Setting up and running a school garden - Teaching ToolKit

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OVERVIEW

For planning the work:

  1. Project plan

For publicity:

  1. Showing and telling

For wrapping up the years work:

  1. Evaluation
  2. Celebrations

ABOUT THESE LESSONS

These four lessons are important for raising awareness among learners, families, the school and the public. Lesson 1 Project plan sums up garden project plans and gives a framework for organizing the work. It should be done after planting has begun, but near the beginning of the growing season.

Lesson 2 Showing and telling should be done in good time to get learners involved in some useful publicity before the end of the school year. Lesson 3 Evaluation should come near the end of the project, in time to make outline plans for next year. Lesson 4 Celebrations comes just before the celebration itself so that learners can help to plan the final social event of the gardening year.

1. PROJECT PLAN

This lesson should be done once the main decisions have been taken and garden work has started. It gathers the information and ideas which have been discussed and helps learners to summarise them. This recalls aims, clears up misunderstandings, lays a basis for later evaluation and prepares learners for presenting the project to the outside world.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Learners

- make their objectives and expectations explicit
- (older learners) create a summary of the project plan which can be presented to the outside world.

RESOURCES NEEDED

Large flipchart sheets for questionnaires

PREPARATION

- Find someone who is prepared to receive, read and respond to the summary produced in this lesson (e.g. the head teacher, the teaching staff, the School Board, the PTA, a school adviser, well-known garden visitors, a sponsor - someone who genuinely wants to know!)
- Copy
Guide A (for younger learners) or Guide B1 (for older learners) on a large sheet of paper and pin it up.

LESSON

1. Lead-in Explain that someone outside the school wants to know about the garden project (say who it is) and has asked for a summary (on one page). This lesson is to prepare the summary.

2. Questionnaire (for younger learners) Discuss the questions in Guide A, agree on the answers and write them in.

3. Questionnaire (for older learners)

a) Divide the class into groups; give one part of the questionnaire (Guide B1) to each group and allow 15 minutes for discussion and drafting. Each group appoints a secretary to record ideas. Indicate important points to be covered (see Guide B2). Circulate to listen and help.

b) Groups feed back to the whole class. Encourage learners to listen to each others ideas and suggest improvements and additions (but suggest that they keep it short!). Make your own contribution. At the end of each section the secretary reads aloud the draft for the whole classs approval.

4. After the lesson, deliver the project summary to its intended audience and ask for a reply. This can be a written reply, or (better) a visit to the class and the garden to comment and ask questions, or (best of all) both visiting and writing.

FOLLOW-UP

1. Final drafts Group secretaries produce a final draft (dated) of the project summary, and make copies for the Garden File and for the person who asked for the report.

2. Visual project summaries Learners use the information in the project summary to create an explanatory flow-diagram for presentations (as in Guide C), a publicity poster (as in Guide D), or a crop calendar / work plan (as in Guide E).

3. Practising presentations Find other willing audiences and train learners to present the project in pairs, using one of the visual devices in Guides C, D and E.

LESSONS IN OTHER SUBJECTS

Language/Writing Summary, drafting collective reports, presentations

PROJECT SUMMARY QUESTIONNAIRE

(for younger learners)

  QUESTION ANSWER
Project

What is our project? What is its name?

 
Aims

What do we want to grow?

What will we do with the things we grow?

What do we want to learn?

 
     
Activities

How much will we plant, and where?

What work will we do in the garden?

Who will help?

 
Inputs

What will we need?

(seeds, tools, water etc.)

 
     
Monitoring

What will we need to check every week?

 
Information

Who will we tell about it?

 
     
Celebration

When will we celebrate, and how?

 

PROJECT SUMMARY QUESTIONNAIRE

(for older learners)

  QUESTION ANSWER
Project

What is our project? What is its name?

 
Aims

What are our general aims?

 

Objectives/targets

What exactly do we want to produce?

What exactly do we want to learn?

 
 
Activities

What will we plant, how much and where?

What will we need to do in the garden?

How will we organize it?

Who will help, and how?

Apart from growing plants, what else will we do?

How will we maintain and improve the garden?

 
Inputs

How much time will be required?

What inputs will we need? (seeds, tools etc.)

Where will we get them?

 
 
Time frame

What is the schedule of activities?

 
 
Monitoring

What do we need to keep track of?

What kind of records will we keep?

 
Information

Who will we keep informed? And how?

 
Publicity

How will we publicise garden activities and create positive attitudes to our project?

 
 
Evaluation

How will we evaluate our project? And when?

 
Celebration

When will we celebrate, and how?

