Saturday, January 26, 2013

Learning about Broccoli--and Eating It!

This week and next the second graders are learning about broccoli through math, science, language arts and eating!  Most of the broccoli plants planted by a local boy scout have flowered and it is time to harvest them. They should have been harvested when the head was firm and tight and before they flowered. fyi, when the sprouts start to flower, the plant will stop sprouting. At least we have two plants that aren't flowering yet!

The highlight of the morning seemed to be eating the broccoli which I purchased at Von's. We don't have enough for all second graders to eat what's in our garden.  The kids had three opportunities to eat the broccoli, with or without ranch dressing. Several kids also ate some of the yellow flowers from our garden.

The math lessons: we all stood around the broccoli bed and counted the plants: "There are 20 broccoli plants".  Each class had a team that measured the perimeter of the bed and the height of the tallest and shortest plants.  The tallest broccoli plant is either 25" or 23 1/2 " depending on the group that measured. The shortest broccoli plant is 3". They all should know what perimeter is by now!

The science lesson: I drew the parts of the broccoli plant and labeled them.  We discussed the parts of the plant and that the stem, leaves, florets and flowers are all edible.

Language arts: the children write in their journals every week, recording what I write on the chart. I use the language experience approach and write down the sentences which they give me.

Some children also dug for grubs in one of the empty beds and others added greens and browns to start a new compost bin.  I think we'll be able to prepare the soil for planting as only five grubs were found!

Thanks to the parent volunteers, Ashley and Mr. Alex for their help!

If anyone wishes a good book about composting, Wen-Chia Parker, a Master Gardener and parent at Beethoven, has written a cute book, "Kids Can Compost". I have a copy to share and the second grade also has a copy. The book costs $10.

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