Early green experiences

TopicEarly years, early “green” experiences
OverviewWe will talk about the usefulness of the animals and the plants and the need to take care of them. Finally, the children will see what happens to a plant if it’s not taken care of by a simple experiment.
Learning objectivesTo develop feelings about the care of the plants and the animals in the children
Skills developedResponsibility taking, Problem sensitivity, Critical thinking, Acting, Knowledge acquisition, Self-reflection, Problem solving, Perspective taking, Decision making, Communication and Discussion abilities.
Method•Explanation •Observation •Conversation (socratic dialogue)
MaterialsPictures of different medicinal or aromatic plants, wooden trees, a piece of wood, wood furniture, a piece of paper, cacao seeds, chocolate. Also, pictures of a cow, of products of its skin, milk, and its products, such as butter, cheese, etc., pictures of a fox and a fur coat, etc.
Guidelines1st Part
The facilitator will begin this part of the activity asking the children:
Why must we take care of the plants?
Why must we take care of the animals?
Later they will explain the usefulness of the plants to children
"The plants have a multitude of uses. Their seeds, fruits, leaves, stems and roots are essential foods". (Pictures of useful  medicinal and aromatic plants will be shown). https://www.freepik.es/foto-gratis/diferentes-hierbas-mesa-madera-blanca-vista-superior_8761300.htm
"How many of the foods that we normally eat come from a plant? All fruits and vegetables are parts of some plant. Chocolate is obtained from the fruit of the cacao tree. The seeds of some plants serve to prepare oils. Other plants, called aromatic, are used to give colour, flavour and aroma to the food. Pepper, oregano, thyme, saffron, cinnamon, mint, and vanilla are some of the most common aromatic substances , also called spices. The seeds of cereals, like rice, wheat, etc. The wood of many trees serves to make furniture, decorations, paper and houses. Cotton is used in the manufacturing of clothes. The plants are also used to beautify our parks, gardens and houses.
Many plants provide medicine to us. They also give fossil fuels to us, like coal and petroleum, from which energy is obtained. In addition, the plants give off oxygen into the atmosphere; therefore, they are the main oxygen factory that has allowed the living beings to develop on Earth."
2nd Part
The facilitator begins with a question: Do you know the uses of the animals for man? After hearing some opinions from the children, they add:
The skin and fur of some animals serves to make pretty and warm coats very useful in the winter, for example: The fox has beautiful fur. We also manufacture our shoes, bags for our mothers, wallets so that our fathers put their money in, bags for the school materials, etc… by the skin of some animals; (Shows pictures of a fox and a coat made of fox fur, of footwear, bags, etc.) https://www.freepik.es/foto-gratis/sastre-mujer-trabajando-tela-cuero_9320333.htm
The animals give us their meat, which is very rich in proteins, so that we can grow healthy and strong. Fish meat for example is very healthy and tasteful (Pictures of cows, fish or birds). https://www.freepik.es/foto-gratis/pescado-crudo-mercado_1328664.htm
They also give us their milk which we drink from an early age and that allows our bones and teeth to develop very healthy and strong, so we can become athletes. The animals that give us milk are: the cow and the goat.
From these animals’ milk, we make the cheese and the butter we eat with bread and cakes. (Show pictures of cow, milk, cheese and butter).  https://www.freepik.es/foto-gratis/deliciosos-trozos-queso_10323179.htm
Animals are part of the environment we live in and they help to take care of it. For example, some animals eliminate insects harmful to our health; let’s say, for example, the ducks eat flies and mosquitoes.
Therefore, we must take care of the animals, not only because as all living beings need to be cared for and loved, but also, because like us, who are also living beings, if we are not taken care of and loved, we die.
3rd Part
It consists of the accomplishment of a simple experiment. In order to do it the educator explains:
We are going to take two flower pots with plants. We will put one where there is enough sunlight and we will water it daily. We will put the other in a wardrobe, it will not have sunlight and we will not water it. In order to demonstrate how the plant that is taken care of stays alive, we must choose a leafy and strong little plant.
In the days after, we will be observing how the one that we take care of becomes very pretty and how the one we do not water, nor put near the sunlight has leaves that turn yellowish and wither.
Later, the facilitator will ask the children questions in order to know the conclusions at which they have arrived with this simple experiment
Why did the plant die in the closet?
How must we take care of the plants?
What will happen to a little animal if we do not take care of and love it?
How must we take care of the animals?
Why must we take care of the plants?
Why must we take care of the animals?
Additional activity: Let’s research nature
1st Part
To prepare the germinator and to seed the seeds. The facilitator will talk with the children about what they are making and why it is made, also about how careful they will have to be, so that the seed germinates and a little plant is born after a few days, for example, the one that has to be watered and cleaned of the weeds that sprout in the soil. The children will be told that they are in charge of taking care of the seed, so that the plant is born, and that this is called "to germinate", also "to be born". Later, the plant will grow according to the care that is given to it. The children will be reminded about what they were told previously regarding living beings.
2nd Part
The children will take care of the germinator, adding the necessary water to it and they will make several observations. The facilitator will guide this observation with the objective that they see the germination of the seed and verify how the plant grows.
With this experiment, the educator will demonstrate to the children why plants are living beings.
3rd Part
A conversation so that the children express what they saw in the experiment with the germinator.
Why are the plants living beings?
How are the plants born?
What happens when we take care of the plants?
How should we take care of the plants?
TipsAdditional materialsHow to apply online?What to do at home?
All these activities can be done both at home or at school, face-to-face or online.
AuthorElvira Sánchez-Igual, AMEI-WAECE
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