Activity 2 - Junior Horticulturalist Plant Monitoring
- To use common measurement tools to monitor plant growth. This activity will reinforce measurement topics including temperature and the metric system.
- To understand that there is a relationship between plant growth and temperature, weather, and soil moisture.
- To create basic graphs of plant growth, weather conditions, temperature and soil moisture to reinforce data management concepts.
Resources and Materials
Monitoring should begin just before or after the first few seeds have germinated (approximately 10 days after planting the seeds).
- Print the plant monitoring chart or transfer to chart paper or Bristol board for a larger format. You can also print a copy for each child to follow along and practice on their own.
- Begin the lesson by reviewing the basic requirements for plant growth (sun, water and soil).
- Go through the plant monitoring chart and explain how to fill out each section. Show them how to read the thermometer accurately, how to use a ruler to measure plant growth, and where to record this information. For ease of measurement, have children measure and record the height of the tallest plant. Discuss recording the weather (sunny, cloudy, rainy) and how to determine the soil moisture (see #5).
- Allow children to practice filling in the monitoring chart and taking the required measurements. Assist as needed.
- Have the children monitor the plants regularly (daily is recommended). As you start to collect more data, have the children use this information to create line graphs showing changes in plant growth, soil moisture and indoor temperature. To graph soil moisture you can assign the following values: 1 = very dry, 2 = dry, 3 = damp and 4 = wet.
- To wrap up the exercise have children reflect on the relationships shown in the line graphs. Have them draw conclusions independently and then have them share their conclusions.