The children at the MUEE STEAM Center recently started a gardening project. After expressing interest in the garden area of the outdoor learning environment, the children began weeding the garden to prepare for planting. Children worked to pull weeds and get the soil ready for new seeds. A few days later, the children participated in guided research about what would grow in our area during the fall. Several children were interested in discovering what we could plant. Some ideas the children had to research were blueberries, carrots, broccoli, strawberries, tomatoes, avocado, cabbage, kale, cucumbers, and sugar snap peas. The children used computers and iPads to conduct the research and find out what would grow in the upcoming months. We had meaningful conversations about what fruits and vegetables like warm weather to grow, such as strawberries. While doing research, the children used clipboards, paper, and colored pencils to express their interests and document their findings. We found that carrots, kale, cabbage, and broccoli would be our best choices to plant.
A small group of children asked their peers and teachers to vote on what they would like to plant in order to get the top three veggies. Once again the children used clipboards, paper, and colored pencils to make tally marks for the voting. Carrots were definitely a fan favorite of children and teachers, followed by kale and cabbage.
The next day, children were ready to plant the seeds. We looked at the three different types of seeds and had conversations about how they were alike or different. The children also made predictions about why they thought the seeds looked the way they did. The children used their fingers to create a small hole in the soil for the seeds, then covered it back up. After planting, the children took turns watering the garden to ensure the seeds were off to a good start.
The children now continue to care for the garden by watering and picking weeds when necessary. They have expressed excitement in watching the seeds grow and (hopefully) harvesting some beautiful vegetables this fall/winter.