Watering With Kids: Tips & Practice

“I haven’t seen my shadow for a long time.” – 3rd Grader in the Garden

It was a hot week in San Francisco with temperatures reaching near the 90s in the garden. At the end of the week our 1st graders practiced “proper” watering skills to help quench the thirst of our plants this week as well as to give them a good soak before the 3-day weekend. We demonstrated and reviewed that water should be targeted at the roots rather than leaves by making circles and that it’s important to give the roots a good soak rather than a quick splash. We also went over the “finger test” by sticking our fingers in the soil near the roots to see if the soil is dry or moist. For larger a larger group of students, we use yogurt cups with holes at the bottom as “rain makers.” Students take turns dipping them in buckets of water. A helpful tip for classroom management is to have half the class (about 11-12 students) water while the other half does a independent activity, such as sketching or a scavenger hunt  in the garden. You can view and tryout this homegrown lesson by Marie Sayles of Sunset Elementary School here: Watering Lesson Plan.

This Photo by Parent Volunteer: Jenn Tang

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