Lessons for Harvest Time

Martha McCormickEnvironmental Education, Uncategorized1 Comment

Harvest basket

It’s harvest time in Iowa! It’s been a mostly warm September, and we’re bringing in buckets of tomatoes, The Jolly Green Giantbouquets of basil and parsley, and enough carrots to share with the Jolly Green Giant!

Kids are gathering produce and learning in school gardens all over the country as well. It’s tempting to get all sentimental about kids raising food for their school lunches, but we need to be careful to keep the focus on learning.

The main reasons for school gardening projects is to get kids excited about how things grow–firsthand. To apply math concepts like graphing and fractals to real life. To experience the wonder of wiggly worms as they turn veggie trimmings back into soil. To wonder so much they want to read, ask questions and read some more.

To help teachers, parents, and volunteers make the most of harvest and the rest of the seasons in the garden, the Next Step team developed three sets of lessons for each grade level. A big thank you to Des Moines Schools’ Farm to School program for bringing innovative education to Iowa’s most diverse population.

Check out “Harvest and Celebration” ideas now, and come back in the spring for lessons to do in the garden related to planning and planting. Summer is always challenging, but lessons that connect learning with garden maintenance will take some of the work out of it.

Next Step Adventure developed the lessons to help teachers capitalize on the garden’s capacity for inspiring wonder in the lives of youngsters. Let us know what you think!

One Comment on “Lessons for Harvest Time”

  1. These lessons are so great! The Garden Scavenger Hunt is super fun!! Can’t wait to use them again next spring!!

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