Vesey Elementary School Garden
As the fourth grade science teacher at Vesey Elementary School in Tucson, AZ, one of the science units I teach is called "Structures of Life." Part of this life sciences unit involves the exploration of plants, their structures, their relationship to their environment, and life cycles. I have found that students are always fascinated by the metamorphosis of a hard, dry seemingly lifeless seed into a living, growing plant. Over the years, I have added activities to the basic life sciences, one or two per year, so that we are now at the point where the next logical step is to plant a school garden.
I am also the fourth grade social studies teacher at our school. In addition to the usual history and government aspects of social studies, I spend a fair amount of time teaching students about individual and group roles and responsibilities in society. At nine or ten years of age, most of my students are just beginning to think about such things. A school garden, in which all of the students work and contribute, will help our students to see that they do indeed contribute to society as a whole.
We will be starting from scratch with our garden, so there will be a lot of initial preparation work to be done. We are going to need to purchase all of the basic tools as well as building materials in order to complete this phase. This phase of the project is going to take quite a while to complete. It involves removing sod, ammending the soil, erecting a fence, and constructing an irrigation system.
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