Calvert – Seeding with the Kindergarteners

Hello Garden Friends,

Last Friday we planted bean seeds with the kindergarteners. I taught them how to plant seeds and they taught me how to be a better teacher.

When I arrived on campus with my guitar I planned to teach the students about the importance of soil by singing “Dirt Made My Lunch” and planting bean seeds. After having done something similar with the 1st graders a few weeks ago I had expected a similar scenario. I was wrong – maybe I’ve been working with high school students too much recently. Anyhow, last Friday I was reminded that the comprehension levels of a K student varies greatly from that of a first grader.

While both age groups are primarily focused on learning using sensory stimuli, the language comprehension abilities of the two age groups vary greatly – especially when it comes to receiving directions and acting on them. Here’s how I broke it down for the young ones – creating a sort of call and response mantra with the students using the bolded phrases:

  1. Get a seed – wait patiently for me to hand you a bean seeds
  2. Find a hole – look closely at the water line for little holes with water coming out
  3. Finger in ground – bury finger to second knuckle by the hole in the pipe
  4. Seed in ground – put the seed where your finger used to be
  5. Cover with soil – lightly scratch the soil to cover your seeds

Beans grow quickly so I expect the kindergarten students to be very excited about the soon to be seedlings 🙂

Until then!

-Jeff Mailes

Jeff Mailes

Jeff Mailes is a garden designer and environmental educator working out of Woodland Hills, CA. A Los Angeles County Master Gardener and UC Davis Alumni, Jeff earned his B.S. in Environmental Resource Science in 2012 and has been growing edibles and natives for the past 6 years.

Jeff’s passion for plants and garden education has led him to school gardens from Los Angeles to Sacramento and all the way up to Portland, Oregon. Now familiar with ecosystems across the West Coast, Jeff has settled back home and works to bring people together over food and inspire the next generation of earth stewards to leave it better than they found it. When not writing about himself in the third person, Jeff enjoys singing with his guitar, going on camping and hiking excursions, and tossing a frisbee around with his friends.