Herbs in the Classroom
Grade Levels: K - 5
- Students will observe plant growth.
- Students describe the plants and communicate data about them.
- Egg carton, Dixie cups, or small planting containers
- Potting soil
- Herb seeds (parsley, chives, and basil are good indoor choices)
- Shoe box or plastic Tupperware tray with high sides
- Aluminum foil
- Plastic wrap
- Larger pots for future replanting
- Read the directions on the seed packets for planting tips (parsley seeds, for example, will sprout more quickly if the seeds are soaked for 48 hours before planting).
- Students punch small drainage holes in the bottom of the egg cartons or paper cups.
- Students fill each cup with potting soil. Have them press down firmly and water.
- Students sprinkle a few seeds on top of the soil and then add a thin layer of potting mix on top of the seeds.
- Have them press gently and water again.
- If students are planting different herbs, have them add labels to each pot so they don’t forget which one’s which (popsicle sticks make good markers).
- Put the minipots in the box and cover the top tightly with plastic wrap.
- Place the greenhouse in a warm spot.
- Keep an eye on the seeds, but don’t water them! The plastic wrap will keep enough moisture locked inside.
- Once the seeds have sprouted (basil takes about 5 days, chives about 10 to 14, and parsley about 21) remove the plastic wrap and put the pots in a sunny spot. Now the students will need to water them regularly.
- As the herbs grow, they’ll need to transplant the plants a few times into bigger pots.
Additional Activities Students can draw what the plants look like each week, and write about what the plants looks like, recording growth over time.
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