We began lab by learning about poinsettias. This plant is indigenous to Mexico where they grow as shrubs and trees. They were brought to America by Joel Poinsett. The colored leaves (bracts) are not part of the flower, but they surround the flower.
Then, kindergarten scientists used the Scientific Method. What will happen if you fold a paper flower’s petals toward the center, and then drop the flower in water? We made our hypotheses and then carefully dropped three flowers of different sizes into the pan of water. They seemed to magically open. Why do they open? Does it matter if you fold the petals in a different order?
Does the type of paper make any difference? When we returned to the group, I changed a variable and dropped flowers cut from construction paper and tagboard in the water. The tagboard flowers opened very slowly, but the construction paper flowers blossomed rapidly.
This is a fun investigation to try at home. Make a fish and fold the fins, a butterfly’s wings, or a spider’s legs. Click here for further directions.