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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Planting Seeds With Knowledge

This week's lessons are all about seeds, with more advanced lessons for the middle school kids, as Forest described in his blog from Friday to lessons which are geared more towards the younger classes (k-2nd).  Renee and I had two first grade classes come out to the garden today to learn about seeds.  We began by observing the differences between three different kinds of seeds: an okra seed which is tiny, green and round, a garbanzo bean which is also round but a pale tan color and kind of wrinkled and finally a lima bean which is smooth, large and white.  Because we had the two classes come out at once, we didn't get around to doing a sense-of-touch activity with the beans BUT we did get to plant them!  We split the kids into groups of four and had each group plant one of the seeds they possessed from the initial observations. Each kid was given a job to carry out for this exercise, one got to choose which seed was to be planted, another was the 'cup holder,' another was the 'dirt person' and poured the dirt into the cup, and finally we had the planter.  The kids were all really excited about planting but I think they were even more excited about the prospect of planting the seedlings in the garden in a couple of weeks.  To end the lesson, we had a garden parade and marched around the garden in order to show the kids what has changed since the previous week they were all out in the garden. I think wrapping up the lesson with the parade was a lot of fun for the kids and gave them an enjoyable way to envision their part in the garden - they get to plant what is in there, they are responsible for those plants and the garden is there for their benefit.  As the seeds develop and grow throughout the semester, so too will they and I think they understand and embrace that idea.

- Chelsea Ehmann

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