For the rest of the school year, I’m going to try to stay up to date on what I do with the elementary school kids each week. There may be others out there who would like to have a school garden, but don’t quite know where to start in trying to incorporate it into the curriculum. As they say, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat” so it’ll look different for every school and teacher, but you may get inspired or glean some ideas from me. Also, it’ll help me to not have to re-invent the wheel every year and I’ll have a record of it all.
So here goes.
Day 1 Lesson plan
Introduction: Sing 2 songs out of my song packet (I wanna be good ground, I’ve got the living word). Songs can be found at BibleStorySongs.com
Say your name and what kind of vegetable you like to eat
Review from last year. “Raise your hand and tell me one thing you remember that you liked.” (Gives me a chance to remember their names when I call on them) Things they remembered were Billy the goat, the turtle, the quail, making the quail coop, holding the chickens, harvesting carrots, corn and sunflowers. They also liked the end of the year picnic where they invited their parents and ate a farm fresh meal.
Go on treasure hunt. They had to bring a clipboard with this worksheet.
- What is a 3 letter fruit? Go to that tree. (Fig tree in citrus orchard) (I asked them if they could think of any Bible stories that talked about fig leaves….Adam and Eve).
- Go to where you might find tools to till the soil (tool rack in barn) (I introduced them to the names of a few tools and had a few of them take turns lifting the post hole digger five times each. It’s a bit of a workout for a little person!)
- When you have so much food that you can’t eat it or sell it in one day, where would you put it (cold storage) They LOVED going into the cooler!
- Go to where you might have to prep the soil by hand, not with a tractor (greenhouses)
- Go to where butterflies and bees love to hang out (row of zennia flowers)
- What do we use to heat the greenhouses? (propane tank)
- Go to a plant that is useful when you are sick and you need some good tea (row of ginger and turmeric)
- Go to where I do my office work (office in barn) – At the last clue they helped to crumble grapes into my grape steamer so that the following week they could drink home-made grape juiceExample of my professional looking clues, lol.
My critique of this exercise is that they were so worried about the word that goes in the blank that they didn’t totally understand the rest of the paragraph. But, next week I’ll review it with them and give them juice for getting the right answers. This exercise gave them a “tour” of the farm in a fun way. I had a volunteer open the cold storage door (which is actually a shipping container), so it was also an exercise in problem solving as well as strength.
I did this treasure hunt with the 6th graders on Tuesday and with the 5th graders on Wednesday. One class was running from clue to clue, very competitive and energetic while the other class walked from clue to clue (with the same boy getting there first and finding the clues). They were quieter so I was able to talk to them at each clue too.
Tip: I did not have the next clue written on the back. I told them where they might find the next one after everyone had a chance to write in the answer. That keeps everyone together.
Here is what my grape steamer looks like.