I thought it best we start the week by having an in depth look at what a pumpkin is exactly (well enough info for a 4 and 8 yr old).
I don't think about the pumpkin being a fruit because it is called a vegetable. Our first exercise to learn how a pumpkin grows from a seed-sprout-plant-flower-fruit.
We then discussed plant parts, some of these we eat every day (ie peas are seeds, carrots are roots, celery is a stem) and then their roles.
Things we did -
-Estimated how many seeds are in a pumpkin and then counted in groups of ten to reach 463.
-Asked why are plants important? why do we need them?
-Planted seeds and discussed what a seed needs to grow, what would happen if we put one in the dark cupboard?
- I dipped paper towel into water to show how nutrients travel up the stem
-We pretended to be a seed on the floor breaking through the coat and turning into a plant with flowers and fruit.
-We discussed the partnership between plants and animals.
[I like to explain scientific things a little differently to the boys because of their age...
I described an imaginary world of miniature workers in each of the parts of the plant to help explain what is going on inside, ie. in the roots there are workers with little buckets of water and nutrients sending them up to the stem, and even H suggested the stem was an elevator (going up, first floor leaves!).
In the leaves we have a factory, complete with chimneys for waste products such as oxygen. There are little workers with sunglasses taking golden nuggets of light energy from the sun that slide in through tunnels in the leaf. Others with gas masks taking Carbon dioxide balloons to the mixing tank. Of course there are pipes and hoses coming up from the roots/stem/leaf to add water and nutrients controlled by mini firefighters! etc etc ,I add as I go, I wish I could illustrate what I see!]
We touched briefly on the idea of Photosynthesis and cycles without getting caught up in the big words...that comes tomorrow!