Garden Lessons: What’s changing our garden? (2nd Grade)
Lesson Objective(s): Sweet potatoes & cabbage worms are living things that cause changes in the garden
Ohio Curriculum Standard: Living things cause changes in it’s environment
Whiteboards & expo markers
Buckets by sweet potato station
Buckets by cabbage worm station
Ramekins (for sweet potato snack)
Roasted sweet potatoes (olive oil, salt pepper, rosemary)- in instapot to keep warm
spoon (for sweet potato snack)
2, square foot stick-squares (for observation of soil)
Big Whiteboard (for teacher)
Watering cans (in high tunnel, filled)
Cabbage worm in a jar
Dug up sweet potato
Soap (by hand-washing station)
Introduction (5 mins):
Welcome everyone to garden: introduce self & grown-up helpers again
Show class sweet potato: Does anyone have a guess what this is?
Show class Cabbage worm in jar: Does anyone have a guess what this is?
Today, we really need your help harvesting sweet potatoes and collecting cabbage worms!
Activity (20 mins)
Divide students into 2 groups. One group goes to cabbage worm station, one group goes to Sweet potato station.
Station 1- Cabbage worms (10 mins):
Group Up. Ask group:
look closely at our plants. What do you notice about them?
Show cabbage worm in jar- this is the guy who’s eating all our plants!
Show students how to look for cabbage worms on the plants. Ask- are plants living things? How do we treat living things in the garden?
Show example of plant without any leaves. Do you think it’ll survive? Why or why not?
Look for cabbage worms!
If group gets restless- have them help water the high tunnel
Station 2- Sweet potatoes (10 mins):
Group up. Ask group:
Are these plants living or non-living?
Digging Up Sweet Potatoes
Show an example of how to harvest 1 sweet potato- emphasize how to be gentle!
everyone only harvests one and puts gently in harvest bucket
Once a student harvests a sweet potato and puts it in the bucket, they can look at different between soil in the sweet potatoes and soil in the aisle where we walk
how are the soils different? Why do we think the soils are different? (answer: we walk between the rows, which compacts it, and the sweet potatoes grow in the soil, which loosens it.)
Wash hands —> Get sweet potato snack in ramekin at Grape Arbor
Transition: Everyone go to Grape Arbor for wrap up
What did we notice about the plants the cabbage worms had eaten?
What did we notice about the soil where the sweet potatoes were? What about the soil where we walked?
Show example of whiteboard (Write in both English & Spanish):
Draw a picture or write a sentence about how cabbage worms changed the kale plants
Draw a picture or write a sentence about how Sweet Potatoes change the soil
Each student gets expo marker & dry erase whiteboard & answers prompts
Before: Read “The Gigantic Sweet Potato” by Dianne De La Casas (available at Columbus Metro Library)
After: Follow up this lesson with a section from this Sweet Potato Activity Book downloadable PDF. It has a bunch of resources for different levels, including a crossword, a spelling sheet, a follow-along story, a worksheet to label the parts of a sweet potato, and more!