Have your children make their own plant book about all the things they’ve learned about plants. Younger children can draw pictures; older children could do more writing. Here are my ideas, adapted from 1st grade down to a preschool level. (Sorry! My book is not complete–my little one wasn’t in the mood to do it. And my pictures are not the best either. But hopefully they still give you the general idea.)
My Plant Book (they draw a picture of their favorite plant and write their name)
There are many different kinds of plants: trees, flowers, fruits, vegetables. (they draw a picture of each one)
Plants need: water, light, dirt, air (they draw pictures of each one)
I eat plants (draw a picture of a plant they like to eat)
I use plants (We talk about how we use plants for clothes (cotton) and for tables and chairs (wood/trees). They then draw a picture of one or some of those ideas.)
Plants grow above and below the ground. (they draw a picture of a full plant, with roots below the ground)
For my 1st graders, we did a couple more things, in addition to the ones listed above.
1. They wrote what plants need instead of just drawing a picture.
2. We did a page on plants they eat. “I eat plants: seeds, roots, stems, fruits, leaves.” They then drew pictures of each one of these.
3. We also broke up the “I use plants.” We did a section on how they use plants for clothing, and then a section on how they use plants in their home and school.
4. We labeled the plant parts in our “Plants grown above and below the ground” section. I also included the “job” for each plant part.
Just some examples of how you could make it more complicated for older children.
Hints: I find when having children do projects like these, it is good to talk about each section one at a time, and then brainstorm together BEFORE they put anything on their paper. For example, “I eat plants.” You might say, “What are some plants that we eat?” and let the kids tell you their ideas. Get the ideas flowing, then have them choose one or a couple and draw.
Also, I find it’s helpful to do modeling. On the “Plants grow above and below the ground” page, I would have a copy for myself and draw with them–speaking as I do. “Hmm… I need to show that plants grow below the ground so I’m going to draw a plant with roots. First, I’ll need a ground. Then I’m going to draw my stem above the ground. Now that I know where my stem is, I’m going to draw my roots below that…” It seems to guide them as they are brainstorming their own ideas, especially for kids who aren’t as gifted in this area. Notice I didn’t tell them what I was drawing (a flower) or what colors I was using. Just the basics of the picture. You could also brainstorm other ideas, such as a carrot and show how it grows above and below the ground.