“Boots & Roots” at The Shack Neighborhood House

Recently I started creating a new nutrition education curriculum for The Shack Neighborhood House called “Boots & Roots”. This program will be running for the target population of K-5 starting in early September. Now, what is “Boots & Roots”?

I was told to think of a nutrition education piece for K-5 that could be held on a weekly basis throughout the semester. So, what did I want to include? I wanted to include a nutrition education component- of course but, I also wanted to think of something interactive for this wide age range AND I wanted to incorporate another aspect of Davis College. So, why not introduce the children to the Farm-to-Table theme. I believe that this is a really important nutrition education model to follow because it’s the end of the summer and soon, gardens are going to start dying and the weather is going to get colder. So, in this curriculum, I wanted to showcase to the children that YOU can MAKE your OWN garden and even keep it inside during those colder months. This way, you can keep your kitchen ingredients and dinner meals more and more fresh!

So I thought of this as a 9 week lesson plan. The lesson will last from 3:30-4:30pm and will have 2 parts to it. The first part will be the education piece. And the second part will be the interactive activity section, based off of what we learned. Each week we will go over the theme of the week. So the curriculum goes as followed:

Week 1: BackGROUND

Activity 1: “Build Your Farm”- children will be creating their own planter. I have 5 different options of planters to choose from. They have the option of making a planter out of a 2-liter bottle, “pizza planter”, shoebox planter, old shoe planter, and an egg carton planter

Week 2: BackGROUND

Activity 2: “Paint Your Planter”- this will simply be the opportunity to give the children a chance to decorate their planters with ribbon, markers, crayons, stickers (hopefully Davis College stickers), and other accessories.

Week 3: In The Garden

Activity 3: “Fertilize Your Farm”- this activity will consist of instructing the children about fertilizing your plant soil. We will go over what fertilizer does to your seeds, how it helps make foods grow, and how it can affect what we eat.

Week 4: On The Farm

Activity 4: “Select Your Seed”-this activity will be the interesting part of the curriculum. We will have a number of different seeds for the students to choose from and instructions on each planting seed. They will have the freedom to choose whatever seeds they want but, they will have to maintain them and will be educated on it as well.

Week 5: In The Fields

Activity 5: “Growth Chart”- the next few weeks for activities will be solely based on their growth chart. We will have the students keep a record or log, on their planter’s growth. We ask the students to draw pictures of what they want their planter to look like and what it looks like now. How can we get the present drawing to look like their ideal drawing of their planter?

Week 6: Fruits

Activity 6: “Growth Chart”

Week 7: Veggies

Activity 7: “Growth Chart”

Week 8: Grains

Activity 8: “Growth Chart”

Week 9: Bringing It All Together

Activity 9: “Comparing Farms”- the last activity will be the most interactive between the students. We ask the students to walk around and look at their classmates “farms”. What is different about their “farms”, compared to yours? What kinds of foods were grown? Did they grow more or less compared to your own “farm”? This way, the children can get a wider range of planter gardens and hopefully strive to continue their own “farm” at home with the help of their parents!

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