The Science School Yard: Let's Get Growing

Friday, April 22, 2016

Let's Get Growing

It's my favorite time of year, planting season. Time to get our kinder-gardeners learning how to plant seeds so that when they are BIG first graders they can see their pumpkin patch. Sometimes it takes a long time to grow BIG.
Starting from seed and watching them grow so that we can replant them in our school garden is very exciting!

Our first graders are able to learn about insects and plant flowers so that the bees come to pollinate the vegetable flowers so that we can eat beans, cucumbers, kale, broccoli, and squash to name a few.

Here is our new improved School Garden! New benches, new  beds, new pumpkin patch!

Indoor planting and observations in our Green House!

2nd graders, with the help of their FOSS kit grow everything from beans to tomatoes, zucchini, and kohlrabi as they learn about what a plant needs, to the parts of the plant. My favorite activities include planting potatoes that they will pick as third graders "gold rush style" as well as the mystery seed for Mother's Day as they wait to see how parents pass on traits to their children...marigolds just blooming look like the adult marigold from the nursery!

3rd graders are learning about sound, but it is equally as important to get them growing, too! Next week, during Earth Week we will be learning about planting container gardens as we focus a week on living sustainably! We will also do a quick lesson on how eating vegetables "sounds" good to me when they plant their cabbage plants that are donated to our school each year. I hate to say that most of them died. They cam this year three weeks early, before spring break, and after it snowed 11 days in a row. Our grow lights didn't do them justice!

4th graders will soon plant the three sisters as they are learning about Wisconsin Native American tribes. Beans, Squash, and corn will be their specialty!
After 3 years of waiting...edible stems! Asparagus!

5th graders will get first hand lessons in World War II as I share my father-in-law's WWII memorabilia and we plant a victory garden of tomatoes, broccoli, and lettuce. We might even throw in some radish and spinach to boot!

This year, we are also lucky enough to get honey sticks for our students so that I can teach a pollination lesson to our kindergarten through fifth grade students. We will focus on pollinators for April's Harvest of the Month!

Here is our garden tip of the week...

As you teach students how to plant seeds, use these six simple words:

1. Scoop...

2. Pat...


















3. Poke...

4. Drop
5. Cover....and then Water!

As the students get older I add more and more concepts to those 6 simple steps. K-2 just those words work, however as they get older we focus on how far down the seed should be placed in the soil and learning to read a seed packet!

So there is a run down of our School Garden progress! Whether you are growing in a baggie, or in a milk carton...in a container garden or a large school garden...I will always say that planting a seed is magic! It allows children to see where their food comes from and it allows them to get their hands dirty as they learn!

Here is a FREEBIE to get you growing!


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