As we ride the weather rollercoaster that is spring in Indiana, Garden Teams around Indy are busy with all the prep work and coordination needed to ensure a bountiful spring growing season. We had a great turnout for our Spring Planning & Planting workshop at James A. Garfield School #31 where we shared tips on planting, watering, and how to use the garden at recess. Below you can find a summary of each topic we covered with links to related resources.
With a nod to the first annual Plant A Seed Day, this Wednesday, March 20, we covered the basics of planting both seeds and starts with students, how to use a planting string to help with seed spacing, and seed related lessons on our new interactive database.
- Check out The Greenhouse – Big Green’s searchable lesson database
- Planting Strings Activity
- Germination Lesson (K-2)(3-5)(6-8) Tip: Sprout peas or beans a week in advance and have students use a hand lens to observe germination
- Spring Planting Plan
For schools with early planting days, spring may require more hand watering if the outside water is not turned on yet. Laura shared an activity called Pass the Cup that can help prepare a student group to work together and develop focus and careful hands in a fun way before watering. It also aligns nicely with our Little Rain Clouds activity.
Garden Team building:
We offered time to reflect on how to build out the garden team for folks who would like more support from their fellow teachers. This Building Your Learning Garden Team worksheet can help you think through the process of developing a robust and sustainable team.
Recess Garden Engagement:
When the Learning Garden is close to the playground, kids tend to spread out and use all the space available to them. Below are some ideas to help you use your Learning Garden as a structured play space during recess.
- Have a collection or list of alternative measuring methods (What you need: hands, feet, ruler, trowels, measuring tape, yardstick, pen, phone, clothes pins, etc) and ask kids to measure parts of the garden with different units.
- Ground-surface weeding competition (What you need: Bucket (5 gallon), gloves, hand shovel, optional scale or some way to quantify) – Encourage kids to try and get the longest root.
- Scavenger Hunt and Learning Garden Bingo Cards (Version 1, 2, 3, and 4)
- Insect IIdentificationSheet – kids can help remove pests.