 

PROJECT SUMMARY QUESTIONNAIRE - CHECKLIST OF POINTS

  QUESTION ANSWER
Project

What is our project? What is its name?

 
Aims

What are our general aims?

E.g. better eating, better health; learning gardening; improving the school environment; making money

Objectives/ targets

What exactly do we want to produce?

E.g. a certain amount of a particular crop; some aspect of garden infrastructure (paths, hedges); a number of flowering plants; x square metres of herbs for sale

 

What exactly do we want to learn?

How to grow particular plants; particular garden activities (e.g. pruning, potting, making compost); how to sell vegetables successfully; how to manage a project; which insects are beneficial)

Activities

What will we plant, how much and where?

E.g. the number of plants, number of square metres, garden plan showing locations

 

What will we need to do in the garden?

Outline of activities (e.g. sowing seeds, transplanting, watering, weeding, harvesting; making compost)

 

How will we organize it?

E.g. time per week, teams or groups

 

Who will help, and how?

E.g. parents, visitors, sponsors, teachers

 

What else will we do?

E.g. cooking, preserving, packaging, studying insects

 

How will we maintain and improve the garden?

E.g. enriching the soil, putting up fences, making a bird bath, creating amenities, garden art

Inputs

How much time is needed?

Estimate of hours per week per person

 

What inputs will we need?

E.g. seeds, tools, water, buckets, seed trays, packages, pots, fuel for cooking, knapsack spray

 

Where will they come from?

E.g. bought, borrowed, found, lent

     
Time frame

What is the schedule of activities?

Outline of what will happen each week/month, including planting, harvest, processing, garden events, sales, evaluation, celebration

     
Monitoring

What do we need to keep track of?

E.g. money, plant growth, weather, production, pests, work done, time spent, control experiments, visitors

 

What kind of records will we keep?

E.g. garden diary/log, accounts, photos, drawings/plans/maps/diagrams, booklets, garden fle, letters

Information

Who will we keep informed? And how?

E.g. the school, the PTA, parents, sponsors, the local community, the local newspaper

Publicity

How will we publicise garden activities and create positive attitudes to our project?

E.g. letters, talks and presentations, articles, Open Days, stalls and sales, take-home products, free gifts, talking to families

     
Evaluation

How will we evaluate our project? And when?

E.g. by looking back at our objectives and aims, halfway through the project and at the end

Celebration

When will we celebrate, and how?

Up to you - but there should be a celebration!

FLOW DIAGRAM

A flow-diagram shows the project activities at a glance. Here the objectives come first. The main stages are in the boxes of the diagram. Inside the diagram are ongoing activities (e.g. informing) and some of the important conditions (e.g. involving family and community).

PLANTING FRUIT TREES: THE PROJECT AT A GLANCE

General objectives

  • To grow ten papaya trees to provide fruit for the school
  • To get advice and information from local growers
  • To learn how to grow papaya and harvest the fruit
  • To learn how to make nutritious dishes and snacks with papaya
  • To learn how to dry papaya strips
  • To learn the nutritional value of papaya and some other fruits
  • To learn a little about the papaya export market

ILLUSTRATED POSTERS

This poster is about the "Four Cs" garden project. It shows some of the projects objectives and makes the project easy for learners to explain to outsiders.

WHAT WE ARE DOING IN THE GARDEN THIS YEAR

This is an appeal for help for the "Four Cs" garden project. It explains the objectives and activities and links them to the specific help required.

CAN YOU HELP US?

Cowpeas help us to grow.

We are growing cowpeas.

Well dig some into the soil.

Well eat some.

Well dry some.

Carrots and cabbages keep us healthy.

We are growing cabbage
and carrots to improve our diet.
We will eat them at school.

Compost is good for the soil.

We are making compost.
We will put it around the vegetables.

Hedges protect the garden.

We are growing hedges to keep out the goats.
The hedges will take two years to grow.

CROP CALENDAR

A calendar makes it possible to see the whole project at a glance, to look back at what you have done and to plan for the future. Spread the calendar across a whole wall, giving plenty of space to each month. You will then be able to add items under each month e.g. visits and events, cooking and processing activities, sales, lessons, work schedules, garden diary, pictures, photos, displays.

