Walking into school on a sunny, warm morning and I am greeted by one of the teachers who says “Megan we are going to have our class outside today”. Obviously, I was shocked as when I was in school in Ireland we spent our days hugging the radiator because it was always so cold outside! But now I teach abroad! After I dumped my bag off in the teachers’ room I walked out to the playground, and there it was, nineteen three-year-olds sitting along the wall amorously looking up at the teacher. I sat down beside the kids and listened to what we were about to do. To my surprise, it wasn’t like any normal class; today was the beginning of our vegetable patch. The teacher told me that every year in our school the children plant, water and maintain a vegetable patch. And today we were looking at the vegetables that they had recently planted.
In groups of five, we took the children over to it and showed them the carrots, tomatoes, strawberries, lettuces, and cucumbers. Then they each had a go at lifting the hose and watering them. Mind you, this was a lot easier said than done as most of the water ended up over the kids and not the plants, but this was all part of the fun. After break time the teacher then explained to me that this was not a project for the three-year-olds but a project for the whole Infantil (0-5) and I was then shown a weekly timetable for the management of our vegetable patch. I even had my own slot for when I had to go to water the tomatoes!
When we were not at the vegetable patch, we spent a lot of time in class teaching the children about different types of fruits and vegetables and how important they were to have in our diet. My favourite activity was making a “plastic vegetable patch” in fact I had just as much fun creating this as much as the kids. Firstly we had to give all the children different coloured balls of plasticine for the vegetables, red, orange and greens. Then we began rolling, cutting and shaping the plasticine into the various shapes of the vegetables. Of course, as expected many of the kids got very competitive and wanted to see who could make the biggest carrot!
Another exciting activity we did with the children was making gazpacho (a cold Spanish tomato soup). We helped the children chop, cut and put the ingredients into the blender. Then, while all the children were staring in awe we pressed the start button and began blending everything together. They all sat, open-mouthed staring in amazement, and they were even more shocked when we told them they could try it! One-by-one we spoon fed each of the children, some of them even tried to sneak into the queue for seconds! It was a huge success. There was even some leftover for me to try.
To my amazement, I was told that when the vegetables are ripe, all the children will go to the patch and dig them up, and then pass them onto the dinner ladies, who will make us a beautiful lunch with our own vegetables! I think it’s so interesting how with the correct weather and management a school can make their own produce which is something that I think the children will remember for a long time!
2014/2015. Posted by Megan A.