Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Root Viewers

We start our year off studying plants in science. One of my favorite activities is these root viewers. It illustrates what plants need to survive: water, air, and sunlight and leads right into our next discussion of roots. Plus, the kids gets such a kick out of checking their seeds to see if anything is happening!


1. Soak the seeds (we use pea because they grow quickly) in water overnight.
2. Prep the sandwich bags by folding a paper towel and cutting it to fit. Then staple across the middle leaving some room so the roots can grow between them.
3. I had them work with their table partner so write both their names with permanent marker on the outside.
4. Each partner gets a job. One can put the seeds in, the other can add the teaspoon of water.
5. Zip the bag halfway closed to allow for air.
6. Tape to the window for sunlight.

I made this observation booklet. You are welcome to download it here. I purposely made the cover off-center so I could add the green construction paper edge but it would be fine with just staples, too.
 I wrote and drew with them on my document camera the first few days .

 We also planted some seeds in soil so they could more fully mature before we transplant them to our class garden.

For the last page of the booklet I handed the pots out to partners to observe. They got to choose what to write and sounded the words out the best they could. This cutie noticed roots coming out the bottom of her pot!

I'll be sure to post when we get our garden planted!



  1. Grabbed your book. Thank you!!

    Grade ONEderful

  2. Thanks for sharing!

    We're learning about plants next week so your booklet will be perfect!

  3. How long did this project take? Love the idea.

  4. Thanks for sharing this great little book! I will be using this with my plant unit in the Spring.

    First Grade Garden <--new blog :)

  5. PenguinPhan,
    This project took about a week and a half.

  6. where do you get the seeds? are they just dried peas you buy in the grocery store?

  7. I buy packets from the local nursery.