Last week’s column about Jeanne Baret’s dedication was popular with many people. I thought I would follow-up and share an idea about how to integrate the field work of Jeanne Baret and other explorers into the classroom by using the field journal lesson plans written by Devon Hamner. Hamner presents the framework for four 50-minute journaling sessions in How Does My Garden Grow? Writing in Science Field Journals.
Throughout these four sessions, students are prompted to write about their observations, pay attention to detail, ask questions and are expected to investigate topics with which they are unfamiliar. They are also expected to act like researchers and are required to discuss their work with their peers. Hamner’s approach to learning about plants is very flexible and does not require an established schoolyard garden. Her activity can be applied to windowsill gardens and to container gardens. She even has a plan teachers can use in the event there is a mass die-off of students’ seedlings.
Hamner explains how to implement each journaling session and addresses everything from how to introduce students to gardening topics, to how to how lead collaborative inquiry-based activities.
If you’re looking for a way to merge botany, history and art using exploration as a theme, consider adding Hamner’s article to your tool kit. It is available for free online. Included are links to additional Web-based resources.
Hamner, Devon. How does my garden grow? Writing in science field journals. Retrieved from http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/does-garden-grow-writing-846.html