MAKING LABELS FOR PLANTS
- Become more familiar with the vegetables you are growing.
- Focus on the names of the plants, what they look like, and how they are eaten.
- small squares of cardstock for the labels, approximately 4 inches by 4 inches or slightly larger. These can be cut from oak tag (or index cards), one or more for every type of plant in the garden, and a few extras.
- foot - long wooden plant labels (stakes), at least one for every type of plant
- small index cards, one for each label the children will create
- fine-point markers
- photos or pictures of vegetables and herbs growing in the garden, for example from seed packets or seed catalogs
- The Vegetables We Eat, Gail Gibbons, Holiday House, 2007
- Write the names of each type of plant in the garden on a separate index card. If a plant is growing in more than one spot, prepare one card for each spot. (For example, if parsley is growing in three separate spots in the garden, write the word parsley on three separate cards. The children will then create a label for each spot.)
- Assemble photos or other pictures of the vegetables the children will be drawing.
- Cut the squares of oak tag for the labels, as needed.
- After the session, laminate the children's plant drawings and attach them to the wooden garden stakes with clear tape.
Review the edible plants that are growing in the garden, and how these plants can be prepared, or used, for eating.
Tomatoes can be eaten raw or cooked, for example in sauce. Lettuce is usually eaten raw, for example in salads.
Read aloud to the group, The Vegetables We Eat.
As you read each page, invite students to share things they know or remember about the featured vegetables. If they have eaten a vegetable, how was it prepared and what did it taste like?
Make plant labels
In this activity students focus on what the plants look like that produce the vegetables they are growing in the garden.
- Tell the group that gardeners, and especially farmers, use plant labels to remember what they planted
where. Show the garden stakes and the squares of oak tag. The children will draw pictures of the
vegetables growing in their garden. After the session, the instructors will collect the drawings,
laminate them, and attach them to the garden stakes. The next time the group visits the garden;
the children will put the labels next to the appropriate plants.
- Hand out the index cards with plant names written on them. You may decide to give students their choice
of plant(s) to draw, or students may be given more than one plant to draw - for example, one they really
want to draw and one that is more of a challenge.
- Hand out photos of the vegetables the students will be drawing. Hand out the other supplies: oak tag
squares, pencils, markers, crayons.
- Ask students to write the name of the vegetable they are drawing either at the top or at the bottom
of their label. (Check the spelling on the index card.)
Go round: Show your artwork, if you like. Name a vegetable or herb you have never eaten and that you would
like to try.
These are fine thread- or hair like roots. Many plants have fibrous root systems including most vegetables.
A plant's first root is a taproot. In many plants, the taproot is soon displaced by a fibrous root system.
However, in some plants the primary root grows bigger and longer than the other roots. Edible examples
of taproots are beet, carrot, parsnip, and radish.
Adventitious roots commonly originate from the stem, branches, or leaves.
Tuberous roots or root tubers are swollen storage roots. Edible examples are sweet potatoes.
Potatoes look like roots but are actually swollen underground stems, called stem tubers.