Friday, March 27, 2015

7 ways to incorporate your school garden in Spanish class

Does your school have a garden? Mine does. Parents, teachers, and students have put in countless hours and effort to create a bounty of flowers and veggies in our bus loop, with the hope and intention that classrooms will incorporate the garden into their lessons. And the possibilities abound! While you don't need to be a gardener yourself, there are many activities that bring the potential of the garden into your Spanish class and allow for authentic communication.

7 Ways to Incorporate your School Garden in Spanish Class

Here are some lesson ideas, both simple and more involved, to get the garden into your classroom and your classroom into the garden.
1) Team up with the art teacher and create fun plant markers in Spanish. Easy to make, plant markers create a Spanish presence in the garden and reinforce the vocabulary every time it's visited.
2) Have a color scavenger hunt. This is great when the kids come back in the fall and the garden is full of colorful flowers and vegetables. Create a list of things they need to find such as:
*algo azul
*algo rosado
*algo rojo y blanco
You can either have them draw and label what they see, or collect items in a paper bag to share back in the classroom. For older elementary students, you could make the scavenger hunt more challenging by embedding the clues as they go, rather than giving them the entire list to begin with. So, for example, each student gets an initial clue which leads them to a particular spot in the garden where they find the next clue, and so on. This requires a bit of preparation and coordination beforehand but is super fun!

3) Teaming up with the art teacher has so much potential! How about kiddos doing paintings of flowers in the garden and then labeling the colors in Spanish? Really cute and an easy activity to do with younger students whose vocabulary bank is still small.

4) Do an insect count! Teach your students the words for common garden insects such as 'mariposa', 'abeja', 'libélula', 'saltamontes', and 'mariquita', then head out to the garden with tally sheets. Set a timer for 5 minutes and have kids write tally marks next to each insect's name every time they see one. Back in the classroom graph the results and see who spotted the most of each insect. Great for number practice!


5) Plant a salsa garden! This is a wonderful way to incorporate culture into garden activities. Depending on where you live, you can grow most, if not all, of the ingredients needed to make traditional pico de gallo. The previous fall, make sure garlic is planted in the garden. Then, in the spring, kids can plant seeds for tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeños, and onions- get in contact with your garden coordinator- ours provides the seeds, soil, and seedling trays. If you don't have the room or time to doing the actual planting, ask the coordinator if they would be willing to include these seeds/seedlings in the garden plan. If the seeds are planted early, your students should be able to see the seeds sprout and begin to grow before school is out. In the fall, harvest the veggies and put together a yummy taste test for your students. Nothing beats fresh salsa! I do a whole theme around pico de gallo with my Fourth Graders and they love it! See my previous blog posts for the recipe and activities. And check out our printable minibook 'Olivia hace salsa' in our TpT store-it's a story and recipe in one!


6) Encourage good eating habits by enjoying a salad or salad ingredients from the school garden! At our school Open House in the fall, we always provide veggie cups- with carrot and cucumber sticks and cherry tomatoes fresh from the school garden. Why not have a "menu" in Spanish identifying the healthy snacks provided? Or a short presentation where the students teach the parents how to say the words in Spanish? My students learn this vocabulary with our printable minibook book & Theme Activity Pack 'La ensalada de Pepita', a fun way to incorporate garden and salad vocabulary into my class.


7) Send home recipes that can be made from a garden! There are loads of kid friendly authentic recipes from a variety of Spanish speaking countries that include veggies from the garden. Share with families and encourage them to try them at home! Check out our Pinterest board for ideas here.
Gazpacho
We at Mundo de Pepita have a series of minibooks perfect for garden themes....check them out in our TpT store!

Spring Garden Theme Pack for Elementary Spanish Class
Click here to find in our shop

Olivia hace salsa in our TpT store!
Mariposas Minibook & Activity Pack

En la primavera in our TpT store!





2 comments:

  1. No doubt it will be very useful for my future projects. Would like to see some other posts on the same subject!
    hegns firma

    ReplyDelete