Friday, February 27, 2015
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
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.
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!