Planting Seeds

Planting Seeds

Planting Seeds: Empowering our Children with Ways to Protect the Environment while Cultivating the Earth

Monday, February 27, 2006

Getting our act together + Session 3 Details

Our environmental stewardship project is underway and we have begun planning our curriculum. We have chosen the agricultural process for our educational topic. Our program will include 5 sessions in a classroom at a local elementary school. The first four sessions will be taught by an individual team members. Each of us has selected a different topic:

1) Melissa--Melissa is going to talk about decomposition. What do plants need to grow?

2) Amanda--Amanda's session will center on how farmers grow food. What are the different methods involved in agriculture?

3) Justin--In my session, students will learn about the nutritional and environmental benefits of organic foods (see below).

4) Suzanne--Suzanne will discuss where our food goes. How can we reduce needless waste?

At the end of each session, the team member will distribute a hand-out to students with information for their parents on the session's topic. We also plan to include tips for families on how they can contribute to environmental awareness and conservation. Through these media, it is our hope that the environmental message demonstrated in the classroom will be reinforced in the home. Educating families is crucial in this process.

The last session will be a culminating activity, led by all of us, where students will have the opportunity to creatively share what they have learned.

Some more details about Session 3:

Session 3, the session that I am facilitating, will introduce students to the world of organic foods. Students will be handed a piece of construction paper. First, they will draw their favorite fruit or vegetable. Then, on the back, students will be asked to draw "chemicals." The idea is for students to understand what substances go into the food they eat. Next, I will ask a few students to share what they have drawn with the class. Hopefully, this will generate questions. A few questions I anticipate: What are chemicals? What kinds of chemicals go into our food? How do they get there? Why do we need them--or, why don't we need them?

In the second part of the session, I will give a brief lesson on the use of chemicals in agriculture. I will explain to the students what it means for a fruit or vegetable to be "organic." I will then present to them an organic piece of fruit as well as an inorganic piece of fruit, and they will be encouraged to guess which fruit is which. We will then discuss the benefits of organic agricultural methods, both for us and the environment. Finally, I will reveal which fruit is the organic one. The session will finish with a taste testing of organic fruit for the students.

Some considerations:

-I must find a local store (or marketplace) where I can buy organic fruit
-I must talk to the teacher in the classroom regarding the materials I will need (paper, markers, etc.)
-I must find out if there are students with any food allergies that might be of concern in this project
-I must create a lesson plan and materials that are on the students' level

I hope you have found our project overview and the details about my session informative. We would appreciate any feedback that our interested readers have to offer.

Be well,

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