- Sponsorship -

Fifth-graders find beauty in science by dissecting marigolds

Learning from nature just outside school doors

East Grand Rapids — Amid the hula-hooping and kickball on their Wealthy Elementary playground, Willa Norden and Uma Valentine know botany is happening all around them.

It’s inside the grapevines that climb the chain link fence that runs behind the tennis and basketball courts. It’s beneath and on the grass in piles of the seed “helicopters” that whirl to the ground from maple trees, and the veins of an oak leaf the pair stopped to study.

Maria Godlewski beholds the loveliness of a marigold she is about to dissect (courtesy)

Megan Miller used readily available nature just outside school to introduce her fifth-graders to this year’s science unit, as well as some flowers from home to study the parts of plants: roots, stems, leaves, flowers and seeds.

They set up marigold dissection stations with microscopes in the learning commons this year — in order to maintain proper distancing due to COVID-19 safety protocols — but otherwise the lessons were much the same as in past years, she said. 

“They always like that they can actually take flowers apart, which they aren’t usually supposed to do,” Miller said. 

Uma said she used “pointy pokey things,” which Willa remembered are called dissection tools, to prise the marigolds apart. “I didn’t know the seeds would be at the bottom of the flower,” she said.

Seeds harvested from this year’s lab activity will be dried and planted for next year’s fifth-graders.

The activity was part of a science unit that studies how organisms transfer energy from one plant to another. Next, they’ll move on to carnivores and herbivores.

- Sponsorship -
Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema is a reporter and copy editor, covering East Grand Rapids, Forest Hills and Northview. She is a Grand Rapids native and a product of Grand Rapids Public Schools, including Brookside and West Leonard elementaries, City Middle/High School and Ottawa Hills. She found her tribe in journalism in 1997 and has never wanted to do anything but write. For 15 years she was a freelance journalist for The Grand Rapids Press, covering local schools and government, religion, business, home & garden and lifestyles. She and her husband, John, think even those without kiddos should be invested in their local schools and made to feel a part of them. Read Morgan's full bio or email Morgan.

LATEST ARTICLES

Vaccine trial participant: ‘I really want to get back to normal’

Orchestra teacher and cellist Eric Hudson longs for the days when he can direct student musicians in concerts and tours and play in his own ensemble once again. To help speed that process along, he is participating in a COVID-19 vaccine trial...

Longtime agriscience teacher earns honorary FFA degree

After 24 years of teaching, John Schut believes incorporating fun and service into education is more engaging for students than taking notes in a classroom...

Stress, studies and the pandemic: a steep learning curve

In response to the social and emotional impacts brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Rockford’s Developing Healthy Kids Campaign wants students and families to know they are not alone...

Health Department helps schools tackle challenges of instruction, during winter, in a pandemic

Working with the health department has been crucial in helping area school leaders understand the nature of COVID-19, the types of mitigation strategies that can be most effective and how to plan for the future...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Short stories, tall tales

A collection of short stories by Mark Pullen’s fourth-graders at Lakeside Elementary shows what they have learned in their realistic fiction writing unit...

Bringing ‘positive intent’ to work every day

Heather McKinney-Rewa is the new East Grand Rapids Middle School assistant principal. SNN gets to know her in this edition of Meet the Principal...

From meeting room to classroom

The district’s Board of Education is on the move this year, now that its meeting room regularly draws a much younger audience...
- Sponsorship -

HOW'S SCHOOL TODAY?

Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...

RADEMACHER & FRIENDS

Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -

MEDIA PARTNERS

Maranda Where You LiveWGVU

SUSTAINING SPONSORS