Curious Minds and Dirty Hands

Have you ever wondered what happens during an elementary school garden lesson with Common Threads? AmeriCorps Food Educators share a sneak peek into our some of our lessons this spring. This is a multi-part series, stay tuned for future lessons!

The fourth spring lesson (by Maddie Breza)

If you haven’t already, read about the first spring garden lesson, the second garden lesson, and the third garden lesson!

The garden is bustling, plants are blooming, and students are hard at work, planting, caring and learning about the garden! You can see a lot of changes in the garden this time of year, as things grow so quickly with the warmer weather and longer daylight hours.

Kindergarteners learned about our wiggly friends in the garden, worms! We learned some worm anatomy, and then went out to the garden to see these garden farmers in action. Kindergarteners also planted the edible flower nasturtium, which is always a great plant to have in school gardens. They are a wonderful addition to salads too.

Slug exploration is a popular activity in the garden!

As first graders continued to grow their knowledge about insects, lesson four focused on a very important aspect of insects in the garden: pollination! Pollination basics were taught, and students observed it happening in the garden. We talked about what different animals pollinate, what plants insects are attracted to, and how animals play a role in pollinating our gardens. Students also planted sunflowers in the garden to attract more pollinators in the future!

Planting seeds together

Similarly, second graders learned about all the different ways that seeds are dispersed in lesson four. Students observed seed dispersal in the garden. They also tended to their radishes that they planted a few weeks, ago – they’re almost ready to harvest!

Third graders incorporated art in the garden and used materials from the garden to practice their knowledge of insect anatomy, making insect art! Fourth graders spent time drawing the different insects they observed in the garden. Both grades were also given the task of building a bamboo bean trellis in preparation for planting bean seeds.

Fifth graders began to think about how all things are connected by looking at how the school garden can be an ecosystem.  They specifically thought about the connections between living and nonliving things in the garden. And of course, they took time to care for the garden – there is always work to be done in a garden!

The temperatures are increasing, seeds are being planted, and students are thriving in the garden. It’s springtime in the school gardens in Bellingham!