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Plants are the foundation of all life on earth. From serving our food system, to contributing to biotechnology solutions for global challenges, the importance of plants is undeniable. Yet, plants are often overlooked and taken for granted.
Teaching children about plants is a good opportunity to help them learn about healthy living. Plant literacy is an important topic to address in early school education, and it conducts to high knowledge of plants and their role in our environment.
When science content and language mastery are explored in unison, both skill sets flourish, with the language used to learn and communicate science. Picture books foster success at all levels of learning and give visual examples and new perspectives on complicated, abstract concepts.
When a child becomes a reader, a magic door opens and he takes his first steps into the world of creativity, where anything is possible. When the reader opens “The Magical Tree” book by Myriam Ouyessad, they understand the wonders of nature and becomes the protector of life. Inspired by Klimt’s famous mural, The Tree of Life, the book tells the story of a magical tree whose fruit saves lives. Designed to encourage children to discover new details each time they open the pages, the book is a perfect opportunity to address plant literacy in the classroom.
My students are quite young. They are still learning to read and when they set their eyes on “The Magical Tree” book, they fell in love with the characters, the plot, and the pictures. The story helped them learn about the plants life cycle and understand how important is to keep the plants alive. The book also facilitated the students’ path in finding answers to questions related to the plants’ real world: what a seed contains, how does a plant grow, what is the importance of the plants for our future. My students became themselves real plant protectors, as the book main character was; they planted their own seeds and took care of them to grow healthy plants.
At the end of the activities, all the children understood that life is precious, and they have a sacred bound with plants which must be protected, to keep our planet alive.
Alina Marilena Buduleanu is a Romanian primary school teacher and Scientix Ambassador. She strongly believes in the power of STEM based education. This is the reason why she brings in her classroom STEAM topics which spark her students’ curiosity and make them creative, adaptable, and prepared for real life.