- Describe what a plant needs to grow
- Describe the optimal conditions for plant growth
Plants need the optimal temperature, just the right amount of moisture, oxygen until their first real leaves develop, and sometimes light to germinate and survive the first stages of plant growth as a new seedling. The nutrients that these young plants pull from the soil need to be bioavailable – in a form that the plant can utilize – to promote growth. The soil also provides vitamins and minerals that are water-soluble and easily absorbed by the newly formed roots.
Controlling the temperature in the garden using row covers, the moisture in the greenhouse with misters, or the light in the Edible Learning Lab with LED lighting is critical to young starts and it gives them a fighting chance to develop root and leaf structures that will be able to sustain them in the weeks to come.
Tools & Materials
- Sketch or construction paper
- Crayons, markers, color pencils
- List of inputs on screen or blackboard for reference
- Climate controlled
Introduction (10 minutes)
Begin the lesson with a review of the key inputs that a plant needs to survive and thrive. Be sure to mention the source of each input and the optimal amount of each when possible.
Activity (20 minutes)
Provide the students with sketch paper or construction paper and ask them to draw a picture that represents the perfect conditions for the garden plants. Their picture might include garden rows full of vibrant plants, a shining sun, rain drops falling from the sky, with rich black soil full of plant roots accessing its nutrients. Encourage them to be creative with the artwork and try to capture the perfect garden.
Discussion (10 minutes)
Ask for volunteer Students that would like to share and describe their pictures. Ask them to explain where certain inputs are captured in their pictures. Where is the plant getting light? Or water? Or nutrients?
Assessment (5 minutes)
Use the following questions to assess the Students before and after the lesson. Tally the responses of the group in the Assessment Tracking Log for comparison:
- By a show of hands, how many of you can name the three things plants need to grow?
- Now that you know the optimal conditions for plant growth, how many of you think you could describe those conditions to someone else?
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