Saturday, April 14, 2012

CH...CH...CH...CHIA!

Here in the midwest, spring has arrived and it is time to cut grass again.  I started doing this project with my class years ago in kindergarten, but it is fun for any grade.  My students started calling them their Chia Pets, so I just went along.  They grow so quickly and are a great addition to a Plant Unit, Earth Day Unit, or I even used it to go along with teaching the "ch" sound.  They are very simple to make and every kid loves getting their hands in dirt!

Here is what you need:
1. One pantyhose leg or knee high nylon for each student.  If you have old pantyhose with runs in them, Great! We are recycling them. Just cut off about a foot. You will only use the foot part. Throw the rest away. If not, you can buy the cheapest knee high hose you can find.  I watch Walgreens for their sales. I can get enough for my whole class for $2 - $3.
2. Potting Soil
3. Cups or scoops for the children to get the potting soil out.
4. Grass seed  (any kind, I just buy a quick grow variety)
6. Styrofoam plate or bowl (you can buy new Styrofoam bowls or use recycled meat trays)
7. Tray for the dirt to fall on instead of all over your table.

I work with a few students at a time.  I hold open the nylon as they scoop the dirt and start to fill the nylon. Put about 3/4 inch of soil in the foot, flatten it out to about the diameter you want. Mine are big, about 5 inches. Now let the child add the grass seed.  Make sure there is plenty, it should completely cover the soil.  Then fill the nylon with more dirt until you reach the size you want.  I press the soil down so it is compacted into the toe of the nylon.  I tie a single knot using the rest of the nylon.  After you make the knot, cut off the excess nylon.  Place the nylon, knot side down on your plate or bowl.  Students should water it every day.  It should grow in about 2-3 days.  Then it will take off like crazy! It continues to grow after haircuts which the kids love to give.  It's like mowing their own little lawn.

If you want to add a face, you can use sequins or cut felt pieces.  The easiest way to attach the pieces for the face is to use pins with the small colored heads. (Glue does not work.) I talk with my class about the safety issue ahead of time.  I also send a note to my parents warning them about the pins in case their are younger siblings at home.

If you have any questions please email me at swideman123@gmail.com. 
Your class will love watching these grow. 
 It is also a great way to see the root system as the plant becomes more developed.

Let me know how yours turn out!
Since I did not have a picture of mine with faces, I found one at www.familyfun.go.com 
Sequins and felt cutouts look a lot cuter than these.



3 comments:

  1. Love the Grass People! They are so cute and I can't wait to do this with my first graders next week when we are studying plants.

    Deb at Fabulously First

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    1. Your kids will love to see how fast the grass grows. Thanks for visiting.
      Sandra

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