Each morning at Saint Benedict’s, the Pre-Kindergarten class begins their day circled around our bean plants named “Pierre,” “Peter,” “Penelope” and “Polka Dot.” It Is amazing to watch the fascination in the children’s eyes as they observe how different the plant looks day to day. It is one of my favorite parts of the year- enjoying the opportunity with the children to care for and observe something like our very own bean plant. Not only does growing a plant teach the value of responsibility but it also allows them to appreciate more deeply the beauty in the natural world around us. Our simple classroom bean plants promote curiosity, physical health and wonder in each one of the children that is caring for it.
Children naturally become curious as to what makes a plant grow when they begin to see roots and stems sprouting from the seeds. Questions about why plants need sunshine and water and why worms are good for plants begin to arise. These questions turn into deeper questions and discussions. From questions and discussions like these, their knowledge of the natural world continues to develop. When we go on nature walks or venture outside for recess, I can see the wheels turning in their minds as they observe leaves and flowers on the fauna outside, which is so similar to that of their bean plants.
As of today, our bean plants have flowers that are slowly turning into long beans. Hopefully, if all goes according to plan, we will be able to enjoy the “fruits” of our labor on the last day of school. On that day, I plan to share in a gloriously rewarding green bean snack with the preschoolers. By partaking in this snack, I hope that they discover that good things come from hard work and dedication sustained overtime.
Author: Erin McArdle, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher