Early Science  /   Plants  /   Preparation


Getting Ready to Teach

This Plants curriculum supplement is designed for 3 weeks of hands-on and digital (iPad) learning experiences. Let's get ready! Take time to familiarize yourself with this Teachers Guide. Read about how to Get Ready to Teach Science, review the unit's Learning Objectives and lesson plans. Also check out the activities under We Can All Be Scientists, which introduce children to what being a scientist means and can be implemented prior to the plants unit. Next, gather the materials listed below and on each activity page, and review the steps for preparing for the unit.

The activities in each lesson can be completed in the time frame that works best for your classroom and schedule, whether all in one day or spread over several days. Each lesson organizes the activities by different times in the daily schedule.

Unit Overview PDF

Before the Unit Begins…

Plant Some Seeds Early

Roll up your sleeves and explore! A week before you introduce the planting activities to the children, gather seeds and planting materials. "Plant" a few seeds yourself, in a plastic sandwich bag along with a moist paper towel, and observe how the seeds sprout and grow. Plant some seeds in soil as well. (Remember, when planting the seeds in soil, do not plant them too deep!) Plants need warmth, water, and light in order to grow. If possible, clear a space near a warm, sunny window for your children's plants.

The day before the first lesson, soak 2 bean seeds per child, plus several more, in water. Also soak 2 other seeds per child (e.g. sunflower, nasturtium, radish, cat oats, chickpeas or lentils). Soaking the seed in water overnight will help them sprout in 2-4 days and poke through the soil in about 1 week.

The seeds suggested (see Materials list below) can grow quickly with the right amount of sunlight, warmth, and water, so children should have plenty to observe during the 3-week unit. Adapt the schedule as needed if the plants are growing particularly slowly.

Tips for Planting Seeds in Soil

Guided Small Group iPads

We recommend choosing and marking one specific iPad to use with all 4 Guided Small Groups during the plants unit. There is a different section within the app for each group to record their data. Using one iPad for all the groups makes it possible to compare photo entries from any group on a single tablet, using the Compare Class Plants tool in the Plants Journal app.



Download these Early Science apps onto your iPads. Familiarize yourself with each digital game and journal app. Before each use, make sure the iPads are charged and that the volume is adjusted appropriately. If you prefer NOT to use the in-app character audio, turn the iPad volume off.




Other Materials