My summer garden classes for kids

Chickie'sMomaInNH

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@thistlebloom the corn went in the mail yesterday. i hope you have it for this weekend!

when i was in high school i remember doing a tree identification project for biology class. then in animal science we had to do a project we called 'weed vs feed' since it involved identifying what plants were ok to feed to livestock. we took and pressed the plants then mounted them on cardstock, compared them to a book on plants and determined if they were safe to have in a field or should be avoided.
 

digitS'

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Weeds can be fun, too. Nah, I'm not talking about for the table.

I found a Jimsen Weed. I'm fairly sure that I'd never seen one in my garden until just 3 or 4 years ago. This one was where there were sunflowers last year. That's where the others have been.

It is native to some places in the US. Quite a problem for the British after they showed up in Jamestown. Poisonous, so you would have to be careful what is said to kids.

Kids aren't always very interested in inanimate plants. We have some animated ones! Your "quaking" aspen leaves never seem to stop moving. There are mobile weeds - the tumbleweeds.

The pigweed variety is only one of several in this area. It might be fun for kids to be able to identify them as garden weeds. They are everywhere growing right now. Soon, they will be scattering their seed everywhere, too!

Steve
 

thistlebloom

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We've skipped a few Saturdays due to family camping trips and the Fourth of July celebrations, but I finally have a few photos to post from a couple of weeks ago.

We did a geography segment with some blank U.S map pages . The kids located and colored in the states where the TEG members live that sent them seeds. They found New York (NYboy), New Hampshire (Chickiesmoma), West Virginia (Journey) and California (Ninnymary). :)

We had a weed picking contest and the results ranged from a tie of 1.13 lbs. to the winner at 5.12. That was my competitive girl. When she heard it was a contest she was on fire! Winner got 2 popsicles (they all get one after every class).

They planted Journeys heirloom beans, I know it's a little late in the season, but I hope they have time to mature. I let the kids pick the variety they wanted and Eye of the Tiger was the favorite, with one Mollys Zebra, and one Piros Feher (the 9 year old girl who wanted to be different ). ;) Those seeds sprouted in two days and are growing fast!

They also planted a plot of Glass Gem corn from Chickiesmoma. It's up and looking good, but seems spotty....the blame I think falls on Sweetpea and her chick
who are now hating life in chicken jail (a rabbit cage).

The scarlet runner beans from ninnymary are blooming and the girls are proud of their side because theirs has almost reached the top of the arch. :p

The sunflower room is a bit lopsided. you can tell which plants the kids lavish water on. That would be the side closest to the water tubs. But they are now over the kids heads and they are anxious to see them bloom.

So here's some pics from a hot day gardening...

Cooling off.....

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Weed pulling contest...

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First pumpkin bloom...

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Mulching...

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Refilling the tubs...

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journey11

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Like X 10! They look like they're having a blast. Got such a good chuckle out of your story; kids are so funny! I figured aside from the cool looking beans they would also like the animal names. :)

I really love this idea. Every community ought to have a kids' gardening club. I don't know how it might work with some of the kids in my neighborhood though. They are quite wild!
 

thistlebloom

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Like X 10! They look like they're having a blast. Got such a good chuckle out of your story; kids are so funny! I figured aside from the cool looking beans they would also like the animal names. :)

I really love this idea. Every community ought to have a kids' gardening club. I don't know how it might work with some of the kids in my neighborhood though. They are quite wild!


I don't really know....I think it has to seem like a privilege to be in the group, and if there is any bad behavior they're out.
I haven't had any bad behavior, but there has been a bit of laziness and wanting to quit on the "boring" parts like weeding. I was stopping for popsicle breaks about halfway through my lesson plan, but found that the boys especially lost interest once they had eaten their treat and were asking to leave.

I get really annoyed with kids who get whiny and say they're bored, so I told them all that the class wasn't a requirement and I only wanted those who wanted to learn to come. If they weren't interested in working and playing then please don't waste my time. Those who persevere through the work AND the fun would get their handlens and lanyard at the end and get to attend the final "graduation" bbq and show their parents what they did with all their hard work. In other words if you start something, don't quit, see it through to the end. (A few think I'm mean. Too bad.)

I did send one boy home when he got whiny and said he was bored. His mom made him help her with housework. :p He showed up a few days later on his own and asked if I would let him pull the weeds around his pumpkin and mulch it. The activity that he originally balked at.
But the clincher for most was moving the popsicle treat time to the very end. :D
 

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