Workshop 1, 18/05/2018:
We started the workshop by doing a little Spanish rain dance, getting the children into the topic of nature and casually discussing with them that plants need water. After this, I showed them an A3 with outlines on it, they had to match the cut-out drawings with the shapes on the paper. They were water, sun, soil, plant food and time, in an effort to show them what elements are necessary to grow a plant. They were very fast in doing this. Next, I had four drawings of the different stages of a plant: a seed, a small plant, a full grown plant and a fruit. First I asked them what these drawings were, then I asked them to put the drawings in the right order.
Because there were becoming a little bit distracted, we improvised a little theatre with the drawings with them to visualize the growing process for them: we started with the seed and put the cut-out shapes/drawings of the essentials of the former exercise on top of the seed, to show that it needs this to grow. Then we changed the seed for the little plant and repeated this, until there was a fruit on the plant and we could ‘eat’ the plant.
This was more successful and the children seemed to more or less understand it (or at least enjoy it). After this I wanted to get them to become a bit more familiar with natural materials, so I brought some leaves for them. They had to stick at least one leaf on a paper and use this to draw. They spent around 20-30 minutes drawing leaves, drawing around leaves et cetera. It was interesting to see how they all had a different take on this, some drew more leaves around it, some decorated the leaves, some used the leaves as outlines for their own drawn leaves…
After they completed their drawings it was time for something more delicate: the seeds! However, the box and the bottle of water were a bit sad for the plants… So we used ripped pieces of paper to make them more colorful and suitable for the plants. (First we were only decorating the box, but they got a bit upset when waiting too long to glue their pieces, so we let them help to decorate the bottle to water the plants too.)
When we completed this, they were ready to put the seeds. First we put the cotton in and made the cotton wet. Then I showed them how to put in the seeds and let them put some seeds in too. They were quite enthusiastic about the seeds!
Last but not least, we checked out the seeds in their new place together and we taught them to look but not touch, as the seeds are delicate – and we found a nice spot in the room, in the sun, for the seeds to grow. They are oregano and radish seeds. I will return on Monday to see the development together with them!