This blog follows the building, cultivating, and harvesting of the Sanderlin IB World School schoolyard garden in St. Petersburg, Florida. Since January 2009, the Edible Peace Patch Project has been developing innovative community-oriented food system and nutrition educational programs in south St. Petersburg, Florida. Sanderlin is the 2nd school to participate in our Garden Education Program.
Seeds: Learning through Death while giving New Life
To see things in the seed, that is genius." ~ Lao-tzu
This morning was a bit hectic, but it all ended up working out in the end.Brad, Nate, and I were supposed to pick up a bunch of logs to finish lining the beds from the recycling center, but on arrival noticed the gate we were supposed to go in was closed.It said that they didn’t open until 9am.Fortunately, the front gate was open, there weren’t many workers there yet, and those that were there were totally fine with us picking up logs early for our cause.
Today’s lesson focused on the initial phase of giving life and starting the new generation: seeds.Each student was given a bean which had been soaking overnight to soften it up for dissection.First they observed the seed and jotted down what they noticed.Next was the prediction phase where each student made educated guesses about what the seed would look like on the inside (I must admit, the beans were already starting to germinate and crack open, so they might have had some help on that one).Finally we dissected the beans, separating them into the seed-coat (skin), the dicotyledons (the big energy packet which makes up the bulk of the seed), and the embryo (the beginnings of the new plant).
My group enjoyed this practice, but I think it is telling how the destructive part of the lesson (let’s not fool ourselves, we killed those beans) was not as fun as the creative part because they got really excited when the time came to use the new knowledge they had just received to plant some seeds!What had once been a complete mystery of a seed magically popping out of the ground could now be envisioned with the seed-coat cracking off as the dicotyledons split and shoot forth the new plant up towards the surface and the sun.This enabled imagination, far from usurping the magic of mystery, allows the children to experience the magic in a much more personal and relatable way.