A plant is what?!


When teaching about gardening, it is impossible to engage students if they don’t know what part of a plant I am talking about! For this lesson, I covered the parts of a plant. I discussed the roots, stem, leaves, fruit and flowers. I brought in a dug up mallow plant (to show roots, stem, leaves), celery (to show the stem), swiss chard and kale starters (to show the whole plant and root ball in dirt) and oranges from my tree (for a snack and to show that the fruit holds the seed). For the young students at Second Street Elementary, I asked them questions to make them think about produce that comes from parts of the plant. I gave them celery and let them watch me plant the swiss chard and kale after the lesson. I had them draw different foods that were of each part, and for the second graders, they wrote a description too.  For the older students, we talked about the parts of the plant and their different functions as well as transport systems and briefly touching on plant reproduction, which was planned for the week after. I had them draw and label the plant. I gave the students observation time and directed them to observe edible plants that were growing and what part they saw and used. For snack, they got to have a orange slices (that they loved!)

 

Sarah Shutman

Pride in Our Garden at T.S. King Middle School

One of the big challenges of a school garden is to make it useable for all–it shouldn’t be a museum where students can only look at what is inside or a pristine place limited to only the kids who are enrolled in a garden class. At King, we are lucky to have a garden that…
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From Earthworms to Kale Tacos at KIPP Comienza

Garden time this month for our friends at KIPP Comienza involved learning about compost, harvesting, and the butterfly cycle. Our compost lesson began with a short lesson on the compost cycle and was followed by a card game they played in pairs. We played with three different cycles: apples, bananas, and pumpkins; the objective was…
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Worms Are Our Friends at Bushnell Way Elementary!

I had let the students know I was going to bring worms so they were all very excited. When the class of kindergarteners came into the garden, they immediately swarmed around me asking “are we going to see the worms today?!” I laughed and said yes. They eyed my large worm farm container with excitement.…
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Discovering Seeds at El Sereno Elementary

The students at El Sereno Elementary discovered that seeds come in all different shapes and sizes. They had fun investigating the seeds and guessing what plant the seed would turn into. And then finding some of the plants in our garden! We examined lima beans and cut them in half in order to see all…
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A Compost Relay at Atwater Elementary

One of the 4th grade classes at Atwater Elementary participated in a compost relay race. It was pouring rain outside in the garden so we had the race in the library. The students were placed in 5 different groups and had to complete 8 tasks to finish the race. Before we started the race, we…
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The Wait for Water is Over- Berendo is Blooming!

This month at Berendo Middle School, the students learned about the soil pie chart, producers & consumers, climates & seasons, and parts of plants. This was these students first exposure to the garden so there was lots to learn! With the construction going on, the water had been turned off for a couple weeks so…
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Ladybugs, Seeds, & Weeds at 2nd Street!

This month, the students at 2nd Street Elementary learned about dirt, friends & foes, seasons, and parts of plants. This was these students’ first exposure to the garden class so we were starting from ground zero- very exciting! For the “Let’s Talk Dirt” lesson, the students got their hands dirty touching some wet clay soil…
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Vine St Gardeners

This month Vine St students worked hard on creating a good environment to cultivate and grow new plants. We learned about what we can compost and where we can put our food scraps to make healthy organic matter to add to our beds. We learned about water conservation and spread hay over our beds to…
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Sherlock Gardner Detectives

This month at Gardner Elementary, we talked about the importance of composting and reducing our waste in the world and built a compost pile when they can easily be taken to create new things, new life. We learned about what native plants means and talked about the benefits and deficits of growing non-native plants in…
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Harvesting Embryos at Arroyo Seco

There was an abundance of fruit and now there’s an abundance of seeds to harvest at Arroyo Seco! Seeds can travel in multitudes of ways and we’re pretty certain that some birds or squirrels will be eating and defecating some of these seeds to start a garden in another place. But we were able to…
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Getting organized at Taking the Reins

By Marina Frugone | November 21, 2018

“How do we know when to harvest?”  aaaah…. a hunch? a feel? it smells right? fruit’s the right size? Why don’t we make a harvest calendar! Pulling out the trusty UC Master Gardener Handbook and looking up the approximate harvest time for each of our plants. The girls are attentive!    Also, though it is…

A world beneath our feet… ALC students dig it up

By Marina Frugone | November 21, 2018

“Eeeeeewwwwwwwwww!” said ALC student. “What did I do?” said squirmy worm exposed to the sunlight. “Worms are amazing. Here, grab one and I’ll tell you about what they do” said Garden Ranger. “Their poop is really good for the plants and they create air pockets for roots. Worms are legit.” said other ALC student. ”…

Sprouts for the Sprouts at Mid-City’s Prescott

By Marina Frugone | November 20, 2018

The 1st and 2nd graders of Mid-City’s Prescott School of Enriched Sciences (the sprouts, the 3rd, 4th and 5th graders are the seedlings…) watched these radish babies grow from seed to seedling and last week we discovered why root vegetables sometimes grow hugging each other…like these carrots… Once roots start to grow and grow under…

Stewardship at Taking the Reins

By Marina Frugone | November 20, 2018

Every Sunday I teach at Taking the Reins, a non-profit dedicated to building their four core concepts: responsibility, confidence, teamwork and leadership to teen girls in LA. Last Sunday, our main lesson was on garden troubleshooting and land stewardship where we made a list of things to do when you walk into the garden: watch…

Growing in the City…

By Marina Frugone | November 5, 2018

Between Westlake (McArthur Park) and Downtown LA you’ll find Miguel Contreras Learning Complex, a high school made up of several ‘sub’ schools. One of them, the Academic Leadership Community or simply ALC. The after school garden group meets every Tuesday from 1:30-3PM in a small but oh so mighty garden overlooking downtown. From day one,…

The Wait for Water is Over- Berendo is Blooming!

By Catherine Siefert | November 30, 2018

This month at Berendo Middle School, the students learned about the soil pie chart, producers & consumers, climates & seasons, and parts of plants. This was these students first exposure to the garden so there was lots to learn! With the construction going on, the water had been turned off for a couple weeks so…

Ladybugs, Seeds, & Weeds at 2nd Street!

By Catherine Siefert | November 30, 2018

This month, the students at 2nd Street Elementary learned about dirt, friends & foes, seasons, and parts of plants. This was these students’ first exposure to the garden class so we were starting from ground zero- very exciting! For the “Let’s Talk Dirt” lesson, the students got their hands dirty touching some wet clay soil…

Journaling at Micheltorena

By Alex Arciniega | December 15, 2018

A few months ago, I trained under master gardener extraordinaire, Alexys. She brought out a gardening journal that was given to her by a family member and I just fell in love. I’ve been documenting my personal garden on Insta, via texts, in journals, you name it! So, if we’re going to work with kids,…

Upper Classes Presentations @Micheltorena

By Alex Arciniega | December 15, 2018

It’s time for winter break, and although the kids are probably so excited about the time off, it’s a bittersweet time for me as a garden ranger. Week 6 was our last session for this rotation and I couldn’t be more proud of my upper classes. Not only have these kids grown tremendously, but I…

Getting Kids Going with Composting @ Micheltorena

By Alex Arciniega | October 29, 2018

Kids are awesome! No, really, they are! They intuitively get things that take adults years to understand, and they don’t have all of these ingrained barriers. With that said, let’s get dirty. Compost. EWWWWWW right? Not really as it turns out, I only heard one “ew” from my classes and we moved on. I was…