Seed packet literacy

To continue with my pea-brained ideas….

For Wednesday’s garden class, I had the class plant a bed of peas.  Before we went out to the garden, we talked about “how to read a seed packet.” I copied the front and back of a packet and added questions around the perimeter.  This was our opening activity.

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Notice how the students have to look closely for the information in order to answer the question.  To answer the question on trellises, they have to notice the adjective “self-supporting.”  To know what days we should expect a pea, they have to find the “days to maturity.”

Then I gave each child a different seed packet.  (I have lots, obviously.)  I then asked them to form a line across the room, based on the name of their flower/vegetable, in alphabetical order. They had to talk to each other and shuffle themselves, A to Z.  When they were in place, I asked them to read off their seed name, to see if we got it right!  Then we did it again, according to “days to maturity” with one end of the spectrum being the shortest, the other the longest.  It was fun to compare radishes at one end with onions at the other.

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At that point, we had to get planting, but you could keep going with this game, having the kids line up according to planting depth, Latin names, months to plant, etc.  Each one will demonstrate the different needs of plants as well as help kids look closely at all that information on a seed packet.