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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Creepy, Crawly, CRITTERS!

This dead cockroach was being eaten by many red ants and thus provided a great example of how ants are predators in the garden.
Today was a beautiful day at the Edible Peace Patch. Liz, Julia, and I worked on watering and weeding in the garden before we were surprised by an extra class around 11:30! As a bonus we ended up getting to do a practice lesson with a wonderful group of Kindergarten students. We explained the lesson and then split up into three groups. After briefly reviewing the rules of the garden, Liz, Julia, and I took our groups into the garden and began looking under rocks with the children in our groups. It was wonderful to see the great interest these young girls and boys had in the garden and the creatures which live there! Then, once the bugs were returned and the rocks replaced, the kids went in and my team and I did a little more work in the garden before deciding to work on a well organized lesson plan for the next class. We also collected some grubs and other live bugs to use as examples during the next lesson. Julia and I remembered that this class had been quite hyper in the garden the week prior, so we knew this would be necessary if we hoped to keep their interest. Finally, the class came out and I am happy to say that we were successful in connecting with the kids and teaching them about this other part of gardening. After introducing ourselves again, Julia and Liz reminded them of the rules of the garden. Julia then proceeded to talk about the predators bugs, Liz explained the pollinators role, and then I addressed how decomposers/recycler bugs help the garden as well. I then took out some of the living examples we had collected to show them what to look for and allow them to hold them before we ventured into the garden to find new bugs for themselves. It was wonderful how interested the kids were and it significantly improved their cooperation.
The kids enthusiastically responding to the questions Liz asked about Pollinator bugs!

One of the girls in my group teaming up with her friend to carefully look under some big rocks!

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