Thursday, March 17, 2011

Gardening Unit Study

I have wanted to try my hand at gardening for a couple of years now. But the poor soil in my yard has been a deterrent. However, I recently started doing a lot of research on container gardening. It doesn't seem as difficult as trying to grow food in the ground. So I am going to give it a try.

I want to involve the children as much as possible. So, it just seems right to incorporate gardening into our homeschool.  Currently we are still going through our agriculture study. So, gardening will fit right in.

Below are the free educational resources that I was able to find online. There is actually a lot of good material available on gardening. Praise God! I told the children that we will be purchasing our soil and necessary materials this weekend. And then we will begin our unit on gardening using the resources listed. I hope you find them useful as well.

Coloring and Activity Books
5 a Day the Preschool Way
Do You Know Where Fruits and Vegetables Come From?
Food Fun
Gardening is Great
Growing Gardeners
Meet the Bean: Soybeans are Everywhere
Old Orchard
Organic Farming w/ Lily the Ladybug
Spuddy Buddy

Educator Guides w/ some Activities Included
Awesome Agriculture: Soybeans
Organization of Living Things study
Pondering Plants
Seeds We Eat

A Complete Unit Study
While searching for coloring books on gardening I came across a great unit study called Seeds, by Gwendolyn Nicodemus. I think my children are too young to benefit from it this year. But it will definitely come in handy if we repeat the study in a few years.

The Plan
This is the part where I map out how I plan on using the above free resources. In an ideal life, I would just refer back to this once I start the lesson and follow the plan and have a smooth homeschooling experience. But over the years I have learned that all plans are just that - plans. I have found out (the hard way) to be flexible and to be willing to shorten, lengthen, or skip material - depending on what's working at the time. But I still like to map things out anyway so that I don't go into a new study unprepared.

I am going to print out pages 3,5, and 7 from the 5 a Day book on card stock and put them on the wall as posters. I'll do that before we begin our garden unit study. Then I'll introduce the lesson with Gardening is Great and use this copywork* with it.Organic Farming is an excellent reading book; so, we'll do that next. Here are parts 1, 2, and 3 of the copywork for that - in case it takes a few days to get through the reading. Then we'll move on to Meet the Bean. This activity book does a good job of explaining how seeds grow and there are several hands on activities that look like they will be fun to try. Here is the Bean copywork - 1 and 2.

Once our container garden actually starts to grow we will do as many activities as possible from Pondering Plants. And I'll finish up with Growing Gardeners to help review some of what we have learned.

*The copywork needs to printed out on the landscape setting of your printer.

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