Monday, 1 July 2013

Vivian's views: all things soil

Meet our new pets - in the vermicompost bin!

I am a UBC Teacher Candidate and I started my field experience at the Orchard Garden just this past week. I would like to share some of my experiences and reflection from this week:
In one workshop, Julia asked us to write down a list of words that comes to mind when you think of “soil”. The reason why Julia chose soil was because it is something that many people know about (as opposed to, for example, a name of a plant). For me, I have very limited knowledge of gardening but coming up with words associated with soil was something that I could do, whether these words are biologically or symbolically related. Likewise, this is what I would do in a classroom with students – activate

students’ prior knowledge and, together, we can build upon what they already know. It’s also a way to stimulate interest and motivation in students because they have something from which to draw upon. Flowers, plants, vegetables, grass, soil… These are only the few of many things students encounter in and outside their homes & their schools, books, toys, etc. Students can come to the garden with their acquired knowledge and the garden can be space where students can learn more (experientially too!):
A very sandy soil sample settling out...
Compost bins

What type of plant is this? Where does your food come from? What is in this soil? How many carrot seeds can we fit into this bed of soil? How would you write a story to describe the relationship between bees and humans? What would you do if you encounter pests in your garden?

Moreover, it is a space where students can bring in their own culture, experiences, values, and more. The garden and all learners can grow together in this ecosystem of learning and development.


Healthy soils, a healthy garden!

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