Agricultural Arts

What's Growing in the Garden?

For our last week of school, we have an extra special treat—a virtual tour of the garden! Watch Mr. Adam’s video to say hello to our animals and see what crops have sprouted in the garden. We’re especially excited about the 8 different varieties of cucumbers we just planted! If you are having trouble loading the video, click here to view

Watch Ms. Griffin remove the layers of “lasagna composting” that we added to our garden beds in November. Then look at the photos of all the bugs we found in our soil. After, draw your own pictures of each of the bugs!


Earthworm.

Centipede.

Larvae, which will soon transform into something else.

Roly poly.

Ladybug.

Watch Ms. Griffin remove the layers of “lasagna composting” that we added to our garden beds in November. Then look at the photos of all the bugs we found in our soil. After, draw your own pictures of each of the bugs!


Earthworm.

Centipede.

Larvae, which will soon transform into something else.

Roly poly.

Ladybug.

Last week we figured out that there are 32 square foot “plots” in our class garden bed. If we plant something in each plot, that means we can plant at least 32 different vegetables and herbs in our bed! As a class, you will vote on what to plant from the list below.

Vegetables:

  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Chard
  • Cucumbers
  • Fennel
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Pumpkins
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes

Herbs

  • Basil
  • Catnip
  • Cilantro
  • Chives
  • Dill
  • Parsley
  • Sage
  • Thyme

We also have many different kinds of flowers!

You can make any combination of vegetables, herbs, and flowers that you like, as long as your combination is equal to 32. For example, you could vote for:

  • 32 peppers
  • 16 onions and 16 peas
  • 8 flowers, 8 basil, 8 kale, and 8 tomatoes

E-mail your votes to Mr. Adam at awright@mountainsongschool.com.

I am having MAJOR technical difficulties! This week’s assignment should be posted by Tuesday morning. Apologies for the delay!

There are so many things growing right now! This week you will be writing an email or a letter to someone close to you and your family. Ms. Griffin wrote to her sister who lives in Houston, Texas. That’s 1,000 miles away! For this activity:

  1. Share with your pen pal a few things that you have seen growing at your house or around town.
  2. Ask your Pen Pal 3 questions. You could ask about the weather, what they see growing, what they have been up to outside…Be creative 🙂
  3. Share pictures with your Pen Pal. If you don’t have a camera, you could draw them a picture and send it with them in a letter!

Click here to see the full letter and photos that Ms. Griffin sent to her sister!

This week, you will make your own mason bee hotel! We learned about mason bees earlier this year. They are solitary bees that build their homes in cracks, crevices, and other openings they find in nature. They are non-destructive and are excellent pollinators!

MATERIALS:
  • Medium size can
  • 2 rolls of toilet paper (empty)
  • Sheets of paper
  • Non-toxic glue
  • Tape
  • Paint for the tin can (optional)

1. Paint the can (optional)

If you decide to paint the can, we recommend to do it first. You can do different design or just plain color. Make sure to be careful, as the edges of a tin can will be sharp.

mason bee house1

2. Create paper rolls

Measure the length of your can and cut your paper in a way that the length of the paper roll will fit inside the can. The band of paper should be ~5 inches long (half the length of a sheet of paper). The goal is to have a roll of 5 layers minimum. Cut the paper as efficiently as you can.

Roll the paper around a pencil to get the right shape, then tape edge of the paper band to the roll to keep the diameter, remove the pencil. Create rolls of 1/4in up to 1/2in. You will need ~30 rolls, depending on the size of your tin can and paper rolls.

mason bee house

3. Place the rolls inside the can

You can apply a thin layer of glue at the bottom of your can. Place your 2 toilet paper rolls where you wish inside the can and fill up the empty space with your paper rolls.

Once done shake your can slightly and make sure that everything stays in place. Add more glue at the bottom or more paper rolls to keep things sturdy if needed.

4. Find a location

The new mason bee house needs to be in an open, sunny spot which isn’t shaded by plants, about 3ft from the ground. The fixing must be secure – the can shouldn’t flap and move about in the wind.

Project provided by the Pacific Beach Coalition.

This week, you will make your own mason bee hotel! We learned about mason bees earlier this year. They are solitary bees that build their homes in cracks, crevices, and other openings they find in nature. They are non-destructive and are excellent pollinators!

MATERIALS:
  • Medium size can
  • 2 rolls of toilet paper (empty)
  • Sheets of paper
  • Non-toxic glue
  • Tape
  • Paint for the tin can (optional)

1. Paint the can (optional)

If you decide to paint the can, we recommend to do it first. You can do different design or just plain color. Make sure to be careful, as the edges of a tin can will be sharp.

mason bee house1

2. Create paper rolls

Measure the length of your can and cut your paper in a way that the length of the paper roll will fit inside the can. The band of paper should be ~5 inches long (half the length of a sheet of paper). The goal is to have a roll of 5 layers minimum. Cut the paper as efficiently as you can.

