Calvert – Seedlings of Hope
Hello Garden Friends,
This week in the garden we had a lesson about drought tolerant plant adaptations with the 5th graders. Seeing as the water to the garden is still shut off, this seems like the perfect lesson to get the kids thinking about how plants deal with extreme growing conditions. After giving several examples of different drought tolerant adaptations and how they work, we went outside the garden to try and find some hardy plants.
Here are a few examples of things that the students were looking for. 1) fuzzy leaves which reduce wind shear and evaporation loss from the surface of the leaf 2) white leaves which reflect sunlight and heat 3) oily or waxy leaves which trap moisture in the leaf 4) wide thick leaves that have a low surface area to volume ratio 5) taco-shaped leaves that self-shade the inner parts of the leaf 6) spines to protect the plant from animals who might want to steal the moisture from inside the plant 7) deep roots for harvesting water from way underground.
When looking for hardy plants, I had the students try and find the most drought tolerant plant based on counting the number of adaptations it had. There were several candidates for consideration, but the palm tree ended up winning because it had spiky stems, taco-shaped leaves, waxy leaves, deep roots, and fuzz.
After the lesson a few students planted a few seedlings in the garden to encourage the watering teams to manually water certain areas during recess. After all, its more fun watering plants than seeds under the soil. We are solely manually watering the garden now that the timers have been shut off by the district.
Until next time,
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