Drawing our Garden at Utah!

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I had been looking for a way to introduce hands-on creativity during garden class. This week, at Utah St. Elementary, my lesson included teaching producers and consumers. Two of my classes consisted of ETK students or pre-preschoolers. We discussed what effect the sun has on plants, where plants draw their energy from, what eats plants and why. As usual, it’s difficult for students this young to sit still. Feet start wiggling and bodies start to shift in their seats – eager to start walking around the garden.

I then gave students the option to draw either a producer or consumer. We walked around the garden so that they could have an example to draw from. Some chose tomato plants that are plentiful towards the back of the garden. Others chose a white cabbage butterfly that landed on some flowering kale, to the students’ amazement. And others choose ladybugs or lettuce.

When we sat down again to prepare to draw I passed out colored pencils, markers and paper. As each student began drawing they remained quiet and focused. The aids, teachers, and I stared at each other in wonder as the students stayed in this state for over five minutes. As the students finished, one by one, they came over to me to explain their drawings. This is a ladybug, they explained. And over here is its helicopter. Great I responded.

And another drew herself and her father next to a giant tomato.

And another drew Batman in the garden with a butterfly.

I laughed to myself quite a bit as they had completed the assignment. But each had done so with their own imagination. I would say I should give more specific instructions the next time I teach this lesson, but I very much enjoyed witnessing their creativity.

Rocio Prado

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