Starting a Garden Club

Your Names: Guyla Woodbrey and Linda Bois

Class Grade Level(s): Kindergarten – Grade 4

Class Subject: Extra-curricular School Gardening Club

Number of Students in the class: 18 student club members / 2 student P.B.I.S. award recipients who will be invited to select meetings/events

Lesson/Project Name: Saccarappa Gardening Club

A. Pre-Reflection

  1. What are your professional teaching goals going into this?
  • We will establish an extra-curricular school gardening club for students who want to be more involved with gardening (beyond their classroom commitment of taking care of one raised bed.)
  • Through our school gardening club, we will introduce our students and staff members to the joys of gardening.
  • We will introduce participants to the art and science of gardening using reading, math, science, social studies, and writing skills.
  • We hope that our club will help foster student leadership skills and may lead to future hobbies and career opportunities.
  • We will teach students about healthy life-style choices (exercise through gardening) and the nutritional value of eating fresh fruits and vegetables (healthy eating).
  • We will enter an exhibit into the Cumberland County Fair in September.
  • We will establish neighborhood and community connections by offering extra produce to our neighborhood families and our city food pantry.
  • We will contact Garbage to Gardens for free compost, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, FEDCO Seeds, and Pine Tree Seeds to help defray club costs and also to find out what other resources these companies can provide.
  1. What are your SKILL & CONTENT goals for students going into this?
  • Saccarappa School will have an additional extra-curricular club offering. Eighteen to twenty students will have an opportunity to join a gardening club.
  • Gardening club members will have more time to explore and study topics which cannot be incorporated during the regular school day.
  • Students will use reading, math, science, social studies, and writing skills in a real world way to take our school garden to the next level.
  • Students will assume some of the garden planning, care, and maintenance which was previously the responsibilities of the lead gardening teacher, staff members, and neighborhood families.

B. The PLAN 

  1. Materials 
  • Saccarappa School Gardening Club Application
  • Monthly Outline for Gardening Club Meetings (see below)
  1. The Class/Project

To create a multi-age, school wide, extra-curricular gardening club at Saccarappa School using our existing school garden/grounds.

The gardening club advisors will meet with each classroom and introduce the gardening club and discuss how students may join this extra-curricular, after school program. Students will be given a monthly outline of activities and events for the year. The advisors will review the student application and explain the process for selecting student club members. Students and classroom teachers will be given applications to complete.

Outline for Gardening Club Meetings (subject to change):

September – harvesting and preparing exhibits/entries for the Cumberland County Fair

October – preparing the raised beds for winter

November – nutrition, cooking, and food preparation

December – design and create plant markers or other garden projects

January – healthy soil: worms and composting

February – planning for the next growing season

March – start seedlings

April – plant a cold weather crop (lettuce, spinach, or kale)

May – organize/assign classroom raised beds and planting

June – planting, weeding, and harvesting of the cold weather crop

July and August – summer care, harvesting, donations

Prep before going outside:

During the classroom presentations to students, club advisors will wear gardening costumes. Props (including gardening tools, etc.) can also be used to help generate excitement about the gardening club.

Meet with each classroom and discuss:

* Their “invitation” to attend a special meeting in the school garden.

* Student behavior expectations for this outing.

Outside activity:

Classes will meet in the school garden (in the adjoining outdoor classroom section on the granite benches) for this activity. Club advisors (dressed in gardening attire) will explain this extra-curricular offering, review the monthly meeting outline, and distribute applications to interested students.

Classroom follow-up activity: Club advisors will conduct a follow-up visit to each classroom to collect completed applications.

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