The Kindergarten Gardens Take Root!
Kindergarten students are really “digging” their latest science inquiry – growing fruits and vegetables! Most of the children have been looking forward to this activity since their preschool days, when they would visit the famous kindergarten gardens and get guided tours from the older students.
This year, instead of the gardens being incorporated into an IB unit of inquiry, they are part of a separate science unit focused on growing things. Before planting could begin, the kindergartners created a KWL chart (What do you know? What do you want to know? What did you learn?), which led them to an open discussion about their ideas, prior knowledge, and questions about the topic. They also watched Brain Pop videos and read many books about gardening.
Following additional discussions, the kindergartners began planning their gardens, with one to be built on the north side and one to be built on the south side of the ECC building, and two classes assigned to each garden. Our young farmers soon realized that preparing a garden was no easy task, and they used their research skills to explore what they were planting and why these vegetables would grow best in the warm Florida climate. They then made a list of materials to gather, all while preparing and documenting the tasks. Finally, the seeds, seedlings, and plants arrived and it was time for the children to get their hands dirty!
Over the next few weeks and months, the children will document in their individual plant journals how the vegetables are growing and when they have ripened enough for harvesting. This exercise is not only fun, but also a great way to teach team building, cooperation, communication, and being inquirers. By mid-November, the kindergarten classes should be able to start sampling the fruits – or vegetables! - of their labor! Gardens include eggplant, peas, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, peppers and tomatoes.
Enjoy watching our young gardeners at work: