“Environments” is an overarching theme in the 4th grade science unit, and during the Fall 2013 semester, our students spent most of their garden time conducting an experiment with two variety of kale seedlings (White Russian and Scarlet Kale). The seedlings were planted in 4 different garden environments (full sun, shade, fabric cover, and no weeding) to see if their growth would be affected. About every other garden session, students went out to measure the height and number of leaves in their test spaces, used their math skills to find the averages, and graphed their results to interpret if there are any changes or patterns. Below are their steps and results.
Day 1 – Planting Kale in 4 Different Garden Environments & Predictions
Day 2 – Collecting Data, Graphing, and Making Observations
(Above: Fabric Cover Station. Below: No Weeding Station)
- I learned that using a fabric cover is better. Plants in the fabric cloth cover section grew bigger.
- It (the environment) does affect. In different environments some have more leafs or are short. Lastly some are bigger. They are bigger because sun makes them bigger and have more leafs. Shade makes them shorter.
- The growing environment does affect plant growth. Fabric cover was better for the kale plants, because not much sunlight or rain got to the plants. It does matter where you plant kale. In all of my measurements, fabric cover kale plants grew taller than the rest of the environments. The tallest was 21 inches (on average) in the fabric cover.
- In the shade, there was too much shade and not anuff sun or light. But in fabric cover there was not too much sun and not too much shade, so they grew the best.
- We learned that all the environments are goods but full sun is the best for kale. Full sun is the best for growing kale, because on the graph full sun is usually the highest.
- Scarlet kale grow better in fabric cover. White Russian grow better in no weeding.
- The growing environments affected plant growth. The fabric cover did better than others, because fabric cover grew to 25 inches and other grew to 12 inches.
- One conclusion is that most White Russian kale are taller than most scarlet kale. Another conclusion is that shade does worst than all other plants.
Questions to Test Next Time by Students
- What if you do not weed in full sun?
- What if we got a different kind of cover for fabric?
- I would like to test the apple trees next time.
- I want to try growing kale in a windy place.
- If kale would grow better with no water or a lot of water.
- Next time can we measure how long is the leaves.
- What environment is best for most plants.
- Can we use lettuce next time?
- Why does fabric cover and no weeding work the best?
- How much water does a plant need to be healthy?