Activity Month 1 Month 2 Month 3 Month 4 Month 5 Month 6 Month 7 Month 8 Month 9
Compost 1 Start heap Turn Turn Use Use     Start new
compost
heaps
 
Compost 2   Start heap Turn Turn Use Use    
Compost 3     Start heap Turn Turn Use Use  
Carrots     Sow seed

Sow seed Thin out

Thin out Harvest Harvest Harvest Harvest
Cabbage Sow seed

Transplant Sow seed

Transplant Sow seed

Transplant Harvest Harvest Harvest    
Cowpeas         Sow seed Sow seed   Harvest

Harvest and dry

Yucca fence Plant cuttings Check fence Check fence            
Help needed

Finding cuttings

Turning compost

Turning compost

Turning compost

Turning compost

     

Digging in cowpea plants

 

2. SHOWING AND TELLING

Telling people about the garden and showing them what you are doing ties the school closer to the community, inspires people to help, brings in contributions and helps learners learn by talking. The information that is communicated is not nearly as important as the enthusiasm and interest aroused. Involving learners in this "garden publicity" makes them aware of what they are doing, proud of it and able to express it.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Learners

- think who to tell, why, and what, and decide how to do it.

RESOURCES NEEDED

- paper cut-outs representing people OR stick figures drawn on the board

PREPARATION

It is discouraging to send messages and get no reply! Prepare the ground for this activity by finding out which individuals or groups in the school and community will respond positively to hearing from school learners.

This will help you to guide learners choice of who to tell.

LESSON

1. Lead-in Recap garden plans, activities and events, e.g. What has happened so far? (Weve made a plan; weve sown seed; were about to transplant; we made compost but not enough; we got scratches from the thorny bushes; I tore my shirt etc.). Ask: Who did you tell about these things? Who did you show?

2. Audience

a) Ask: Who else would we like to tell or show? Why? Expect younger learners to suggest family, neighbours, school personalities etc. Older learners may see wider possibilities (see Guide). Add your own suggestions. Allow all reasons, even trivial ones.

b) As suggestions are made, learners label the paper cut-out figures and stick them up (they may also add specific information e.g. long legs, name of shop, address).

3. Selection The class picks out a few figures as examples (make sure that they are people who will respond positively to being approached).

4. The message What shall we tell them about? What shall we show them? Older learners may focus on specific needs (e.g. for help, sponsorship, customers). Younger learners may simply want to show and tell.

5. How? Older learners browse the Guide and discuss different approaches. For younger learners pick out two or three possibilities and ask which they would prefer.

6. Planning Learners plan their "show and tell" campaign. Keep it small.

FOLLOW-UP

Campaign Carry out the campaign. The teacher should help by making personal contact with the recipients and ensuring that learners get some kind of feedback.

LESSONS IN OTHER SUBJECTS

Business Studies Marketing

Communication Audience awareness

SHOWING AND TELLING: WHO, WHY, WHAT, HOW?


Who shall we tell?

The general public
Other schools
Parents and families
The local newspaper
Local organizations (church/mosque? youth groups?)
The whole school / other classes / other teachers
Garden helpers and friends
The local radio

 
 


Why?

Because they are interested
To spread our fame
To use their knowledge and skill
To get help
To find markets
To show them what we are doing


What shall we tell
them / show them?

Our garden
Our products
Our project plan
Our problems
Accounts/figures/data
Funny things that have happened
Achievements (what weve done)
Our activities (what were doing) and events

 


How?

Guided garden tours and visits
Letters, circulars, newsletters
Labels and packaging
Picture and photo display
Talks/presentations
Samples/free gifts

Fund thermometer
Book of garden stories
Articles in local newspapers
Exhibitions, displays, panoramas
Pictures, photos, drawings
Showing and telling at home
Play or dramatization

Posters, notices, fliers
Interview on radio/TV
Personal greeting cards
Garden documents (e.g. file, homemade books, maps)
Special events e.g. Open Day, party, show, food tasting, Bring and Buy, auction


For special people

Tell them what you are going to do

Tell them that you are doing it

Tell them that you have done it.

Then invite them to the party!

 

3. EVALUATION

The first question to ask in an evaluation is What happened? Then the standard evaluation question is Did we do what we set out to do? This leads to better planning for the future. But a years gardening may have all sorts of outcomes and cannot be evaluated only in this way. Other important questions are What did we learn? Did we enjoy it? Were other people interested? and (most revealing) What shall we do next time?

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Learners

- recall the years gardening and its ups and downs
- reflect on the years gardening horticulturally, educationally and as a general experience
- acknowledge others help
- make plans for the coming year
- congratulate themselves.

RESOURCES NEEDED

- aims and objectives from the project summary (Lesson H1 Project plan)
- project records (e.g.diary/log/file/photos/drawings/correspondence/accounts)
- three rosettes in different colours or sizes marked Excellent, Good, Not bad, with the class name and the year (see Guide A)
- three cardboard badges labelled Great Gardener (see Guide A)

PREPARATION

Learners assemble and display all documents and records of the gardening year.

