Read the article ‘A cabbage patch for kids’ and answer the following questions. Then share your answers in pairs, small groups or in a classroom discussion.
1. St Jospeh’s school in Kununurra, WA has seen many benefits since they joined the Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden program. Why do you think learning to garden and cook would benefit kids so much?
2. How does what we eat affect our mood, school work and relationship with God?
3. Do you eat fruit and vegetables? What are your favorite fresh foods to eat?
4. Do you like to cook? If yes, what’s your favorite meal to make? If not, why don’t you like to cook? If you could cook anything what would it be?
5. Have you ever gardened? Why would building and tending to a garden from scratch be a useful life lesson to learn in school? Would you like your school to have a garden?
1. Community gardens are cropping up in cities and towns around the country. Check out this directory of some of the gardens around Australia (http://directory.communitygarden.org.au/). Organise a visit to a community garden near your school, and talk to some members of the community about their garden. Do you think every community should have a garden? Why or why not?
2. Interview someone you know who has a garden to grow fruit or vegetables. Why did they start gardening? What do they enjoy about it? What are some of the things they grow? What are some of the difficulties they have to deal with (e.g. pests)? How is growing your own food different from buying it from the supermarket? Is this something everyone should do?
Present the findings of your interview and share what you learned about gardening with your class.
For younger students
Break up into groups of three or four and pretend your school is building a garden. In your small groups, design a garden for your school. Where would you like your vegetable garden to be? What vegetables and fruits would you want to grow? Would your school need more shade if they were to plant a garden? Once you’ve designed your garden, make a list of all the tools you would need. Brainstorm whom in your community you could ask for help and donations to make your school’s dream garden a reality.
When you’re finished, share your group’s dream garden with your class. If you want, your class can have a vote on which team’s garden is the best. Share the best design with your principal and see if your school can make your dream garden a reality.
Watch the video below and take a tour of St Joseph's St Mary MacKillop garden: