This lesson is ongoing and can be utilized throughout the school year to teach other subjects -- math, language arts, Spanish, social sciences, art, the list is really endless.
The key is that the students took an active part in planning, creating and now caring for this garden. Hook onto that and teach lessons from there. The students care for this garden and that will grab their attention for other lessons throughout the year. Get creative.
The following are extension ideas for either the kick off of this project or so it can be stretched out through the year to reinforce key concepts in science. Either the teacher can set up and prepare these extensions or you can ask the selected groups to create one per group. If you choose this option, the displays can exist for a certain amount of time and then groups can rotate with the displays, each having a chance to create each display.
Set up near (at) the garden area tools that can be used for viewing the plants. Gloves, pens, paper, magnifying glass, microscope, chairs, paper towels, etc. Let creativity rule here. Observation is more than just looking.
The goal is to make this an area that the groups can gather throughout the year to view, discuss and take notes about the gardens.
Create a plant center. Display books, posters, magazines, newspaper articles, graphs, photos, anything you or the groups want to include that has to do with plants, trees and vegetation. The goal here is to immerse the children in the subject and provide a wealth of learning materials for them to choose from; even the most stubborn learning is bound to find something of interest.
Using a premade drawing or group produced drawing of a plant display it. Use index cards to name plant parts with definitions on the back. Laminate them so they last through the year. Also write Spanish names of the plant parts on index cards and laminate.
Create index cards (or use index cards cut in half or quarters) that give the name of each of the plants in the gardens. On the back of the cards have the groups describe a few things about that particular plant. For example:grew from a bulb, likes a lot of light, water every other day, will flower, etc.
Brainstorm and make your classroom full of all the information about the topic you can find. I prefer to have the students in their groups create these areas.They will have to take the time to make a plan of what they will do, how they will get the supplies (who will get what, what from home, what available at school, etc.) and then put the plan into action. If possible, it’s a good idea to provide a time after the area is created to review their plan, what worked, what was easy, what was more challenging then they thought, etc.. Just let them reflect on their plan and implementation.