What to do in Garden Class when it is freezing cold with snow on the ground

My name is Tenisha I am an intern at Gateway Greening. I also worked in the Dig IT program last summer. I am senior at Clyde C. Miller Career Academy. This week we went to Clay Elementary School and did a couple of activities with kids. We couldn’t go outside because it was freezing cold with snow on the ground. So we read the kids a story about becoming a farmer, and most of them were very interested. The room was silent and all the kids listened. At the end they answered the questions we had for them. One of the questions was, “Why can’t we plant anything in our garden now?” All the kids answered, “ It’s too cold and the plants will freeze.” It made me smile to see that they all knew so much. 

After the story we read, the students did an activity. We gave them some seed packs and each seed pack had a matching magnet. We also gave them a magnet board and told them to write warm on one side and cool on the other. We had to help a couple of them spell warm, it was cute. They all were excited for the next step. We asked the students to put the fruit or vegetable magnet under ‘Warm’ if they thought was a warm season plant or ‘Cool’ if they thought it was a cool season plant. Most of the kids knew where some of the magnets belonged. Others looked for the hints on the seed packets. I had fun giving them little clues and watching them try and figure out where the magnets went. The kids were having fun, they were happy and laughing. That made me feel good.

It was now time for us to see the third grade classroom. When we got there the students were already enthusiastic to see us. We read them a story and then asked them questions. The first question was “What is compost and why is it good for the plants?” One of the students said “Compost is dirty”. Then another student said “ It’s good for plants because worms live in dirt.”  Then Mrs. Carolyn asked, “What other things live in compost?” A student answered fungi. So their teacher asked what is fungi.  The student said “It’s a guy who’s fun.” Everyone laughed. We moved on to the next activity. Since the classroom was small and there wasn’t a lot of room we had the kids plant peas so they can grow pea shoots. We had them all guess how long it would take them to grow. The students were saying it would take two months and five months. So we went around the room and gave each student four seeds and a soil pod.  We help the students plant their seeds in their pod and then we collected them. We had some funny conversations about if they ate a pea seed would peas grow in their belly. For next week, we are going to check on our peas and hope that they’re growing, and do some arts and crafts activities.

-Tenisha, Gateway Greening Intern