Thursday, August 6, 2009

Pollen Studies

One day, a little while back, my husband came in from cutting the grass COVERED in white pine pollen! What a great time to talk about and observe pollen. The first thing the Little Ladies and I did was run to the white pines and shake the pollen onto black paper. No luck, it needed something to stick to.

Fauna suggested double stick tape. It worked like a dream! We went around to the many different plants in our yard exploring their pollen. We discovered that some pollen let the wind carry it through the air and some pollen was very sticky and stuck to the flower. The wind pollen is from the plants which we have allergies to; the sticky pollen sticks to the flower unless a pollinator of the 6 or 2 legged variety comes along to help out. Here is how we recorded our observations:

Using double stick tape on black construction paper (so the pollen would really pop) we would either shake the pollen from the flower or rub the flower onto the tape; depending on how the flower released its pollen.

After recording and taking samples, we headed inside to have a closer look through a microscope. It was amazing to see the many different shapes pollen can be. We also got on the computer and visited The Biology of Plants, it has a great page on Pollination and an educational pollination song.

For directions on making the clipboard visit here.


Sherry Gann said...

This is a fabulous idea! :)

Shady Lady said...

What cool observations!

The Magic Onions said...

Oh, Lisa... can my kids (and me) come to your school?
Blessings and magic.

Joy said...

You sure have the unschooling thing down to a science (pardon the pun), don't you?! It always looks so fascinating at your place. I think your kids will be out-placing high schoolers in science fairs when they're 10. :)

nettlejuice said...

What an ingenious project, Lisa.
I really must get myself some double sided tape now. Thank you for sharing this.

Marina said...

This is fantastic! What a wonderful way to teach your children!

Sowing Clover (Emily) said...

I love your posts on pollination. I'll definitely share these with my boss at my school's preserve. This is something kids of all ages would enjoy!