A Fun Review of Garden Lessons
Kahului Elementary School’s 1st grade garden classes recently did Garden Scavenger Hunts as a fun way to review the lessons they have learned so far this year:
- Identifying the parts of the plant: flower, stem, leaves, roots and their purpose
- Recognizing our insect and bug friends in the garden, and where to find them.
- Using our five senses to discover sounds, smells, textures and colors (and tastes!) in the garden.
- Understanding what “weeds” are, how to identify and remove them. (If in doubt, don’t pull it out!)
Each pair of students was given a collection box courtesy of Hawaiian Moons Natural Foods containing a “checklist,” scissors and a “bug cup” with instructions to collect the following:
- A flower.
- A bug, insect or worm.
- Two weeds – one per student.
- Something that smells/stinky.
- A heart-shaped leaf.
What they Found
Marigolds provided lots of flowers; students hunted down ants, sow bugs and worms, and weeds were easy to come by. “Smelly” items included the lemon, Thai or Italian green basil, green onions, sage, lemongrass or rosemary which all have strong smells. One student insisted the flower of the marigold was sufficiently smelly to qualify! ʻUala (sweet potato) was the first choice for a heart-shaped leaf, but the beans and squash plants lost a few leaves too!
The Garden Educator “checked” the items for the first pair of students to complete the scavenger hunt. Subsequent pairs of students were “checked” by classmates. This is where the real learning came in as they questioned each other as to whether or not a plant “smelled” enough, whether a leaf was “heart-shaped” enough, and whether or not the top of a weed counted or, “Does it need to have the roots attached?”
During after-activity follow-up questions with students it was clear all had improved their garden literacy and ability to identity and describe what they had found, as well as added new words to their vocabularies. Some students also learned that keeping an ant in a cup has its challenges.
Well done, Kahului Elementary School!