Sunday, August 30, 2009

Kowhais too good to miss!

This is just a reminder for New Zealand teachers to ensure their students develop an awareness and understanding of the kowhai which is in full flower at present -although there seems a lots of individuality variety regarding flowering of kowhai.

What do students know about the kowhai? Are they able to identify a kowahi?

Visit a kowhai tree. While there students could record ideas to develop into a three line poem ( a simple version of a haiku). What are their thoughts about the flowers? the trunks and branches, and finally the petals lying on the ground.

If teachers pick a few flowers students, back in class, can be encouraged to complete observational drawings of a flower
. From this questions might emerge for students to research. Teach the 'secret' to drawing is to look carefully , then draw,and continue doping this until finished.

For science (and maths) carefully pull a flower apart to count how many petals their are. Help the students recognise the stamens ( the male part of the flower) and the stamen ( or female part -which grows into the pod). What are proper names for parts of a flower?

What is the scientific name for Kowhai? Why do plants have scientific names?
What other plants are in the same family ( think of plants with similar flowers which grow into pods)

What native bird is often found in the kowahi? What are they doing?

Answers to their research, there drawings and diagrams of the flower, could be developed into a research chart or displayed as part of a wall display.

For maths, other than recording the number of petals and stamens, tie a piece of wool to a flower that has shed all its petals and then record the growth of the pod. Students will be surprised at the speed of the growth of the pod.

If there are last season's pods to be gathered collect them and group then into tens and get group to count the number of seeds in pod ( percentages)

Soak plants in water and try to grow some seedling kowhais.

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