March 14, 2011
Author: Neighborhood Farm Initiative
Category: General News
If I had a seed for every time I’ve been asked “What do the garden clubs do in the winter?” I’m not sure how many seeds I’d have, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have to order any.
The main goal in the winter has been to instill enough knowledge about soil, water, and seeds so that when the time comes to actually work in the garden, the kids can apply what they’ve learned and work more independently. So when the weather is beautiful again we can have less “classroom” time and more garden time.
Learning about plant and soil science without the hands-on application of a live garden can be a challenge only overcome with creativity. To make things a little more challenging for the teacher, the garden clubs are after school, and most kids do NOT want to sit down and learn more after the bell rings at 3:15. So we learn and demonstrate our new knowledge with activities, games, cooking healthy snacks, and adding observations, drawings, and poems to our garden journals. Which is more fun than sitting around regurgitating facts, anyways.
In addition to being enjoyable (and feeling less like school), drawings and writings are also great ways for teachers to evaluate students’ comprehension of what they’re learning. When we draw parts of the plant or write a poem about bugs, it’s a way for me to assess how much the kids are observing, learning, and applying, and how effective of a teacher I am.
And because they’re just so whimsical and great, I’ve decided to post some of my favorite drawings and poems from the year so far. Feast your eyes on some of the best the garden clubs have to offer!
Powell Elementary 1st graders
Activity: Draw parts of the plant — the roots, stem, leaves, seeds, flower, and/or fruit.