Roll the paper around a pencil to get the right shape, then tape edge of the paper band to the roll to keep the diameter, remove the pencil. Create rolls of 1/4in up to 1/2in. You will need ~30 rolls, depending on the size of your tin can and paper rolls.

mason bee house

3. Place the rolls inside the can

You can apply a thin layer of glue at the bottom of your can. Place your 2 toilet paper rolls where you wish inside the can and fill up the empty space with your paper rolls.

Once done shake your can slightly and make sure that everything stays in place. Add more glue at the bottom or more paper rolls to keep things sturdy if needed.

4. Find a location

The new mason bee house needs to be in an open, sunny spot which isn’t shaded by plants, about 3ft from the ground. The fixing must be secure – the can shouldn’t flap and move about in the wind.

Project provided by the Pacific Beach Coalition.

This week, you will make your own mason bee hotel! We learned about mason bees earlier this year. They are solitary bees that build their homes in cracks, crevices, and other openings they find in nature. They are non-destructive and are excellent pollinators!

MATERIALS:
  • Medium size can
  • 2 rolls of toilet paper (empty)
  • Sheets of paper
  • Non-toxic glue
  • Tape
  • Paint for the tin can (optional)

1. Paint the can (optional)

If you decide to paint the can, we recommend to do it first. You can do different design or just plain color. Make sure to be careful, as the edges of a tin can will be sharp.

mason bee house1

2. Create paper rolls

Measure the length of your can and cut your paper in a way that the length of the paper roll will fit inside the can. The band of paper should be ~5 inches long (half the length of a sheet of paper). The goal is to have a roll of 5 layers minimum. Cut the paper as efficiently as you can.

Roll the paper around a pencil to get the right shape, then tape edge of the paper band to the roll to keep the diameter, remove the pencil. Create rolls of 1/4in up to 1/2in. You will need ~30 rolls, depending on the size of your tin can and paper rolls.

mason bee house

3. Place the rolls inside the can

You can apply a thin layer of glue at the bottom of your can. Place your 2 toilet paper rolls where you wish inside the can and fill up the empty space with your paper rolls.

Once done shake your can slightly and make sure that everything stays in place. Add more glue at the bottom or more paper rolls to keep things sturdy if needed.

4. Find a location

The new mason bee house needs to be in an open, sunny spot which isn’t shaded by plants, about 3ft from the ground. The fixing must be secure – the can shouldn’t flap and move about in the wind.

Project provided by the Pacific Beach Coalition.

Watch Mr. Adam’s video below to learn how to thin seedlings. After watching, draw a picture of yourself thinning your own pot of seedlings.


Watch Mr. Adam’s video below to learn how to thin seedlings. After watching, draw a picture of yourself thinning your own pot of seedlings.


This week, we will continue working together on our class garden bed. The two longest sides of our garden bed measure 8 feet each. The two shortest sides measure 4 feet each. We will be using a system called square foot gardening to plant our vegetables. First, we must determine how many square feet are in our garden bed. 

Using a ruler, make a rectangle on a piece of paper. The longest sides should be 8 inches and the shortest sides should be 4 inches.

When you have finished making your rectangle, make a small line to mark every inch along the perimeter of the rectangle.

Now, use your ruler to connect the lines together. This will make a number of smaller boxes in the rectangle.

When you are finished, count how many squares are in the rectangle. This will tell us exactly how many square feet we have to plant crops in! Next week, we will decide what vegetables to plant in each square.

Click here to access Part 2 of our overfishing activity. If you didn’t do Part 1 last week, the instructions are below.


Part 1

For the next few weeks, we will play a game to learn how overfishing can damage ocean ecosystems. This week, you will be creating your own game tokens using paper, crayons/colored pencils/markers, and scissors. You will need to make:

  • 10 blue fish
  • 10 green fish
  • 10 red fish
  • 10 yellow fish

Your game tokens should be small—try to make them all the same size. When you’re done drawing and coloring, cut our your fish tokens and store them in a safe place. You will need these tokens next week to begin our game, so please don’t lose them!

This week, we will continue working on our food and U.S. geography project. Our state, Colorado, is bordered by 7 other states: Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona. For the first part of our activity, draw a map of Colorado and its border states. Use the image below for reference.

After making your map, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture website to learn what crops and other agricultural products are produced in our border states. On the USDA website, click on each state, then click on the “Agriculture Overview” section under the “Statistics” category to find this information. Here’s what the link will look like:

After reviewing each state’s statistics, draw a picture of 2-3 crops that grow in each border state on your map. The pictures should be small enough to fit inside each state.

Listen to the 5-minute NPR audio story attached below. The piece is about a young man living in New York City whose relationships to food and family have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

After listening to the radio story, write a short response (1-3 paragraphs) about how your own relationships to food and family have changed since staying at home. Consider:

  • How have your family’s eating habits changed?
  • Are you cooking together more or less than usual?
  • What recipes are you enjoying during this time?
  • Has food helped you to connect with your family, both in person and/or online?

“A Son and Mother, Together in Their Separate Kitchens” by Lulu Garcia-Navarro (National Public Radio)

Listen to the 5-minute NPR audio story attached below. The piece is about a young man living in New York City whose relationships to food and family have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

After listening to the radio story, write a short response (1-3 paragraphs) about how your own relationships to food and family have changed since staying at home. Consider:

  • How have your family’s eating habits changed?
  • Are you cooking together more or less than usual?
  • What recipes are you enjoying during this time?
  • Has food helped you to connect with your family, both in person and/or online?

