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Keith's Corner: Entry 5: Autumn seeds

Type: Article

In his fifth diary entry, Keith uses autumn seeds, nuts and fruits to teach maths and science.

As autumn comes around, Anglia School becomes a laboratory for examining all things to do with seeds. We look at autumn seeds, nuts and fruits and how these feature in our daily lives.

Arts and crafts with autumn seeds

We discover a lot about the children who visit Anglia School through the activities we do and the skills we try to develop. One of the goals we set ourselves when we opened was to give children the opportunity for artistic expression as much and as often as possible. There are educational and cognitive reasons for this but we also believe purely and simply that, when aged two to six, you should be painting as often as possible!

Conker people

There are so many conkers lying around outdoors that it would be a crime not to take the children out to collect some and look at the trees they come from, and to talk about distribution and how trees spread and grow. Back in class, we got down to some conker craft work, making little people from the seeds we found outside. The children also revised colours, shapes and sizes while making pumpkin plasticine models and produced seed pictures, for example, a squirrel seed collage.

Seed science

We focus on seeds a number of times during the year and recycling concepts such as “things seeds need for growth” is a regular feature of our curriculum. With autumn seeds, we got the children to create a greenhouse in a bag. The idea here is that seeds need good soil, warmth, sunlight and water to begin the process of growth and the children are able to see this process while their “greenhouse bag” hangs in the classroom window.

It’s important for the children to get their hands on the objects we investigate. They should be able to take a very close look and use all of their senses to take in each object. For this topic, the children examined an ear of corn, then took one apart to identify its component parts and look at the bits we eat and the bits we don’t: the leaves, stalk, stem, kernel, husk, silk and cob.

Seed maths

There are so many wonderful resources around outdoors at this time of year and having seeds in abundance allows us to make the most of this particular resource to do some good maths work. The children have a large collection of seeds which they can sort in any number of ways to do with size, colour, shape or the ones we eat and don’t eat. The children enjoy doing this maths, but they can also develop some great language at the same time.

Seed stories and drama

We read a lot of stories to do with seeds. Too many pumpkins by Linda White is a firm favourite, and the children gape in astonishment when they see the masses of pumpkins growing in Rebecca’s back garden! We do drama work too, usually combining puppet making with some theatre, as we did with pumpkin finger puppets.

Seed action games

The idea behind this is very simple – children need to get up and move about quite often! We try to integrate ’up’ activities and ’down’ activities so that they go from one to the other. Can you walk with a pumpkin on your foot? Try it, it’s great fun!

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