It's no secret for those that know me-- the hands are my favorite part of a body-especially those that are capable! :) Hands are used for so many things- strength, comfort, building, creating, writing, holding, etc. etc. etc.
In science we study soil (post to come shortly :))and the plant cycle. To make it fun and scientific we grew a garden in a glove.
I chose plants that would germinate quickly- green beans, basil, marigold, nasturtium, and watermelon.
I got the plastic gloves from cafeteria workers and had students write the name of each plant on each finger with a sharpie.
In small groups they got a cotton ball wet, and squeezed it out three times. I had each seeds on pieces of paper with the amount of how many seeds to get written on each. They picked seeds up with cotton balls and then placed them in their gloves using pencils to guide them. Once they finished we gave a puff of air in each and sealed them with a pipe cleaner. We taped our mini greenhouses on the window and took daily observations in our science notebooks. Within 3-5 days almost every seed sprouted!!!
Now--- this is where things got a little mental. I gave students labels and had them write their names with each plant on it and put it on a plastic cup. We filled the cups with potting soil, created a little hole, and then cut the fingers on our gloves and dropped the cotton ball into our soil, covered them up, and gave them a little water.
We left them over the weekend and by the time we came back on Monday the majority had sprouted and many had grown taller than the cup!!!
2 weeks later and this is what we have! I am totally amazed--- I normally look at a plant and it dies.
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In writing I had students trace their hands and write things that they had done and what they wanted to do. These could start as story starters for memoirs, small moments, reflections, etc.
Students then took each finger and began to write a paragraph about each. We focused on topic sentence, details-- some story or what they have done, how it makes them feel, and a closing sentence. They write each idea on a separate piece of paper that has space for revisions- with each paper turning into a paragraph.
When revising they read it with whisper phones to themselves, underline any words they aren't sure how to spell, then revise with friends with skinny makers, and finally with me before they get to their final copy. These are turning out to be very sweet and powerful.
I took pictures of them out on the playground playing their favorite activity and had them printed to be mounted next to their writing--- it will also go perfectly into their end of year writing portfolios.
I am starting to be in denial and choking up really quickly when thinking about separating from these sweet things!