By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
SALTILLO – First-graders at Saltillo Primary School learned about nature on Friday by personalizing it.
After hearing about plants from Beth Youngblood, a youth agent for 4-H in Lee County, the young students made people out of plants.
The students attached two pipe cleaners to a Styrofoam cup to form arms and a body. They then put a handful of rye grass seeds into a pantyhose sleeve and filled the sleeve with dirt to make a head, which they placed on top of the body.
The students attached eyeballs, a nose and mouth to the pantyhose head to make a face. Youngblood told the students to water their plant person, which will eventually grow hair made of grass. In a few weeks, the students will give their person a haircut.
She also told the students to keep their new friend in a sunny location so it will continue to grow throughout the remainder of the school year.
“In 4-H, we emphasize learning by doing,” Youngblood said. “By them being involved in making their plant person, it makes them a lot more interested than going outside and looking at grass.
“They take ownership and they name their person, which makes it mean more.”
First-grader Annsley Hill, 6, said the coolest part was getting to decorate the person to look the way she wanted it to look.
“It will grow green hair that will be sticking up,” she said.
The rye grass grows quickly in cool weather, making it ideal for the inside project, Youngblood said.
Youngblood spoke to Michelle Richardson’s and Ginger Austin’s classes. Richardson said the project ties into recent lessons about the spring.
This is the third year her class has done this project, Richardson said, adding that the students also will journal about their newly created person.
“I hope they learn that growing things can be fun and about the components it takes,” Richardson said.