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Plants Try It With A Thanksgiving Twist


Pilgrims of Plymouth
This activity can be easily adapted to Daisies.

The Plants Try It can take place over two meetings, ending close to Thanksgiving.  Read the book The Pilgrims of Plymouth, which we’ve had no trouble finding at the library, or you can purchase at Amazon by clicking here.  

Discuss with the children the pilgrim’s life.  Did they have a grocery store to buy food, etc?  Talk about how important it was that the Indians taught them how to grow corn (which you can tie into several different laws – Considerate and Caring, Friendly and Helpful).

The girls might enjoy a popcorn song (original author unknown):

One little kernel (Hold up one finger)
Sleeping in the pot. (Curl up and pretend to sleep)
Turn on the heat
And watch it pop. (Jump into the air)
Popping, hopping popcorn (Hop around)
A munchy, crunchy treat. (Pretend to eat)
Pour on the butter (Pretend to pour on butter)
And let me eat! (Pretend to eat)

 

Now would be a great time to pop corn for the girls.  If possible, use a popcorn popper that allows the girls to see the corn as it heats up, or even an air popper.  Most girls have had microwave popcorn, but may have never experienced popping corn in a popper.
Corn Is MaizeEat popcorn and share parts of the book Corn is Maize.  This book is a little long to read, so look at the book before the meeting and read the parts your girls will find the most interesting and you find the most educational.  

 

The Plants Try-It is a favorite for our girls, and the best time is Fall, when there are a lot of leaves on the ground.

Activity #4 – Leaf Hunt (page 123 in Try It book – Plants) 

We went on a nature walk around our meeting area searching for unique leaves.   When we returned and made rubbings. Activity #2 (page 122 in Try It book – Plants)

Depending on how far your girls walked, or how warm your Autumn may be, the girls might be hot, thirsty and ready for a snack (although do we really need a reason for a snack?).

Snack:  For a quick snack, you could make sugar cookies and use a leaf cookie cutter to keep with the theme. 

If you have more time, you can make a Fall artwork snack.  Take a piece of bread, and spread with it with peanut butter.  This will be your canvas.  Give each girl a handful of thin pretzels.  These will become your truck and branches.  Then give each girl a small packet of M&Ms.  Ask the girls what are fall colors?  Then have them separate the fall color M&Ms from the others.  These fall colors will be the leaves.  AS ALWAYS: MAKE NOTE OF FOOD ALLERGIES.

Why Do Leaves Change ColorsFall Leaves FallWhile the girls are reading, this is a good time to read a story.  

Two personal favorites are Why Do Leaves Change Colors?

and Fall, Leaves, Fall (which can be found in your library or substitute with another Leaf Falling themed book).

 

 

 Afterwards the girls drew their leaf’s picture, gave it a name.  For Share Time, the girls introduced their leaves to the rest of the girls.  

Plants Try-ItActivity #5 – Simple Plants (page 123 in Try It book – Plants)  Jill was happy to donate the dust from her home – she usually has plenty.  Our troop has done this activity twice.  When we met in our homes, we sent the bread home that night with an explanation to the parents.  Many of the girls had very vivid descriptions of the mold.  Now we meet at our school, and were able to keep the bread in a plastic bag in a darkened closet.  The girls were very excited to see what their bread looked like, but no one wanted to take it home.

Activity #3 – Baby Beans (page 123 in Try It book – Plants) Instead of beans, we used pumpkin seeds left over from halloween pumpkins (emphasize Making The World A Better Place).  If you want to stay with the popcorn theme, you can use kernels.  Preschoolers Today has lots of ideas for indoor gardening, and you can view it by clicking here.

We adjusted the directions a little bit.  Instead of the wide-mouth jar we used the (very clear) plastic cups, black construction paper as a backdrop for the seeds and a damp paper towel.  

Cut the black construction paper so that it fits inside the cup.  Place pumpkin seeds between the cup and the paper so the girls can really see their seeds sprout.  Place the wet paper towel inside the cup to keep the construction paper damp.  Girls should start seeing signs of sprouting in just a few days.

Plants will grow very quickly and sprouts will need to be transplanted into a larger pot for each plant.  You can also have the girls observe that the plants will lean toward the sun, so turn your plants before they get lopsided. 

A favorite activity for our girls is making playdough.  We do it every year, and even our Cadettes still enjoy making it.  (Making the dough could also go with Activity #3 “Making Dough Shapes” from the Try It book, page 91 for the Colors and Shapes Try It.  I’ve used the recipe out of the Try It book, and have always had to add extra water or extra flour.)

Since we’re talking corn, here is a fun recipe for cornmeal playdough:

Cornmeal Dough (uncooked)

1 1/2 cups white flour

1 1/2 cups cornmeal

1 cup salt

1 cup water

1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl

2. Add the food coloring to the water and mix into the dry ingredients.

3. Knead until pliable.

4.  Give to girls in zip bags to take home.

NOTE:  This will need to be thrown away pretty quickly, as it has a tendency to ferment.

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