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Posts Tagged ‘seeds’

Earth day is this Sunday! The Brooklyn Children’s Museum will be exploring the outdoors by taking a close look at seeds and how they get around. It’s a little early in the season to experience the full range of seed dispersal methods outside but if you take your class on a nature walk, you may encounter:

Giant clumps of Elm Tree seeds covering the ground.

Big white poufs of dandelions.

The beginnings of cherry tree fruits.

Can your students guess how the seeds they encounter get around? Do they flutter to the ground or float on a breeze? Will an animal eat them, bury them, or shake them off their fur? Could they bob down a river or on an ocean currant (bring in a coconut as a great example of a floating seed!)?

“Baby seeds” need to get away from the parent plant to begin growing. They need their own supply of space, nutrients, water, and sunshine. The shady soil directly under a tree is not ideal.

On Sunday, we’ll be making our own paper seed dispersal mechanisms based on the awesome helicopter-like Maple Tree samaras. How far will they fly?

Your class could also collect the seeds they find outside, pot them up, and see if they begin to grow!

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Earlier this week, the New York Botanical Garden offered a workshop introducing educators to the basics of school gardening. If you’re interested in a more in-depth offering, check out their institutes in 2012 (which coincide with public school breaks):

School Gardening 101: Creating a Garden

Dates: February 20–25, 2012 (Monday–Saturday)

Seedlings Program for Teachers of Grades K–2

Dates: July 9–14, 2012 (Monday–Saturday)

School Gardening 201: Curriculum Connections

Dates: July 23–28, 2012 (Monday–Saturday)

For information, registration, fees, details about P-credits, and more, check out the New York Botanical Garden’s brochure on school and teacher programs.

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Have you been to Wave Hill? This wonderful garden and cultural center in the Bronx overlooks the Hudson River. It’s a great place to take a class; their programs go from grades PK-6 and feature topics such as seeds, birds, and trees.

On top of that, the site offers professional development, many sessions for free. The Outdoor Classroom, for example, trains teachers to incorporate Wave Hill into their curriculum. This session is being offered Tuesday, November 8th from 10am-noon. It will be offered again on April 12, 2012.

For a full list of school programs as well as inexpensive professional development options (some for credit), check out their website. It really is a wonderful site and a great one for young learners!

PS: Don’t forget. We have our own professional development at Brooklyn Children’s Museum next week on green communities!

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