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Harvest and a Dance

Andrea Homstad,   North Winneshiek Comm School District
Access to Healthy Foods, Student Leadership,  Teamwork
Harvest and a Dance

Students harvested vegetables from the school garden during clean-up day Oct. 7. It was later made into Stone Soup and served for lunch. The garden work was followed by an all-school dance in the gym. We had good student role models to keep moving for 20 minutes. For the soup, preschoolers picked and shelled dry beans. Kindergarteners pulled onions. First and fifth graders pulled and scrubbed carrots. (They also measured them, and observed slugs and insects having a feast in one carrot.) Second graders picked kale and chard. Third graders contributed yellow and green cucumbers to the salad bar. Fourth graders picked cobs of corn and two big squashes. Sixth graders picked what was left on the cherry tomato vines, and seventh and eighth graders picked potatoes and cabbage. Many classes also read a version of the Stone Soup folktale to whet their appetites for lunch. This is one way we try to integrate academic subjects -- language arts, science, math, social studies -- with gardening and nutrition. Students can perhaps also see that cooperation, hard work, and a bountiful harvest can make a delicious meal.

How did students and adults work together as a team?

Two adults divided the classes into small groups, gave them instructions, tools, and safety precautions and then sent them into the large garden to work independently based on age. In some cases, older students helped younger ones.