Drawing Seeds and Learning Names at Utah St. Elementary
This week I needed to finish up learning the students’ names and we needed to learn about seeds.
Because this lesson took place the literal day before LAUSD went on winter break there was a lot of excitement in the air. My first class of students came by dressed in their Christmas best. They were going to have a holiday party in their class and were accordingly instructed to wear nice, bright clothes. And, although all of them wanted to share their holiday plans and outfits with me, I had to usher them back into the name game activity because I hadn’t learned all their names yet.
After miraculously coming up with five consecutive garden names that started with the letter “K,” I explained to the students that we would not be meeting for 3 weeks. Therefore, we were going to spend our lesson today learning about seeds so that we could plant seeds and let them grow in our absence! Because these classes are much younger than most of my classes, I drew out the shape and parts of a seed for them in a worksheet. It was their job to label and color them. As I was handing out the colored pencils and markers, one student began to get upset that they couldn’t grab all the colors they wanted at the same time. The teacher (who was prepared for this type of situation) began to recite “you get what you get…” and the rest of the class echoed: “… and you don’t get upset!” I marveled at this genius lesson she had taught them. This appeased most of the students, but the student who was upset from before was becoming even more upset. The teacher instructed me to let them feel their feelings so I walked around remarking on other students’ choices of colors or fonts. All in all, the students as a whole loved the opportunity to color the seeds because they were working on coloring inside the lines.
Then, when it came time to plant their seeds I asked the students to form their seed cups so I could distribute pumpkin and carrot seeds. I was worried that the upset student wouldn’t want to partake in the activity of planting seeds. But, when I asked them to compare the seeds in their hands with the seeds they had labelled and colored, they were so surprised about how small the parts of a seed must be. The previously upset student hesitantly reached out their hand to accept the seeds and that was that.
I then let the class wander the garden to choose a spot for their seed. We planted them together and they all left feeling accomplished.
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