This summer, Grass Lake School’s chapter of the National Elementary Honor Society has started a pumpkin patch on the school grounds as an ongoing service project coupled with an introduction to Project Based Learning. The group of 14 fourth and fifth graders began the first week of June planning a garden that would lead to them teaching the students in PreK-second grade about the life cycle of plants this coming fall. They met virtually to come up with their ideas to get the garden rolling.
After deciding to plant pumpkins, the students divided up the responsibilities of researching how to plant pumpkins, graphing out the plot, preparing the soil, and planting both young plants and seeds. In addition, the students are keeping track of rainfall, setting up a watering schedule, taking photographs and graphing and recording the growth of the plants.
The fun and learning have just begun. When school resumes in August, the students will meet to learn about harvesting pumpkins and to decide what they will do with their pumpkin crop. They will plan a presentation on the life cycle of plants using their experiences, photos, charts and journals as a culmination of this authentic learning experience.