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Flower artists

SCIENCE
An activity that encourages examining and learning more about flowers

Curriculum connections
Level 1 & 2Recognise that all living things have certain requirements so they can stay alive. Recognise that living things are suited to their particular habitat.
Level 3Explain how living things are suited to their particular habitat and how they respond to environmental changes, both natural and human-induced. Begin to group plants, animals, and other living things into science-based classifications.
Level 5Identify the key structural features and functions involved in the life processes of plants and animals.

Learning materials

  • Clipboard
  • White paper or small white canvas
  • Stool/small chair (*optional)
  • Journal 
  • pencil

Optional extras

Option 1Option 2Option 3
• paint brushes
• water colour/tempera paint
• painting smock
• egg carton
• paper towel
• jar/container of water
• paint brushes
• food colouring
• water
• painting smock
• small containers
• paper towel
• jar/container of water
• coloured pencils or crayons

Introduction

In your journal, answer the following questions: 

  1. When you look at a garden of flowers, what draws your eye to one flower over another?  
  2. What colour of flowers do you like? What shape of petals?

Activities and teaching strategies

  1. Take a look at the flower garden and find a spot near a flower that you find attractive or that smells good to you.  Sit on a stool or on the ground and arrange your paper on your clipboard.  
    Option 1 & 2: Using the egg carton as a paint tray, select and pour paint/food colouring colours one at a time.  Leave extra spots in the egg carton/containers in case you would like to mix colours in order to match the flower you are painting, if you so wish.  
    Option 3: Gather coloured pencils/crayons. 
  2. Paint/draw your flower.  
  3. Answer the following questions: 
    a) Can you identify the type of flower you are painting/drawing? 
    b) Is your flower or any surrounding flowers budding or are they all in full bloom?  If you come back to look at your flower in one week, do you think it will look the same?  Why or why not?  
    Upon completion of your painting/drawing, use the jar and water to wash the paint brushes and allow them to dry on the paper towel.  Lay your painting somewhere flat to dry and think about where you might like to hang your beautiful creation!    
  4. How many parts of a flower can you identify? 
    a) Levels 1-3: Watch the following video to learn about the parts of a flower.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuKa57OJ_iA
    Describe the function of: sepal, filament, petals, and anthers.  
    b) Levels 3-6: Identify and define at least 6 of the following parts of a flower: peduncle, receptacle, sepal, petal, stamen, anther, pistil, stigma and ovary. Resource for guidance: https://www.amnh.org/learn-teach/curriculum-collections/biodiversity-counts/plant-identification/plant-morphology/parts-of-a-flower

Extensions

Levels 1-61. Look around the garden to see how many varieties of flowers you can see.  What do you notice about the conditions where your flower is growing compared to a different variety of flower (i.e. more/less sunlight, at the top of a slope vs the bottom of a slope, is it growing close to other plants or does it have lots of space, etc.)?  Is your flower thriving where it is?  If not, where would you transplant it and why?  Can you think of natural events or human actions that may have impacted on the growth of your flower?

2. Read stories about colour theory to develop your understanding of colour mixing and the colour wheel: Young Readers e.g The Color Kittens by Margaret Wise Brown; Older Readers e.g. Color Theory: An Essential Guide to Color by Patti Mollica.

3. Learn the science behind colour theory: primary colours (red, blue, yellow) cannot be made from other colours and artists mix these colours together to create all the other colours of the rainbow.  Secondary colours (green, orange, violet) are created in this way by mixing two primary colours at a time.  Did you choose primary colours or secondary colours for your piece of artwork?  Did you create new colours by mixing your paints on your paper or canvas?  What other colours did you create?
Levels 5-6Research the life cycle of a flowering plant.  How many stages are there?  Identify and describe each one.  

References

American Museum of Natural History (2019). Parts of a flower – Biodiversity counts curriculum collection. Retrieved 10 April 2020 from https://www.amnh.org/learn-teach/curriculum-collections/biodiversity-counts/plant-identification/plant-morphology/parts-of-a-flower> 

Brooks, A. 10 engaging outdoor learning activities for kids. Retrieved 3 April 2020 from https://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/education/blog/engaging-outdoor-learning-activities-for-kids/

Ducksters Education Site. (2020). Biology for kids: Flowering plants. Retrieved 10 April 2020 from https://www.ducksters.com/science/biology/flowering_plants.php     

Guenther, L. (2020). The color wheel – KidZone science. Retrieved 5 April 2020 from https://www.kidzone.ws/science/colorwheel.htm

MakeMeGenius (2019). Parts of a flower – Functions for kids, kindergarten, preschoolers. Retrieved 10 April 2020 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuKa57OJ_iA 

Mensa For Kids. (2019). Introduction To color – Mensa Foundation. Retrieved 5 April 2020 from https://www.mensaforkids.org/teach/lesson-plans/introduction-to-color/

PREPARED FOR THE EDUCATION HUB BY

Rachel Williamson-Dean

Rachel Williamson-Dean is an experienced secondary school teacher, who has lived and taught in North America, the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia. She has a Master of Public and Population Health Degree (MPH – Dist) and a PhD in Health Education. Over the past ten years Rachel has worked with students and school leaders across New Zealand, including leading the digital literacy programme, The Summer Learning Journey, for which she received the NEXT Woman of the Year in Education 2018 award. 

By Rachel Williamson-Dean