“A Son and Mother, Together in Their Separate Kitchens” by Lulu Garcia-Navarro (National Public Radio)

Listen to the 5-minute NPR audio story attached below. The piece is about a young man living in New York City whose relationships to food and family have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

After listening to the radio story, write a short response (1-3 paragraphs) about how your own relationships to food and family have changed since staying at home. Consider:

  • How have your family’s eating habits changed?
  • Are you cooking together more or less than usual?
  • What recipes are you enjoying during this time?
  • Has food helped you to connect with your family, both in person and/or online?

“A Son and Mother, Together in Their Separate Kitchens” by Lulu Garcia-Navarro (National Public Radio)

This week, we are continuing our garden alphabet with letters X, Y, and Z! Take a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle from top to bottom, and draw another line across the paper to create four boxes. In each box, write the parent and child versions of this week’s letters. Think of something you would find in our school garden that begins with that letter, and then write the word and draw a picture of it in the box. 

  • X: make up your own word and draw what it means!
  • Y: yam, yard, yarrow, yellow jacket, yellow tomato
  • Z: zinnia, zucchini 

Continue working on your nature journal! Return to the plant you found in your yard, neighborhood, or a local park. If you can’t find a plant outside, use the photo of our garden fig tree—we will keep posting photos here for you each week.

When you visit the plant, take a piece of paper with you and complete the following list:

  • Draw a picture of the plant.
  • How has your plant changed in the past week?
  • Complete the following sentence to make a fun comparison: “My plant is so ____ it looks like ____.”
 

Here is an example from Ms. Griffin’s backyard!

Mr. Adam needs your help to calculate the perimeter of Garden Bed #14. This bed is now owned by you, our 3rd grade students! In the coming weeks, we will decide as a class what to plant here. First, to calculate the perimeter, we must measure each side of our garden bed.

The shortest side of the garden bed is 4 feet. The longest side is 8 feet. Answer the following questions:

  1. What shape is the garden bed?
  2. How many sides does the garden bed have?
  3. What is the perimeter of the garden? Solve this equation: ___ + ___ + ___ + ___ = ___ feet
  4. If there are 12 inches in one foot, what is the garden bed perimeter in inches instead of feet?

For the next few weeks, we will play a game to learn how overfishing can damage ocean ecosystems. This week, you will be creating your own game tokens using paper, crayons/colored pencils/markers, and scissors. You will need to make:

  • 10 blue fish
  • 10 green fish
  • 10 red fish
  • 10 yellow fish

Your game tokens should be small—try to make them all the same size. When you’re done drawing and coloring, cut our your fish tokens and store them in a safe place. You will need these tokens next week to begin our game, so please don’t lose them!

In the weeks ahead, we will be working on a food and U.S. geography project. This week, click here to visit the Colorado Foundation for Agriculture website and learn about different crops that grow in our state. Afterward, pick one fun fact and write it at the top of a piece of paper. Use the rest of the paper to draw an illustration that represents the fun fact you chose.

Watch this video by the Australian Academy of Science to learn how Colony Collapse Disorder affects bee populations. After watching, answer the questions below.


  1. How do Varroa mites attack bee hives?
  2. What are neonicotinoids?
  3. How do humans contribute to Colony Collapse Disorder?

Watch this video by the Australian Academy of Science to learn how Colony Collapse Disorder affects bee populations. After watching, answer the questions below.


  1. How do Varroa mites attack bee hives?
  2. What are neonicotinoids?
  3. How do humans contribute to Colony Collapse Disorder?

Watch this video by the Australian Academy of Science to learn how Colony Collapse Disorder affects bee populations. After watching, answer the questions below.


  1. How do Varroa mites attack bee hives?
  2. What are neonicotinoids?
  3. How do humans contribute to Colony Collapse Disorder?

Cooking With Mr. Adam!

Watch Mr. Adam’s newest video to learn how to make banana bread. You can make a plain version, or add any combination of coconut, chocolate chips, and/or nuts! This recipe is a great way to use bananas that might otherwise be thrown away. If you are having trouble loading the video, click here to view

Banana Bread

Click below for the recipe!

Frittata

Video Updates

Without students or volunteers at school, our Ag Arts assistants have been working hard to help keep our garden thriving! Below are messages from each of our assistants—thanks for all you do!

Doña Anita

Ms. Griffin

Ms. Shannon

Office Hours

Wednesday / 11:30 – 12

Student and Staff Photos

What our friends and teachers are cooking, growing, and doing in nature this week! Please send photos of your adventures to Mr. Adam.

Ag Arts Teacher: Mr. Adam Wright

awright@mountainsongschool.com


Ag Arts Assistants:

Ms. Griffin: golson@mountainsongschool.com

Ms. Shannon: shuard@mountainsongschool.com

Doña Anita: aschlichting@mountainsongschool.com

Grades 1 - 2

Grades 3 - 5

Grades 6 - 8

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