Lesson 1 - Part A: FOOD QUIZ
Lesson 1 - Part B: GOOD NUTRITION
Lesson 1 - Part C: GERMINATION EXPERIMENT
PREPARATION FOR LESSON 1:
Please read through the Lesson 1 text for students to understand what is covered in this lesson.
Where further information is provided in Easy Organic Gardening and Moon Planting, page references are shown as Easy Organic Gardening and Moon Planting pp …
Collect the common household items needed to conduct the seed germination experiment in Part C of this lesson:
A small quantity of vegetable seeds that germinate in the dark*
Some cotton wool
A clean glass jar (375 - 500 ml)
A box to block out light, if a suitable cupboard is not available
We recommend that you use cruciferous seeds (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, radish, turnip) for this experiment, as they are large enough to be separated easily, and they germinate within a short period. Radish seed would be extremely good as it germinates within a few days, and will ensure that the students can see the results of the experiment before their next lesson. (Avoid lettuce, dill, or German chamomile seeds, as they need light to germinate.)
This quick quiz is not intended to find the student with the most correct answers, but merely to gauge the students' familiarity with fruits and vegetables, and their general understanding of the origins of their food.
Ask who can identify the food in the first picture, and then ask the students if they know whether that food comes from a plant or an animal, or whether it is a processed food. Then proceed one by one through the remaining pictures. Completing the quiz through group responses should only take about ten minutes.
– by BFA's Nutritionist, Shane Heaton
Older students will be able to read and understand the lesson, but you may need to read this section to younger students*. Students are probably familiar with the Australian Government's 'Australian Guide to Healthy Eating' poster that advises children to eat a variety of foods every day. The object of this part of the lesson is to encourage children to also eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, and eat organic produce, whenever possible.
Ask “who likes to eat fruit and vegetables?” Ask your students to name their favourite fruits and vegetables, and say why they like them. Introduce the topic of having a school garden.
Ask the class to think about what they would like to grow in their school garden, and to give you their suggestions next week/lesson. The first crops will, of course, be determined by their suitability to the season, but the more practical aspects of what to sow can be decided in Lesson 2. Keep the discussion short so that you have time to set up the germination experiment.
(*A glossary of 'Gardening Words' is included in the program. To access the glossary, click on the link on the left side of the web page.
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This experiment takes very little time to set up, and requires only occasional observation to check whether germination has occurred over the following 7-10 days, depending on the variety of seed used. Use only seed that requires darkness for germination or students will miss an important point.
Older students may enjoy setting up this experiment themselves, under your supervision.
This experiment should be kept in the classroom rather than a shade house, or the students may miss seeing that the emerging seed leaves are yellowish in colour.
If you have to use a box to exclude light, remember to mark the box clearly so that cleaners or visitors won't remove or accidentally knock over the experiment.
Remember to position the experiment in a well-lit area (out of direct sunlight) as soon as seed leaves appear.
This basic experiment demonstrates several important facts to children:
How consistent moisture is important for good germination
The amount of energy compressed into each seed that is released at germination
That nitrogen, magnesium and iron are not the only requirements for the formation of green colour in plant leaves (see Easy Organic Gardening and Moon Planting pp 29-31 – Soil Nutrients)
That plants require light to develop past the germination stage is extremely important. (This subject will be explored further when we cover photosynthesis – the process by which plants absorb carbon dioxide, convert it to glucose and starch for growth, and release oxygen (see Lesson 2))
This seed germination experiment can also be used to test viability of seed that may have been stored for some time.
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