The kindergarten curriculum introduces students to gardening. They study how living organisms use the resources in their habitats to meet their biological needs. In the garden, they learn how to use tools properly to transplant, sow seeds, harvest, and prepare food. Students learn some of the basic components of gardening: the sun, soil, plant parts, and common garden fauna. They learn how animals and people can change the environment to meet their needs and how to reduce their negative impact on the environment.
Students tour the natural parts of the school campus using their five senses. They learn what plants need to grow and use garden tools to plant crops in their classroom patio gardens. They sing the “Inch by Inch” song.
Students learn the different parts of plants that can be edible and taste roots, stems, seeds, flowers, fruits, and leaves. They sing the “Six Plant Parts” song. They create their own plant using parts found in the gardens.
Students explore what soil is made of by sampling and dissecting soil from different parts of the schoolyard. They inspect the compost bin to see how insects break down decaying matter into good soil. They learn that composting reduces the waste that humans produce and returns nutrients to the garden. They sing the “Dirt Made My Lunch” song.
Students examine nests and learn how birds make different nests depending on what resources are available in their environment. They make bird treats to help them get through winter. They examine and compare down and flight feathers with magnifying glasses.
Students tour the schoolyard to collect trash and identify where waste comes from and how the choices they make about their lunch and snacks can reduce waste at school. They learn how materials are recycled and identify choices that can be made in purchasing drink containers. They sing “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” They meet the vermicomposting worms and see how they break food down into rich compost we can use.
Students learn how ladybugs help plants grow through eating harmful insects. They study their life cycle and body parts. They release live ladybugs into the gardens and inspect the compost bins for other helpful insects.
Students hike a poetry sculpture walk in the baylands. They create a poem and rock sculpture about a plant, animal, or other natural object they met in the park.
Students learn how the sun provides energy for the plants that is passed on to the animals. They test the effects of sunlight on the Earth’s surface by comparing rocks, sand, wood, water, and soil from sunny and shaded areas. Students construct a solar oven and use it to make a garden quesadilla. They engineer either a cardboard sunshade or an insulating case for a thermometer to raise or lower temperature.
Students learn to harvest, prepare, and enjoy the vegetables they have grown in the garden.