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Graphing Plant Growth

by Early Math Counts

Once your seedlings have started to sprout, it is important that children have a way to measure and document their growth.  If each child has her/his own plant, then they will also need some sort of chart where they can record their observations over time. Click her( Inchworm chart )to see a sample of a chart I made for this activity.  You can see that I included a small space so children can also draw a picture of the current state of their plant.  For some, this may be more interesting than measuring the plants.You can also take a picture of the plants each week

Since there is little observable growth over a 24 hour period, you may want to choose one day of the week as “Measurement Day”.  That way  the growth will be enough to see.  On Monday, I wrote about the Inchworm manipulatives.  These are the perfect tool to use when measuring the plants.inchworm measure Children can hold one inchworm up next to the stem to see if it is one inch tall.  If the stem is longer, they can add another inchworm until the length of their Inchworm chain  is the same size as their plant height.  They can then count their inchworms and record their findings.  I wouldn’t worry too much about fractions of inches- rounding up to the nearest inch is perfectly OK for preschool-aged children.  You can even use language like, “Your plant is about 3 inches tall,” so that children get the idea that it is not exact.

This is one of those activities that becomes more interesting over time- so be patient.  As the children’s plants grow, so will their interest in measuring them.

3 Replies to “Graphing Plant Growth”

  1. Where did you find the inchworms? Or did you just printout a paper inchworm.
    Did you develop a form for student use?

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