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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sowing Seeds

Today was the first day in the garden for yet two more classes, from first and second grade. One of the first things we noticed was how happy the kids were to see us. Although many of them had been out in the garden last year, none of them had ever seen me before, but I got more hugs than I can ever remember getting in one day. They also love attention; even if some of the kids sulk a bit, others compete for your undivided attention to the point where they almost fight each other for it. Since this was my first time ever working with children, it was interesting to try to figure out how to handle situations like that, trying to pay attention to the quieter kids while not actively ignoring the more outgoing ones. I was very glad with both the teachers, who were very involved with the whole process, except for a single foray into the playground, upon the exclamation "Hey! That's one of mine!". One of her students had dropped out of line and decided it was more fun to play, but he soon joined in the activities with everyone else.
We planted cucumber, okra, and beets with our second grade class, and kale, cauliflower, and more okra with the first graders. The lesson for today allowed the students to formulate a hypothesis based on the question: "What do you think will happen when we put the seeds into the ground?" At first, the answers were unanimously "grow!" but with a little probing the kids really started to think about what actually happens to the seeds. We also talked about what it takes for a seed to be able to grow properly, including soil, water, air, etc. Candy was not generally considered necessary. With a little time left over, I caught a little beetle in the bed that we were working on, and we had fun learning about the importance of insects to the environment.

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