Joined: 13 Aug 2012
Have you ever planted a vegetable garden with your class? A garden can be costly, but there are some great grants offered by our local agriculture department. I have been awarded grants, which included the cost of building, and maintaining the garden. I would suggest you look into your state and county departments to find out about their grants. For the past two years, it is has been my favorite activity to do with my students. I can finally feel spring in the year, and although we will be off to a late start, it is time to garden!
We now have two above ground gardens. Coming up the students and I will remove the old mulch and prepare the beds. This leads into a great lesson on mapping. The students are responsible for deciding which seeds can be planted near each other. After they have decided where the seeds will be planted, they will begin planting. Last year, we planted tomatoes, peppers, carrots, radishes, corn, pumpkins, and cucumbers. (We also added sunflowers just because they are so pretty!) We were (lucky) and we harvested vegetables from all the plants.
The students take on the responsibility of watering and caring for the plants. I will have the students partner up and choose a job. I oversee their work, but the garden really becomes theirs. It has always been a great experience for both the students and myself.
For the classroom lessons, I begin our plant unit with an investigation of a seed. There are many forms of this lesson on the web, but this one takes you from start to finish. http://sciencenetlinks.com/lessons/look-at-those-seeds-grow/
After we complete the investigation of the seed, I have each student make a prediction about whether a seed will grow without the coat. Each student prepares a seed with a coat and another without a coat for growing in a sandwich bag. The bags are hung outside the classroom. Making observations and discussing what is happening with the seeds becomes a daily routine. It only takes a few days for the seeds to sprout. They are always surprised to find out the seed without the coat causes the seed to grow at a faster rate.
At this time, I also begin a KWL. The students will provide questions of what they want to “know” and I will structure the lessons around their questions. Stop by next week to see what the next lesson will be.