Sunflower second-graders planted seeds, bulbs, and seedlings in raised-bed gardens in their Learnscape outdoor classroom. Watch the video.
“Planting and caring for our garden connects directly to our science standards in second grade,”
Sunflower teacher, Gina Avery said.” The standard includes learning about what plants need to live and grow and we talked about air, water, and sun.”
Crystal Fritz with the Kansas City Community Gardens (KCCG) organization helped lead the lesson and the planting process, allowing every second-grader to participate.
"The gardens also help build a connection between the student and their school,” noted Avery. This is one of our schoolwide goals, to help make every student feel connected to Sunflower Elementary. The garden will give them the opportunity to share with their families and evoke pride in their effort.”
The class plans to check the garden during recess and make sure it is watered three times a week.
“In May they will harvest lettuce, spinach, cilantro, radishes, and green onions and have a tasting party,” second-grader Natalie Sime said. “I am looking forward to tasting our cilantro. It’s my favorite.”
Several community partners helped make these gardens grow at Sunflower. Hollis + Miller built the gardens in the outdoor Learnscape to provide environmental learning opportunities for the students and staff. Missouri Organic provided the topsoil and compost. Shawnee Mission schools also provided compost for the gardens.
Second-grade teachers Gina Avery and Britney Fuchs will be presenting an in-service workshop for other Shawnee Mission teachers about growing gardens. They will share their experience and resources from their Sunflower gardens to continue to promote gardens across the district.