Wednesday, January 23, 2013

From Classroom to Coop

     I am a second grade teacher by day, and a "farm girl in training" after hours. I'm a mama of four and a wife all the time.  Our family is relatively new to being backyard chicken owners and we are learning new things every day while "Bringing the Farm to Us".  So, when I can take advantage of the opportunity to unite all my titles, it's a good day. 
     Let me first give credit to a blog I follow titled,  It is spending time reading their blog that gave me the idea to sprout lentils. (They have a link on their site with directions.)  Being that it was in perfect timing for Science objectives that needed to be met in my classroom, I figured we could do a lesson that could go from classroom to coop and benefit both my students' education, and the health of our chickens. (And, as I explained to my students, if the chickens are eating healthy, they'll give us healthy eggs, and therefore the food my family is eating will be healthy...and that's another lesson on another day!)  SO, project "How to Sprout Lentils" began.

     On day one, our class went to the science lab.  While there, the students were divided into five small groups and each group prepared a jar of lentils to observe.  (I wish I could include pictures of each group of students having such fun, but unfortunately, I can't put my students on the internet.)
          Step 1 
If you notice, the jar lid has been replaced with shelfing paper.  This is a great item to use in this project because it allows the water to be drained out of the jar very easily. Just place the ring to the jar on a piece of shelfing paper, and cut around the paper so that it will fit inside the ring. 

Step 2
We placed a heaping tablespoon of lentils in the jar and covered the lentils with water.  The jar sat on our classroom counter over night.

Step 3 (and this is repeated daily)
The next morning the students got back in their small groups and each student got a turn to drain the water, and continue shaking the jar until all students had a turn and all water was thoroughly drained.  Every day of the project, the students had to rinse and drain the lentils and write an entry in their Science Lab Journal.  The entry had to explain what changes they observed from day to day as well as how we were taking care of the lentils on each day.

After the first day of rinsing and draining, and the lentils had been left on the counter over night, the lentils started sprouting.  The students were so excited to see the small sprouts beginning to form!

Every day, the students made an entry in their journals. Keeping the Science Lab Journal: How to Sprout Lentils, helped the students be an author to an informative little booklet that they could take home and share.  And, our neighboring second grade class is now doing the same project.  So, my students are excited that they are able to provide directions on what to do each day. 

After about five days, the lentils had filled the jar more than half way up. It was amazing to see the excitement in the students when they could see such an obvious growth from day to day. These are the kinds of projects that make a teacher smile.

When the project was complete, it was a win-win situation.  My students learned a lot and they provided a healthy treat for our chickens.  Taking the lentils from classroom to coop is something we will continue to do!

1 comment:

  1. What a terrific thing to do for and with your class! I love it!

    Your blog is great; I love how "real" you are!

    Sheila aka: farmhousewife of Hope Farms