Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ag Unit: Cotton Mind Map

The next part of our ag unit is the cotton mind map.  At this point we already knew what a cotton plant looks like thanks to our cotton pictorial.  So, now we got to extend our knowledge by learning some very specific things about cotton.  The picture in the middle is the same picture from the observation walk we did the first day of the unit. 

I placed each picture on (with masking tape) and labeled it ,one at a time.  We started with the description - this was review from the cotton pictorial we had done the day before.

But, instead of just reviewing the parts of the plant, we used the cotton samples to take a really close look at each part.
They got to touch each part and feel it - some of them even smelled it. 

Then we talked about what a plant needs in their habitat - soil, water, and sunlight.  For next year, I will add a picture of the cotton belt to this section.   
There are many uses for cotton!  It was fun to talk about all the things we use cotton for.  First graders don't think about what their shirt is made out of or what farm animals eat - so, it was nice to explain a few of the things that cotton is made into. 

Then we talked about interesting facts.  These facts came from Cotton's Journey and from online. They love that a cotton bale weighs 500 pounds and talk about it all the time!

I loved doing this mind map because the kids kept going back to it in their writing and we got a lot of mileage from it.  It was time consuming to find all of the pictures online, print them, laminate them and cut them out.  But, it was time well spent! 

What do you think?  Did I miss anything in the mind map (like a square in the description)?  How would you use this in your classroom?


Katie @Pinke Post said...

This is fantastic! My friend @JPLovesCotton would be loving this. You are educating kids in such a positive interactive way that helps the kids truly know agriculture and its impact on them!

Sarah said...

Thanks Katie! That is my goal - hopefully it will stick with them.

Janice sent us the Cotton's Journey (the cotton curriculum / field trip in a box) and asked a farmer to send us some cotton - she rocks!!