Beneficial vs. Baddie Garden Bugs & Exploring Magnets

On Tuesday, we talked about garden BUGS. Specifically, beneficial “superhero” good bugs and “villain” baddie bugs. In Doobonim and Kofim, we read In The Tall, Tall Grass by Denise Fleming. We discovered there were many living things hiding in the tall grass—ants, caterpillars, hummingbirds, beetles, bats galore. It was fun to buzz like a bee and croak like a frog. Then, the little ones hunted for (pretend) creatures in our (pretend) tall, tall grass.

They discovered lizards, worms, frogs, snakes, and more!

 

Parparim and VPK first evaluated the results of the Plant Requirement Experiment we started two weeks ago, and they recorded their results in their garden/science journals. We learned that plants need sunlight, water, air, and soil in order to stay alive and healthy. We hypothesized what would happen if we took one of those important elements away from the plant, such as water or sunlight. Our guesses ranged from death to shriveled leaves to nothing happening. Then we placed a “control” plant in the garden where it would get sunlight and water. We covered another plant with a large pot so it would be in the dark and we kept the third plant under cover where it wouldn’t receive water. After two weeks, only one plant looked alive.

The students examined the three plants and recorded how happy and healthy each plant looked.

Next, the older students watched a short video about the top good and bad garden bugs. We learned that aphids use their needle like proboscis to stick the plant and suck out the nutrients. And an adult ladybug will eat over 5,000 aphids in its life! Also, some bugs, like bumblebees, help the garden by spreading pollen from plant to plant, which allows them to flower and produce fruit.

The students drew their favorite bugs onto superhero masks. They were inspired by black spotted red ladybugs, black and yellow striped bees, and colorful beetles.

Wearing those proudly, we ventured into the garden to hunt for creatures.

We found “baddie” caterpillars eating our bean plants.

We also found monarch caterpillars in the milkweed bed and left those caterpillars alone since they weren’t hurting our vegetables.

No aphids this week, but we will likely see some soon!

 

On Thursday, we investigated magnets. First, we noticed that a magnet has two sides and learned that one side is call the south side and the other side is called the north side. We put the north side of one magnet near the south side of another magnet and discovered that they were pulled toward each other. However, when we tried to put two of the same sides together, they moved away from each other. Opposites attract and same repels!

After hypothesizing, we tested some objects to see if they were magnetic. We observed that objects like books, keys, plastic spoons, nickels, and rulers were not magnetic but clothespins, paperclips, and screws were magnetic. The older students recorded whether each item was magnetic or not on their science journal worksheets.

The students moved to magnetic centers next where they examined water bottles filled with magnetic objects like hair clips, twist ties, a necklace, and screws. It was exciting to see the water bottles stick to the wands and even hang upside down.

Kofim went fishing for colors and Parparim and VPK went fishing for letters.

Last, we made crazy “hair” on our magnetic wands!