I teach 6th grade in Fresno, California. Many of my students have no gardening experience. Others have parents who do agricultural work in fields. Still others have parents who keep a small home garden.
To keep our darlings motivated in these final three weeks of school, we intermediate teachers are teaching “electives” for the final hour of the day. In this time, we can teach how we want. Wow! While others are leading such varied efforts as Aztec dancing, percussion and the Art of Collecting, I am teaching Gardening. There are so many options, and I start tomorrow. We teachers literally have had about three days to think about exactly what we will do and how. My group — 4th through 6th graders — will be with me for one week.
So Day One is sizing up as:
- taking roll since there will be a lot of faces I do not know;
- preview of the week and list of items they need for future garden projects;
- rules of behavior while in garden and consequences for those who cannot handle it;
- introducing students to the Great Sunflower Project and its goal for garden citizens like us to count bees (maybe by June);
- passing out a garden log sheet to personalize with their own gardening experience, before we go out;
- measuring height and describing sunflowers planted two weeks ago as seeds alongside the computer lab;
- taking mugshots, so to speak, of each student for use in an undetermined garden project;
- and from the http://schoolgardenweekly.com/ website, a seed sprouting project in plastic cups, except we will use plastic ziploc bags and tape them to the window to keep warm. I wanted something hands-on for the first day that they could follow thru the week. Will we get all this done in an hour? Guess I’ll find out!