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Wildlife Class Notes for November 2014

Hello Wildlife Group!  Here are our class notes for the month of November.

My thanks again to the parents for faithfully bringing your children out to JMG last month!  We have a wonderful group and here is a summary of how we spent our time this month.

I welcomed everyone for coming out and then we stood and said our JMG 4-H Pledge and The Pledge of Allegiance to our US Flag.  As the children continued to arrive, I circulated the roll for attendance and each child wrote his/her name on the list.

Once we had done that, we began the first of two science experiments.  The first experiment we did was called "Seed Science".  The objective of the Seed Science experiment was to use the scientific method to determine the effect on plant growth of removing the cotyledons from seeds.  The children were eager to help me dispense all the materials for the experiment.  Each child received one Ziploc bag, 2 pinto beans, paper towels, a stapler, and a copy of the Seed Science Experiment Page.

We talked about the differences between a monocot and a dicot plant.  We reviewed that monocot seeds are made up of a single whole and dicots are made up of pieces.  I showed the children one of the pinto beans that had been soaking in water and after peeling off the seed coat, it was revealed that the pinto beans are dicots because the seed had two parts.  The two halves of the seed are called cotyledons.  We talked about how the cotyledons are the seed's "lunch box."  They feed the seed until it can grow its own leaves and make its own food! Amazing!  Also inside the two halves, we saw a tiny embryo plant.

We put one whole seed and one "embryo only" inside each Ziploc bag along with a wet paper towel and then the Ziploc bags were stapled towards the bottom of the bag.  What we did was separate the embryo plant WITHOUT it's cotyledons and put that in there alongside a completely whole bean seed.  The children were to take them home, take the whole seed and soak it in water overnight and then put it back in the bag with the embryo,  and observe what happened over the course of a week.  Then they were to write down their observations on the Seed Science Experiment Page that they each were given.  They are to bring them to class in December so we can discuss their findings.

The second experiment we did was called "What's Not the Same?"  The objective of this experiment was for the children to become familiar with variables and constants.  Once again the students quickly volunteered to help me by filling three small containers for planting with potting soil, planting 3 pinto beans in each container, watering them and labeling them.  Also one of the children gave each of his peers a copy of the Light Variable Lab Sheet that they were to partly complete and then bring back to class in December so we could complete after finding out the results.  The students were reminded that plants need light to live.  This experiment tests how light helps plants grow.  The "constants" in this experiment were that each container or pot was the same size, and the same number of pinto beans were planted in each one, with the same amount of soil, and about the same amount of water on the same evening.  The "variables" for the experiment were the parts that were different.  We only had one part that was different and that part was the lighting.  One container was put under "artificial light", one by the window on the table to receive "natural" light, and the third one was put inside a cabinet so it was "dark".  Each Thursday since our November meeting, I checked on the plants and took photos of each one.  When we come to class in December, I will show the class the photos of what was happening in each container over time.  Then the children will complete their Light Variable Lab Sheets.

A big congratulations goes out to Mavry Greca and Aynsleigh Penland who took the time to complete their homework!  I am so proud of you both!  Keep up the good work!

Also a big thank you goes out to Katherine Williams, County Extension Director who allowed us to keep the artificial light on our plant this month for this experiment!

Homework due in December:

Record observations of the Seed Science Experiment on your Seed Science Experiment page.  Bring it with you to class in December.

Bring your Light Variable Lab Sheet back to class for December.

Remember to do your Picture Yourself a Plant assignment!  I cannot wait to see your drawings and hear your stories!  Remember to do your very best work!  You will take turns showing and sharing with the class what you did! :)

You all are so smart and helpful.  I look forward to seeing you at our next class!

Learning by Doing!

Mrs. Evangeline