Learning Garden Tours 6-8

Key Understandings
– Students will become familiar with Learning Garden vocabulary and tasks.
– Students will be able to identify what plants need to grow.
– Students will be able to identify 6 plants growing in the Learning Garden.
Materials and Preparation Procedures: Prep at least three activity stations.

Bed Preparation: compost, fertilizer, bucket or bag for weeds

Seeding: seasonally appropriate seeds for planting

Transplanting: seasonally appropriate seedlings for planting

Watering: watering can or upcycled watering cans

Thinning: a clean container for thinned (or harvested) crops

Harvesting: a clean container for harvested crops

Research six plants you want to highlight during the tour. Familiarize yourself with the basics of what plants need to grow LAWN (light, air, water, nutrients).

Teacher Background
In order to survive and thrive, plants, just like humans, have basic needs that must be met. All plants need food, water, a place to live, and optimal temperature to grow and reproduce. These needs can be summarized by the acronym LAWN, light, air, water, and nutrients.

Introduction (15 minutes)
Welcome your students to the Learning Garden. Let them know that today they will be familiarizing themselves with the Learning Garden and learning a few garden based tasks. Students will first take a self-guided tour of the learning garden. Let the students know that in order to familiarize themselves with the Learning Garden they will complete a 5-minute self-guided observation tour. Ask the students to think about the following questions while they are making observations:
1. What do plants need to grow? (light, air, water, and nutrients)

2. What is in the soil that helps plants grow? (nutrients – nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium; worms and other helpful organisms)

3. Where do plants get water from? (rain and your school’s water source)

4. What plants are growing? Do you recognize any? Review the observation questions from above. Take students on a 5-minute tour and identify 6 plants growing in your Learning Garden. Slowly walk around the garden and highlight six plants, say the names loudly and clearly as you point to each plant and pause. Have students repeat back as they follow you around the garden. Ask students if they have ever eaten any of these fruits or veggies before. If students have eaten these fruits and vegetables before, ask them to describe what dish(s) they were found in.

Garden Lesson (30 minutes)
Let students know that next, we will review three different tasks that can be done in the Learning Garden. After the task review, break students up into groups. Each group should spend about 5 minutes at each station completing and modeling the task. Rotate each group through the three tasks. As the teacher, rotate from group to group as needed. Based on the needs of your Learning Garden choose at least three of the stations below for students to rotate through. Big Green provides seasonal seeds and seedlings for you Learning Garden, in addition, your resource binder contains more information about the other stations.

Station One: Bed Preparation
Demonstrate how to properly prepare a bed for planting. This may include removing weeds, lightly turning over the soil with your hands in the bed, and applying compost or organic fertilizers.

Station Two: Seeding
Demonstrate how to properly seed a selected seed (of your choice). Show the seed packet and quickly review the seed spacing and depth information. Plant seed(s) accordingly.

Station Three: Transplanting
Demonstrate how to properly transplant a seedling (of your choice). Review the seedling tag which should include information on spacing and plant depth. Plant seedling(s) accordingly.

Station Four: Watering
Demonstrate how to topwater with a watering can. Show a thorough water of each plant in one garden bed as well as watering the soil in between all of the plants.

Station Five: Thinning
Demonstrate how to properly thin various crops. Thinning is an important step in small-scale gardening and allows for an early harvest and room for larger plants to grow.

Station Six: Harvesting
Demonstrate how to properly harvest various crops that are ready to be harvested. Be sure students are using clean containers and wash their hands prior to harvesting.

Conclusion (10 minutes)
1.Review what plants need to grow

2. Go over the 6 plants that you identified

3. Review the 3 garden skills practiced. Emphasize the importance of watering our garden