Shadow Box

Recently the children have been studying and learning about the plant cycle and its structure through hands on experience exploring different parts of the plants and observing the cycle of plant life.

The students have also been learning how the order of a book or story has a beginning, middle, and end. For this provocation we combined story telling and the further exploration of the plant cycle with a shadow box.


The shadow box had black and white fabric and inside the box was an over-head and visa vice makers. The teachers asked, “What’s the beginning of a plant life cycle?”

Some of the children’s responses:

– “The plants start as seed.”

– “They also need water.”

– “And sun and soil.”

– ”Their roots grow when they have sun, water, and soil.”

– ”Their stems and leafs grow too.”

– ”Then last the flower or tree grows.”

– ”Also the flowers has pollen,” somebody added.



Once they compiled their story about the plant cycle together, the kids displayed it in picture form on the over-head and used their bodies to display a shadow. When the story was finished the group of kids replayed the performance in front of the class. The ability to tell and share a story aloud conveys to the teachers what the students understand and creates an environment for the teachers and students to naturally collaborate and learn from each other.

Drawing, telling and acting a story encompasses a variety of essential skills necessary for learning and retaining knowledge that the children will be able to utilize in future learning endeavors throughout their lives. This science demonstration benefits the young learners in becoming comfortable with group conversations and allows them to connect easily in other areas such as math, artistic expression, center-based play and social studies.


“Science is simply the word we use to describe a method of organizing our curiosity.”   -Tim Minchin


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