This September, for the first 3 weeks, Sherman Oaks’ 5th, 4th, TK, and 2nd graders all helped out in the garden! Each class (excluding TK) had had garden class before, so we were able to dive deeper into the lessons! Yay!
For the first week, 5th grade learned about permaculture, monoculture, and polyculture. They made a map of the garden to determine what type of garden we have- polyculture! They saw what had grown over the summer and learned what we currently have growing in the garden.
4th and 2nd grades did the soil jar test where they saw how the soil separates into three layers: sand, silt, and clay. They also used moisture meters to determine how wet, moist, or dry our soil was.
TK had their first exposure to the garden, so we used magnifying glasses and looked at all the bugs and plants!
We all taste tested tomatoes and planted bean seeds!
For the second week, 5th grade started making nature boards! Using their maps from last week, they designed the layout of their posters and collected herb leaves from the garden to tape onto their nature boards. They are still a work in progress!
4th grade learned how to identify plants! They went into the garden to find a plant that caught their eye. Once decided, they researched their plant in our garden books to learn all about their specific plant! They drew beautiful pictures and presented their mini research projects to their classmates!
TK learned all about dirt! They used moisture meters to see if our soil was wet, moist, or dry. They used shovels to scoop small soil samples and also got hands on and played with the dirt that had surprise guests- worms!
2nd grade wrote garden poems! We explored the garden to get inspired and then they each wrote a poem or story about the garden. Some even drew amazing pictures!
For the third week, 5th grade learned about the structure of flowers! They drew detailed drawings of flower anatomy and learned what each of the parts does. We looked at the similarities and differences of female and male squash flowers. We also compared and contrasted the pollen of 3 different flowers.
4th grade learned about native, invasive, and exotic species! They went on a scavenger hunt around the garden to find 13 different flashcards with the plants name and native location. We discovered that we only had 2 native plants in our garden- milkweed and strawberries! We voted on the new planting location of another native plant (verbena lilacina ‘de la mina’).
TK learned about garden friends and foes. We were lucky enough to find a bug of each! We found a tomato horn worm (foe) and a praying mantis (friend).
2nd grade learned about the 3 types of honeybees- worker, drone, and queen! After learning about their roles in the hive, we played “bee freeze tag” where the “bees” “stung” (froze) the humans and only the “queen bee” or another human could save you!
We planted marigolds, alyssum, the native plant! We all taste tested strawberries!