Learning and Growing at Nursery Elementary
by: Rhonda Hooper, Teacher at Nursery Elementary
Check out Nursery Elementary’s Gifted and Talented class and their experience with the Learn, Grow, Eat, Go! Program in Victoria County. If you want to share your story too, contact Taylor Whittlesey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nursery Elementary’s 3rd Grade Gifted and Talented class has definitely been busy since embracing the LGEG curriculum this school year! The students buckled down with both the amazing lessons and growing a garden. They really enjoyed making their Know and Show Sombreros!
The kids were blessed to work with Brenda Anderson, the Better Living for Texans Extension Assistant in Victoria County.
Brenda joined the class, teaching MY PLATE and helping them prepare a featured LGEG recipe, Bok Choy Noodle Crisp.
One of our moms joined us, too! We love parental involvement in our project! The kiddos expanded their lessons from My Plate into recognizing how to plan nutritious meals by cutting pictures out of magazines and seed catalogs and designing balanced plates.
Probably the most poignant lesson learned this year was how to shoulder disappointment when a garden fails due to lack of adequate sunshine, and rodent damage.
The garden location was established four years ago, BEFORE a nearby Oak tree grew into the giant it is now, shading the garden plot too much. And, let’s just say that neighboring moles and gophers were trying to teach tunneling as a means of aeration of the soil, but failed to mention they would charge for their services, taking payment in kind in the form of roots, and even entire plants!! One of our fennel plants completely disappeared, and two others sustained root damage as you can see when comparing the root systems in the picture. The same thing happened with our prized cherry tomato plant, too!
Speaking of tomatoes, the students really enjoyed reading I Will Never NOT EVER Eat a Tomato. They followed by investigating tomatoes that were salvaged from their plant after the mole ate the roots, studying the seeds inside and better understanding the life cycle of plants.
Jairdan: “Learn, Grow, Eat and Go helped me learn how to grow a garden, how much space and how much water it needs, and I learned that you can glue seeds on a paper towel and plant it in the garden!”
Kendal: ”I learned from Two Old Potatoes and Me that when you have a potato and it’s been sitting in your kitchen for a long time, then it will start growing and it doesn’t even need water or sunshine!”
(Just take a look at our Sweet Potato that we rooted! You should see it now! Some of the stems are over 3 feet long!)
Jarely: “We did not have a lot of sun because a tree grew too big and our garden plants did not grow. We need sun for our garden to grow.”
Kameryn: “LGEG is a fun resource that helps you learn how to plant veggies and fruits and make something great to eat and share it with others.”
In closing, we want to thank Texas A&M University, the Junior Master Gardener Program, and all other programs involved with the curriculum for developing Learn, Grow, Eat, and Go! We have certainly learned a lot of important lessons and developed skills that will serve us well as we grow into healthy adults some day! We now have a true passion for gardening and realize its importance in our health and well-being. At the end of our project, we invited Miss Brenda and two other Victoria Extension Agents out for Bok Choy Noodle Crisp using Bok Choy we grew! Paige Bartek, 4-H agent and Gracie Walling, FCS agent enjoyed looking at our garden and dining on our delicious cuisine!!! We appreciate the support of Texas Agri-Life Extension in Victoria County!
Nursery Elementary Third Grade Gifted and Talented Class