LESSON

1. Lead-in: Do you remember? Go round the garden with the class, using each part to recall what happened and who did what during the season triumphs, disasters, hard work, mistakes. Move on to the display of records and do the same. N.B. Do not be judgmental it is for the learners to evaluate their own achievement.

2. How did we do? Discuss and summarise:

- What did we manage to do?
- What did we not manage?
- What went well? What went wrong?
- What did we learn?
- Did we have a good time?
- What will we do next year?

Older learners can make notes.

Learners doing market gardening projects can follow the questions in Guide B.

3. Meeting the objectives (older learners) Call on a student to read out the objectives and targets from the Project Plan. The class says how far they achieved these objectives, why or why not.

4. Who helped? Learners acknowledge help received from helpers, sponsors, local gardeners etc. and discuss how to thank them.

5. Time for awards

a) Show the three rosettes. Ask which one we should award ourselves: Excellent, Very Good, or Not Bad? The class choose the rosette they think is appropriate and hang it up.

b) Show the three "Great Gardener" badges. The class chooses the years three top gardeners and award the badges.

6. The congratulation circle The class stand up and form a circle, facing inwards. They then turn sideways so they are one behind the other. They all raise their right hands and pat each other on the back - for a job well done!

FOLLOW-UP

1. Write-up Older learners (groups or individuals) write up the class discussion in four parts:

a) Our aims and objectives

b) What we achieved

c) What we learned

d) Plans for next year

2. Evaluation by others Use the display of garden documents and learners own evaluation to involve other interested parties in the garden evaluation.

3. Thank-yous The class sends thank-you letters, notes or cards to garden helpers, sponsors etc.

MAKING BADGES AND ROSETTES

                                    

Make a rosette of paper or cloth.

Fix the centre with cardboard circles.

Attach a safety-pin.

BUSINESS PLAN EVALUATION

At the end of a market gardening project, the evaluation should pick up the projections in the Business Plan. Learners write up the evaluation report and include it in the Project File.

4. CELEBRATIONS

Celebrate the harvest, the end of a market garden venture, a new garden feature or a successful years work in the garden. Whatever the achievement, there should be a celebration and learners should have a hand in planning and organizing it.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Learners

- are aware of the need for a celebration and who should be involved
- help to plan and organize the event.

RESOURCES NEEDED

If possible, make one photocopy of Guides A and B and cut them up into separate items.

PREPARATION

Arrange a time when garden produce is available. Decide what aspects of the event to organize yourself and what contribution learners can make. Learners should be involved in social contacts, explaining, demonstrating and performing, producing documents and decorations, planning and organizing, and hospitality. The older they are, the more they can undertake. However, teachers will need to supervise learners activities

LESSON

1. Lead-in Announce the celebration and give the details already decided (e.g. date, place, time, general nature of the event).

2. Planning discussion The class discuss:

a) The event What shall we call it? Refer to Guide A.

b) Participants Who will be there? (make a list)

How will we invite them?

c) Programme What will the programme be? How will we start/finish? Who will be involved in each part? Some ideas for the programme are given in Guide B: circulate the ideas and pictures for learners to discuss in groups.

d) Refreshments What will there be to eat and drink? How will it be served?

e) Gifts Can we provide a garden gift for everyone, e.g. a flower, a fruit, a recipe?

f) Decorations and displays What will we do for decorations/displays? What materials will we need? Who will be responsible for each task? (Make a list) Some ideas for decorations are given in Guide B.

g) Jobs to do What do we need to do? Can our guests contribute? Who will ask them?

FOLLOW-UP

Organizing Learners organize their part in the event.

SOME KINDS OF CELEBRATION

A FOOD FAIR OR OPEN DAY
A HARVEST FESTIVAL

A PARTY OR SPECIAL MEAL

A GUIDED TOUR OR PRESENTATION

WAYS TO CELEBRATE

Make a photocopy of this Guide, cut up the items and circulate them in class for group discussion.

COMPETITIONS FLAGS
DECORATIONS GIFT-WRAPPED PRODUCE
DEMONSTRATIONS GUIDED TOUR AND EXPLANATIONS
DISPLAYS/EXHIBITIONS PERFORMANCES
POSTERS SPECIAL DISHES AND TASTING SESSIONS
PRESENTATIONS STORY-TELLING
REFRESHMENTS MAPS AND SIGNS
SONGS AND DANCES PRIZE-GIVING

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