Gardening in the Classroom

LEARNING FROM THE GROUND UP   Some of the best gardeners are children. They bring a curiosity and excitement unmatched by the grown garden enthusiast. Most schools have started gardening and composting programs allowing students hands on experience. I work for an after school program called Rally in Juneau, Alaska. One of Rally’s sites is at Harborview elementary and lucky for us they have gardening beds and a composting site on the school grounds. Rally has incorporated the gardens in its summer program to help keep them maintained when school Read More …

Edible Flowers in Alaska

A Lesson Plan for Gardening in Classroom in Alaska, By Amber Reece, An Alaskan Master Gardener Subject Area: Art and Writing Grade Level: Grade 3 Ideal Season For Lesson: Fall Nasturtiums are a spicy, edible flower. Photo by Heidi Rader. Time to Complete Lesson: 90 minutes, divided into three activities Materials Required: Chart paper or other media for recording class discussions Hand drawn flowering squash poster Prepared observation recoding forms (1 per student) Assorted edible flowers such as nasturtiums, pansies, squash flowers, lilies, broccoli, cauliflower Drawing paper and drawing supplies Writing Read More …

“Handy” Parts of a Plant

A Lesson Plan for Gardening in Classrooms in Alaska, by Cheryl Illg, an Alaskan Master Gardener   Subject Area: Writing/Reading/Science Appropriate Grade Level: Grade 2 Ideal season for lesson: Spring Time to complete lesson: 2-3 hours, in four activities that can be divided over several days, if desired. An Asiatic Lily. Photo by Heidi Rader. Materials Required:  From Seed to Plant (Rookie Read About Science) by Allan Fowler From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle Construction paper scissors pencils yarn glue lily or other Read More …

What Do Plants Need to Grow?

A Lesson Plan for Gardening in the Classroom in Alaska, by Cheryl Illg, An Alaska Master Gardener Subject Area: Writing/Reading/Math Grade Level: K-3 Ideal season for lesson: Spring Time needed to facilitate lesson: 1 hour to plant seeds and make first observation. Then there will be several weeks of observation, measurements and documentation. The young surviving plants may then be transplanted outdoors into a garden or planter box to grow for the summer once there is no more chance of frost. Usually June 1st in the south and central parts Read More …

Good vs. Bad Bugs in the Alaskan Garden

A Lesson Plan for Gardening in the Classroom in Alaska, By Shawna Sastamoinen, an Alaskan Master Gardener Subject Area: Science  Grade Level: 3rd  Ideal Season: Fall or Late Spring  Time to complete lesson: About 3 to 4 hours. Additional time will be needed to complete the Curricular Connections/Extension Activities.  Suggested Materials: Specific materials from the Cooperative Extension website are suggested for use in each section where they apply. See bibliography for more pictures and ideas.  Goal and Outcomes: After completing this lesson, students should be able to identify good and Read More …

How Tall Is your Sunflower?

A Lesson Plan for Gardening in the Classroom in Alaska, by Sabrina Silvernale, an Alaska Master Gardener Photo by Heidi Rader. Subject Area: Math Grade Level: K-3 Ideal Season for Lesson: Spring through Early Autumn Time Needed: 20-30 min per activity   Materials Needed: Sunflower seeds, 3 per student. Look for tall varieties, different colors Garden space: Each student’s 1-3 seeds should be planted 12-18 inches from the next students’ 1-3 seeds) Tools to prepare soil, shovel or trowel Strong bamboo canes, one per student, labeled with his or her Read More …