Literacy experience plan: Watching sprouts grow

​This experience encourages children to observe and record the growth of plants.

This experience should be differentiated depending on the individual child/group level. 

This learning experience plan relates to:

  • emergent literacy
  • language and emergent literacy learner (36 – 60 months)
  • learning focus: exploring and creating texts
  • teaching practice: writing with children.

Collect information

  • What information has been gathered as evidence to inform this experience?

Links to VEYLDF

Outcome 5: communication

  • Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes
  • Children demonstrate an increasing understanding of number using vocabulary to describe size, length, volume, capacity and names of numbers.
  • Children begin to understand how symbols and pattern systems work
  • Children draw on their experiences in constructing meaning using symbol.
  • Children use information and communication technologies to access information, investigate ideas and represent their thinking.
  • Children engage with technology for fun and to make meaning.

Victorian curriculum levels F-2: literature

Explore the different contribution of words and images to meaning in stories and informative texts.

Learning intentions

  • For children to verbalise their observations.
  • For children to learn how to record data over time (photos, drawings, writing).
  • To develop children’s vocabulary (e.g. growing, observe, measure).

Assessment of learning

Learning is demonstrated when children:

  • record observations using digital or written media
  • demonstrate understanding and/or use of content-specific vocabulary during discussions of observations.


  • camera or iPad for recording photos
  • seedlings (this could be from a previous learning experience)
  • informal units of measurement (e.g. unifix blocks)
  • clipboards, writing implements

Group size

Individuals or small group (2-5 children) with adult support.


Differentiation should be based on prior assessment of the child/children’s communication skills. Examples of differentiation:

  • provide children with the option to draw, write or take photographs.
  • some children may also benefit from extension of concepts through questions about gardens at home, measuring their own height and observing change.
  • see sustained shared thinking for more information.

Experience process

  1. Clearly articulate the learning intention. This may be best done during group/circle time depending on the group of children and their interests.
    • Begin discussion about how to record what is happening with the plants. Ask for the children’s thoughts.
    • If children need more scaffolding, suggest using photographs to document each day, using concrete objects to measure and record or draw each day.
    • Model how to record what a seedling looks like by drawing it yourself.
  2. Provide children with materials: (clipboards/paper/pencils) or iPad/camera to make their first observation.
  3. Continue to do this over a number of days.

Going Further

  • Children can compare their observations with each other’s growth observations.


Reflective questions for educators may include:

  • What learning has occurred? How do you know?
  • What have you realised about the child’s interests, knowledge, and capabilities?
  • In discussion with colleagues, what would you plan next to consolidate or extend children’s learning?

Additional/alternate resources for this learning experience

  • The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
  • Measuring Angels by Lesley Ely and Polly Dunbar

Related learning experience plans and videos

Links to sections