Thursday, 2 April 2015

Changing a Flower's Appearance

white carnations with purple food colouring
24 hours
I love trying new ideas and this was one I spotted on Pinterest a while ago but hadn't yet tried.

Most schools have a leadership body that "encourage" (I'll keep that opinion for another post) teachers to plan for special occasions throughout the year. In this case it was Mother's Day.

As most teachers know we have so much on our plates that it is difficult to teach the curriculum without having to drop an afternoon of work to make cards and a gift. Most teachers though will also know that we probably get the least amount of say in the matter of what we do in our own classroom. *sigh*

To make the afternoon worth it I had the students use a handwriting lesson to create their cards for their mum (or grandma and also for an aunt) and used their final piece as a writing assessment. It worked well as I was able to clearly read each card but they were all personalised as well.

white carnations with blue food colouring
24 hours
Then there is the gift. I am not the type of teacher who loves art and craft. The mere mention of it sends chills down my spine! The mess! The headache! Argh!!! To avoid this frustration I stole the changing a flower's colour idea from Pinterest.

white carnation with red food colouring
24 hours
white carnation with yellow food colouring
I used white carnations (as that was what they recommended) but here in Australia at Mother's Day trying to locate 30 white carnations was no small feat and set me back a tidy $35.00 (thank goodness for teacher expenses). I would think any white flower would do the trick such as white roses - for a simpler flower you could try white daisies. Each flower was trimmed to have a stem between 20-25cm in height (nice bit of mathematics there for the students) and placed in a bowl with 250ml of water (I chose rainwater as I have what seems to be an endless supply but tap water would probably work as well). The students were allowed to chose from yellow, blue, red and purple (mixed using red and blue) and five drops were placed in each. The was a quick lesson also on the primary colours for art and about mixing for basic secondary colours.

Remember that the more colouring you add, the darker the result. I was very happy with the results but would add more yellow colouring to have a stronger contrast.

This entire project was done as a science investigation as to how plants use water. The food colouring acts as a visual so that they can actually see how the plant draws the water up the stem.

The final verdict of course must be left for the mum (and other significant ladies). The feedback I received was very positive as most got the "how-to" from their kids along with the gift.

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