Using Plants to Create Empathy: Integrated Science
In Integrated Science, learners just completed their unit on photosynthesis. The learners dove into the chemical reaction in the chloroplast in many plant leaves. During this unit, facilitator Alix Cauthron showed the learners some of the seedlings she raised at home. The kids had shown some interest in plants, so they took the opportunity to have a lab day where they could choose between a number of flower or vegetable seeds to plant.
This one activity quickly turned into a social-emotional learning project, as it instantly worked to build community across Cauthron’s blocks of integrated science: The learners all care for each other’s plants on their class days.
This has turned into a great exercise to build empathy, community, and skills needed to care for living things.
Cauthron said, “This has quickly become a class favorite for both the learners and myself.”
Thanks to Hannah Kreiger for generously supplying the seeds for all the classes.
About Alix Cauthron:
Alix Cauthron has been with SCVi for five years, first facilitating in middle school and then in high school starting this school year. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from California State University Channel Islands and a master’s degree in education from the University of Phoenix.
Alix said, “I have always had an interest in science since I was a young kid. Watching how science can grab a learner’s attention/curiosity and how they can apply what they are learning to their lives is the most rewarding part of my job. At the end of the day, my goal is to have the kids learn something they can use in their day-to-day lives, whether science knowledge or life skills.”