Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Flower Experiment

I noticed some beautiful white daisies one morning as I was setting up morning provocations that reminded me not only that Spring is right around the corner, but of an experiment I love doing almost every year of preschool. It involves colored water, daisies, and our power of recognition and guessing.

Once small group began that morning, I wanted to see what knowledge we already had about flowers. We already knew and agreed that:

1) Flowers grow in the ground
2) Flowers need water, sun, and dirt to grow
3) These flowers we had were daisies

Once those agreements were made, I asked them this question:

How do you think flowers grow?

After thinking a bit on it, D answered that it was the roots that helped the flower grow bigger and stronger. I agreed that the roots do play a significant role in the growth of flowers, but what was the purpose of the roots? These open ended questions left an abundant amount of room for discussion and questions between everyone in the group. One person said that the roots help the flower stay straight up while another said that they spread all underground to grow more daisies. After our discussion, I added that the roots act as a type of straw for the flower or plant, absorbing all the nutrients and water up through the roots and eventually spreads to the whole plant. I then asked the question:

What will happen to our daisies if we put them in different colored water?

After thinking on it for a while, we sat at the table and added all the white flowers to the different colored water. Just like scientist, we were going to conduct and experiment to answer the question. I shared that the fancy science word for our guesses was called a hypothesis.

Our hypothesis were as followed:

D: The petals will drop or die or stay the same.
A: They will change different colors.
L: They might change colors.
AK: They will sprout and grow new roots.
M: They'll grow new roots and grow bigger.
C: They'll change color.

As everyone listened to each other's answers, they discussed and talked about how their answers were different, but also accepted each other's own opinions. It was refreshing to hear such open ended talk and also such a respect for each other. After we shared, we went to work to draw out our hypothesis.

We placed our flowers in the window and agreed we would wait a week to see what happened to them. Throughout the week, the whole class were able to observe and comment. What was happening to the flowers? What do you notice?

Then the day finally came for us to observe our flowers after a week of sitting in the colored water! We gathered excitedly over the flowers and instantly noticed that some of the petals changed from white to the color of the water they were placed in!But why did they? We recapped what we discussed last week about how the roots and stem act as a straw for the flower, spreading water to all the parts and ding! A light bulb went off in our heads. The group agreed that the reason for the change in the petals must be because the stem sucked up the colored water and changed the petals in the process!

Being able to test our our hypothesis helped us problem solve, coming up with out own solutions while at the same time being able to work together to come to a consensus of what may happen. We also learned about the anatomy of a flower, opening the door to further discussions and questions about them.