Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Potato Project - Part 2 - Planting!

After Spring break we came back to find that our potatoes were sprouting eyes! It was time to plant the potatoes.
Checking out the potatoes!

We are planting them in burlap sacks. This way we can add more soil as the plants grow and we unroll the sack, giving us a bigger harvest.

It took lots of helpers to fill the sack even just 6 inches deep.

Everyone pitched in for a little while or for the whole time.

We covered the potatoes with soil.

After choosing a sunny corner of the yard we watered the potatoes very well!

Lots of watering help was given. 

Soon we will check up and see how our potatoes have grown!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Potato Project

Potatoes are a food that resonate with children. They usually love to eat them prepared in many ways - mashed, roasted, fried into french fries, baked, in soup, and so on. One of my favorite stories to tell by heart is "The Enormous Potato," based off the book by Aubrey Davis and it's a story rooted in the storytelling tradition. The children love the story and are captivated by the idea of growing a huge potato in the ground, pulling it out, and eating it. 

What better way to catch this interest than to grow our own potatoes? I chose three potatoes from the store, put them in a paper bag, and brought them to school.

I presented the closed bag to the children. I asked them to feel the contents through the bag, and wondered what they thought was inside. 

"Cold Rocks!" 
"Something Bumpy!"

Then I opened the bag and put my hand inside, without looking, to feel the potatoes. I let each child try it and asked them to describe what they felt. Was it smooth or rough? Was there one object inside the bag or several? Was it warm or cold?

Finally we opened the bag and I took out the potatoes. Some of the children were surprised to see a purple potato in my hands! 

I explained that we were going to plant them but before we did that, we needed to let them sprout a little in a sunny place. 

We put them in a tray and placed them near the French doors. The children observed as they slowly showed signs of life over the next few weeks. 

Coming up next - Planting the potatoes! Stay tuned….