Hands-on Learning About Plants In Our Montessori Classroom

I recently began incorporating botany into my Montessori-inspired hands-on learning activities for my homeschooled children. It’s been a wonderful way to connect them with the natural world and foster their curiosity about plants and their growth cycles. We’ve been using magnifying glasses to observe the different parts of flowers and leaves and even started our own herb garden. It’s amazing to see the excitement in their eyes as they watch their plants grow and learn about the science behind it all. I highly recommend incorporating botany into any homeschooling curriculum, as it provides a fun and engaging way to learn about nature and science.

As Maria Montessori said, “Nothing should be given to the brain that is not first given to the hand”.  We embrace hands-on learning in our Montessori homeschool classroom. I use every opportunity to make learning practical. My 4-yo Blossom told me that she would like to plant something in our garden.

Truth be told at this stage our garden is non-existent, however, we started looking into the life cycle of the plant and learning about seed germination. The whole Plant Unit I plan contains several topics: seed germination, parts of the seed, parts of a plant, the life cycle of a plant, and the needs of the plant.

Today I am going to share with you the hands-on simple science experiments we conducted that included planting seeds, observing the process of seed germination, and the life cycle of a plant.

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Teaching hands-on biology to kids can be a fun and exciting way to introduce children to the wonders of science. By using interactive activities and experiments, kids can learn about the different systems of the body, how plants grow, and the importance of conservation.

Some great hands-on activities for kids include dissecting flowers, examining insects, and creating their own ecosystems. These types of activities not only teach kids about biology but also help to develop their observation and critical thinking skills. Overall, teaching biology in a hands-on way can be a great way to inspire kids to explore the natural world around them.

Plants are amazing living organisms that have a fascinating life cycle. The life cycle of a plant starts with a seed. The seed is planted in the soil, and with the right amount of water, sunlight, and nutrients from the soil, the seed begins to grow.

As the seed grows, it develops roots that absorb water and nutrients from the soil. The stem of the plant grows taller and the leaves begin to sprout. The leaves are important as they help to produce food for the plant through a process called photosynthesis.

Once the plant has matured, it will begin to produce flowers. These flowers are important as they help the plant to reproduce. Pollination occurs when bees or other insects carry pollen from one flower to another. This process allows the plant to produce seeds that will grow into new plants.

As the plant continues to grow and produce seeds, it will eventually begin to die. However, the seeds that it has produced will continue the life cycle of the plant, and the process will start all over again.

Learning about the life cycle of plants is not only interesting but it also helps us to appreciate the importance of plants in our lives. They provide us with food, oxygen, and so much more.

Teaching preschoolers the sequencing process of seed germination is great for developing their logical thinking. Along with that, they pick up new vocabulary: germination, seed, roots, shoot, and seedling.

To observe seed germination and to create a hands-on science experience, we gathered various types of seeds – beans, corn, herbs, and flower bulbs. We planted them using different methods to make them more engaging, which also allowed the child to make comparisons, observe, and learn to pay attention to details.

Conducting our experiment, we

  • planted bean and corn seeds into a small clear jar by placing a couple of crunched paper towels and pouring some water inside to make it wet. It created a moist environment for the seeds to start germinating. This allowed the perfect opportunity for the child to see clearly every stage of the process.
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  • planted bean and corn seeds into a jar with soil – Blossom filled a small jar with soil, watered it and planted seeds. There were at least 4-5 bean seeds. Some seeds took longer to germinate. After about 7 days we scooped them out and had a close look. We had one example of each part of the transformation – from seed to seedling. So cool, ah! This was wonderful to use for match-up hands-on activity later.
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  • planted Daffodil bulbs into a glass vase. Blossom found shells and marbles to place on the bottom and pushed bulbs to rest on them allowing space for roots to grow.
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  • planted herbs into an ice-block container. This was to compare the sizes of various seeds and practice fine motor skills.
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Every aspect of the learning process incorporated certain skills for little hands to practice aside from doing an actual job of planting seeds, like

  • water pouring – coordination skills
  • spreading small seeds along the surface of the soil – fine motor practice

I often emphasize the importance of doing Montessori work that requires a few days for children to complete. It teaches them a very important lesson – quality takes time to achieve. It also teaches them to be patient and takes the excitement of seeing the final result to a whole new level.

It took about 5-7 days for seeds to start to germinate and grow into a seedling. Daffodil bulbs are still in the process of growing and every day there is significant progress that can be observed.

This is a perfect opportunity for children to learn parts of a plant since it takes a while for the plant to grow from bulb to flower, so the child learns each part in the process by repeating it every time they see it.

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I always encourage Blossom to do some form of reflection after we explore a unit. This time we used pantomime to do a “seed dance” – we pretended to be a seed that pushes roots down and shoots up through the soil and transforms into a little seedling. She also did a recording of her observation in the form of a drawing.

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After that, we are going to learn about the Lifecycle of a plant using printables I made. You can check them out here.

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you might enjoy our botany printables

About Anastasia - Anastasia is an early childhood teacher and the founder of Montessori Nature - a blog about Montessori living and learning and nature-based explorations. With many years of experience working in a Montessori environment and homeschooling her children, she directed her passion for all things Montessori and nature into creating educational resources. You can learn more here and browse her printables on Teachers Pay Teachers.

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