After reading many books, and using our prior knowledge, we defined the characteristics of a living thing -- we edited our list so it included ALL living things:
The "make waste" characteristic was the hardest one to come up with. Making waste looks very different in plants and animals. Of course, it reduces the class to giggles now every time I say "waste".
We also came up with "all living things die".
Grade One also has a focus on plants. Over the past weeks we have learned so much about plants. We read many fiction and non-fiction books. These were our favourites:
We explained, in sequence, how to plant a seed:
We made scientific predictions by guessing (hypothesizing) what the effects of light and water (and lack thereof) are on a plant:
We learned about labeling, and drew plants, then labeled the parts of a plant:
We observed and drew seeds, then discussed why seeds come in different sizes and shapes.
We read Tops and Bottoms, a story about a family of rabbits who outsmart a bear by letting him choose if he wants the tops or the bottoms of the plants that they are harvesting from his land (they are using his land in exchange for a payment of part of the crop)
(would you rather have the top or the bottom of the carrot plant? How about the lettuce plant? ahhhh, perspective again......
Watch and listen to the story here:
We learned what parts of the plants we eat (and why we should never eat any part of any plant without asking a trusted adult for permission). (we tasted many different parts of many different plants!)
(Next time you eat a fruit/vegetable, ask your child if they are eating stems, leaves, fruits, roots, or seeds of a plant!) (also, to add to our confusion, many things that we consider vegetables are the fruit of the plant... but "vegetable" isn't really a word that we used when discussing parts of a plant....)
Finally we realized that plants, animals and humans share many of the same needs.
We also realized that if we don't take care of our Earth, then plants and animals (including humans) will not be able to live and grow..... We are learning to be good stewards of the earth :)