remember all of my beautiful flowers in the wintertime. Oh, it’s getting ready windy! Can you sway in the wind? Let’s drop some of our seeds in the wind, so we can grow new seedlings. When I clap my hands, we’ll be students again. (clap) Let’s take a seat in our garden. Everyone take a deep breath and smell all these flowers. Oh, they smell so good. Friends, thank you so much for helping me to a plant a garden. Oh, I hear my mom calling me for lunch. I have to go now. Goodbye!
Transition: "Everyone close your eyes. Wave goodbye to Rose. (Take off hat, step out of character) When I clap my hands, open your eyes." (Clap hands.)