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Minnesota Landscape Arboretum plants sunflowers with second grade students

Weaver Lake: A Science, Math & Technology School second grade teacher Shannon LaTourelle has been a part of Osseo Area Schools for more than 20 years. She enjoys teaching plant science, and strives to provide an enriching experience through a partnership with the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. 

Arboretum instructors led 22 students through interactive activities about the life cycle of plants and pollinators. This year, the focus was on sunflowers, and the instructors explained terms including heliotropism, which is when a plant follows the direction of the sun. Instructors encouraged students to envision themselves as sunflowers and followed the leader who was acting as the sun. 

Scholars were eager to ask questions and see examples of how tall sunflowers could grow. They passed around 3-inch stems, sunflower heads and seeds. Following the lesson, students had the opportunity to plant three sunflower seeds to take home. 

“We have had the Arboretum visit in the past and they do a nice job of conveying information in a kid-friendly way,” LaTourelle said. 

Students receive instructions on how to help their sunflowers grow by not over watering and making sure their seeds have enough sunlight. This ongoing partnership allows scholars to experience plants in a fun, educational way.