Planting Green Onion Bulbs

Plant green onion bulbs in water. Check bulbs the following week to see how much they’ve grown.

Materials

  • green onions (one per child)
  • scissors or plant trimming scissors
  • clear plastic or glass jars
  • photos of flower and vegetable bulbs from the Internet or a book (tulips, paper whites, onions, garlic, for example)
  • “Watch Them Grow” chart

Key Science Concepts

  • Plants grow from seeds. Some plants also grow from bulbs.
  • Different plants grow from different seeds and bulbs.
  • Some parts of the plant are below the ground and some are above.

Vocabulary

Encourage children to use words about plants such as seed, bulb, roots, plant, grow, and water, and science process words like compare, examine, describe, test, and predict.

Directions

  1. Pass around the green onion bulbs. Ask, What do you think these are? What do you know about them? How do they look, feel, and smell? Point to the roots and ask, Does anyone know what these are and what they do? Have we seen any roots somewhere else?
  2. Introduce the word bulb. (Clarify that it is different from a “light bulb,” although sometimes the shape is similar.) Explain that children have already planted some seeds, and now they will plant some green onion bulbs. Show children photos of bulbs growing in gardens.
  3. With scissors, trim each child’s onion so there is only about an inch of green stalk.   
  4. Have each child place a green onion in water with the stalk facing upwards. 
  5. Have a child take a photo of one onion bulb to add to the “Watch Them Grow” chart.

Reflect and Share

Discuss green onion bulbs and the process of planting them. Explain that the bulbs have been placed in water so you can watch them grow more easily. Ask:

  • If we had planted the onions in soil, what parts of the onion plant would have been hard for us to see? (bulb and roots)
  • What do you predict will happen to the green onions in the water?

One Week Later: What Happened? <A head>

Observe and compare your growing plants.

Materials

  • onion bulbs planted last week
  • “Watch Them Grow” chart

Key Science Concepts

  • Plants grow from seeds.
  • Different plants grow from different seeds and bulbs.
  • Plants have different parts: roots, stems, leaves, and fruit. 

Vocabulary

Encourage children to use vocabulary related to plants, such as leaves, stems, roots, and seeds, and science process words such as observe, describe, compare, and predict.

Directions

Tell children they are going to take a closer look at what they’ve grown.

  1. Have children examine the onions and point out the growing roots. Ask: How do you think a bulb is the same as a seed? How is it different?
  2. Continue to have children take photos for the “Watch Them Grow” chart. Have children look at the chart and describe how the onions changed over the last week. 

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