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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Melrose First Grade
This week the kids learned about Weeds! They learned why weeds are bad for the plants in the garden: because they take up the space, food, and water that the other plants need to survive. The kids weeded the bad plants from the beds and got to water the good plants, their favorite!

 Find those weeds and pull them out!

Watering time: We love giving the plants water!


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Pollinators, Pollinators, We Love Pollinators!

This week with the first grade class we taught them about pollinators.
After learning a new song the kids were then sent out into the garden
at Melrose to find some pollinators. We found lots of bees and a few lady 
bugs. In this picture is Ms. Sydney and a 1st grade student looking for
some lady bugs! 

Here is one of the students drawing some of the pollinators they found. 
Their favorite seemed to be drawing lady bugs and bees. 

The kids found this cute little lady bug sitting on a mustard plant! After reviewing
the four parts of the plant with the kids they then could identify that the lady 
bug was sitting on a leaf. 


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Bugs: The Good & The Bad

This week's lesson covered Bugs in the Garden!

The second graders from Melrose Elementary had the opportunity to learn about the four groups of bugs in the garden, and how/why insects are different than bugs! 

After differentiating between bugs and insects, we discussed the first group, the Decomposers, such as worms, and how they benefit the garden by breaking down plant matter and turning it into nutrients for the soil.  We also touched on the second group of bugs, Pollinators, such as bees, and their important job of transporting pollen and seeds. 

Next we talked about the third group of garden bugs,  Garden Pests, such as the Harlequin cabbage bug. We were able to find one in the garden, and explained why pests like these do not benefit the plant or the garden. The kids were surprised to find that spiders and bees were not part of this group!

Last, we talked about the awesome Garden Helpers such as ladybugs, and their role as the pest control in the garden. The kids were able to witness each one of these bugs and insects in order to give them a visual of 'who does what' in the garden!

We ended the lesson by having the kids draw and identify their favorite bug from the garden, and then celebrated with fresh papaya!


Friday, February 27, 2015

Getting the Dish on Dirt!

This week was all about dirt: what it does, why it's important, and which kinds are better! The naturally sandy soil at the school was a great visual tool when comparing it to the loamy potting soil brought for the new plants. This was one of those lessons where the kids could just get their hands dirty! Whether it was collecting sand for comparison or helping us re-pot some young strawberries, it was a time to let loose and get to the nitty-gritty of gardening. The strawberries were planted into vertical planters, which was a great way of showing what you can do with limited space in a garden (also uses less water than a traditional garden).

Another tidbit that we've touched on at several lessons is the importance of bees. As should be expected, the students had a rather negative reaction to close encounters of the bee kind in the garden. They're fascinated, however, to learn that we actually love the bees that visit, and most of the kids noticeably became more comfortable with them as time went on. Some even inched closer every few minutes, mainly watching as the bees drank from the freshly-watered beds. (Fun fact: bees always stay close to a source of water.) This kind of curiosity and discovery is probably the most rewarding thing to see in the garden.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Parts of the Plant

This week, we worked with the 1st grade class learning about parts of the plants. After reviewing all they had learned about seeds the previous week, the students quickly grasped the concept of the four main parts of the plant: stem, leaf, flower, and roots. The students were amazed to find out that strawberries come from a flower. In the garden the kids could see the progression of a strawberry starting from a blossom, to the fruit. Here in the picture is Ms. Sydney and the class drawing and labeling the four parts of a plant. 

Sun, Water, Soil and Love!

Last week we worked with Ms. Sutherland's 1st grade class learning about seeds. The kids were very enthusiastic about learning where plants they eat come from. While in small groups we got together and asked the kids what they think seeds need to grow. One student, eagerly raised her hand and said seeds need: water, sun, dirt and love most importantly. She stated that when humans plant seeds we need to treat them with respect and love to make them grow fast and big. Later the next week we saw our seeds, planted with love, were the only ones that sprouted in the beds! 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Measurements in the Garden

The lesson this week started with our students picking a plant. From there we took turns measuring how tall the plant is and coming up with some questions that we could investigate and observe until the semester concluded.

Our beautiful garden on an equally beautiful day.

Working together to form and answer questions about our plants.

Our class works together to ensure that everyone has had a turn to do the lesson and to get some hands-on experience with working with their veggies and herbs.

A quick note about 1st graders: they love to water. And they are super careful to not water the same bed twice. We water with the students to teach them how important it is to plants as well as for our own bodies. Only having one watering can certainly encourages and requires sharing from our little ones.

We were taking our measurements seriously. We first identified the plant, then took the ruler from the base of the plant to the top and had our students record the height in inches. Sam and I would write down the students' questions and we will return to them each week we have with them. The students were so enthusiastic about the proposed changes and what has already changed in the garden. They are especially concerned with when they can eat the leafy greens and okra.

From Melrose Elementary,
Meghan R.