Monday, June 24, 2013

Virtual Book Club: Seed Exploration with Gail Gibbons

This month the Virtual Book Club author was Gail Gibbons. We read several of her books including "Dogs," and "Fire! Fire!" But the book we chose to do an activity around was From Seed to Plant

It felt like a natural connection to the family garden we planted last month and the other Gail Gibbons' book we had read during that time, The Vegetables We Eat.

After reading the book the first thing we did was check out how some of the plants we put into the ground as seeds were doing now. This included looking at our pumpkin, cucumber, bean, pea, and carrot seedlings. Big Brother helps water them regularly, but was especially impressed with how big the pumpkins were when we thought about how little the seeds had been. 

Seed Guessing Game
Next we explored a matching game I had created. Before our activity I collected six different types of seeds (an avocado seed, a peach pit, pumpkin seeds, pea seeds, apple seeds, and sunflower seeds.) Using free clip art I created a picture card that matched the fruit, vegetable, or flower each seed had originated from. I printed them onto card stock and laminated them using packing tape. I set the seeds up in an egg carton. 

When we started the activity all the cards were out of the carton. Big Brother had to guess which seed matched each picture. He figured out the pumpkin and sunflower seeds first, which makes sense as we planted them this spring. He then figured out the apple seeds. Even though we had planted them last month, the pea seeds were a little harder to figure out as they didn't look like the picture to him. But then he realized they were "dried" out. He needed prompts to help with the avocado and peach pit, but he loved the guessing activity as it was something new for us. 

"What's Inside a Seed?" Investigation 
Next we used tools to explore the seeds in different ways. Tools included magnifying glasses, tooth picks, a nut cracker, and a butter knife. 

Big Brother had fun pulling them apart, inspecting the insides, and using the nutcracker. We had to get Daddy's help cracking the peach pit and discovered the inside looked like an almond!

Sunflower Seed Mosaic
After he pulled apart the seeds we started to create a seed mosaic using white glue and sunflower seeds. At this point Big Brother was losing interest and after sticking on a few seeds he decided to come back to the project another day. 

Seed Snack
We ended our exploration by sampling two different kinds of seeds: toasted sunflower seeds and sugar & cinnamon pumpkin seeds. The sweet pumpkin seeds were a clear favorite!

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