"Inch by inch, row by row,
Gonna make this garden grow."
Learning works much the same way. A new idea or lesson or observation builds upon the last, then another and another. That's how we learn and acquire knowledge. Ironically the way Ms. Hicks' first grade class applied this type of learning has been with plants and gardens.
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Smelling beautiful scents and seeing bright colors is a plus, especially when your next science unit is about plants. Of course, it's also important to learn how plants get the energy and nutrients they need to grow.
The kids' senses came into play again as their unit moved to learning about water and watched different ways that it moves. Grownups might think of these processes as the hydrologic cycle and osmosis; those words are fine, too.
Then it was time to put all these ideas and lessons together and into action--a test, an experiment. The kids put one group of white flowers into a cup of regular water just to see what would happen to the flowers normally (that's called a control group). They put other white flowers into cups of water tinted by food coloring. WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN?
THIS WAS GOING TO HAPPEN!
The kids wrote up their observations. After all, that's what scientists do.