Have you heard of Sprout Pencils? These pencils are not only beautiful to write with but instead of having an eraser at the end, they have a water-soluble, seed capsule instead! When the pencils are near finished, they can be planted on end, giving life to a new plant!
The materials for Sprout pencils are sustainably sourced and the seeds that they contain are organic. The seed capsules are filled and attached by hand. Each pencil is marked with the name of the seed variety, so you can reuse the pencil as a plant label, too.
All of the lead-free graphite pencils and colored pencils in the Sprout range are non-toxic, so you can rest assured there are no nasty chemicals leaching into the new sprouts for your organic garden.
How to Use Sprout Pencils in the Classroom
I’m ashamed to admit that I’d never really thought of the environmental impact of using wooden pencils. But, of course, the wood in the pencils we write with every day has to come from a tree somewhere! This means that pencils made with wood from sustainably managed forests really do make a difference to our environment.
Consider other “not-so sustainable” items that we might not think about very often and ask your students,
“What are some things you use every day that aren’t made out of recycled, sustainable, or renewable materials?”
“What are some ways that these items could be made, or used, in a more sustainable way?”
Sprout pencils can be used as the starter for a range of different research topics, such as:
- Why is using a sustainably made pencil better for the environment? (Environmental Impacts)
- When I have finished using an object, or it doesn’t work anymore, where does it go? (Compost, Recycling, or Landfill)
- What climate or season does my Sprout seed plant best grow in? (Climate)
- How does a plant grow? (Life Cycle of a Plant)
The most exciting learning experience children can engage in when using Sprout pencils is the act of planting and nurturing their new plant.
If you already have a classroom garden, your new Sprout plants will be a wonderful, organic addition. If not, you could create a mini-indoor garden with the new plants that your class helps to grow.
- Select a suitable container to grow your sprouts in. One that has holes in the bottom, or some other kind of drainage, will help to ensure your seedlings don’t get flooded.
- Fill the container with good soil (organic if you’d like to ensure your new plants remain chemical free).
- Water the soil until the top layer feels damp to touch.
- “Plant” your Sprout pencil by pushing it into the soil, just enough to cover the seed capsule. Make sure your pencil is on an angle to allow the seedlings to sprout more freely.