Good projects for horticulture class
I'm teaching a 1-unit horticulture class this quarter in my regional branch, and would like some suggestions for project ideas. I'd like them to be relatively low-cost, since I know a lot of my students don't come from that wealth of options. I could provide them with some things they could use to build their own projects, but I'd like the projects to be simple enough that they could do on their own.
Here are my requirements:
A project with flowers or a plant that can grow in pots. (The class is only 3 quarters long, so I don't want to limit it to the end of the quarter, even if they could get that plant ready. But at least something that will be blooming or bearing fruit by the second week would be a plus. I know several things that fall into this category, I just can't think of any off the top of my head.)
I don't want it to be too big a project (say a 5-gallon pot).
I'd like them to have something to do while they're in school.
In all the years I've been teaching, I can't recall any student project that required an actual time commitment from them to keep it going.
I had a project where my 5-gallon pot was a black plastic trash can that was the only source of water for the plant for a week or two, and then it grew roots and broke through to the soil on the other side. I'm just a little nervous about that, because I think it's not as sustainable. I think it might be too easy for them to do that with no investment.
I am not in this class, but for all the reasons above, I would be a little nervous about a trash can project. I love the project that the teacher was looking for last semester to be a "watermelon" project for the kids (using seeds from my friend's garden) and we got to make something like a watermelon ball or something and it looked really cool. But I am sure that is not the only idea she had for them.
If your project is going to have a time commitment, I would suggest making it so that they don't have to do it alone, or with other students, etc. So it's not a total disaster if they do fall apart.
I had the same problem and couldn't think of a suitable solution. I've been giving my kids projects from time to time and they seem to be pretty motivated with it but the ones that I have done so far have been simple things like making a paper cut out of a heart. A large time commitment seems to dampen their interest in the project which leads to a lot of "what's the point" type thinking. I'd just stick with simple projects as they seem to work much better in the long run.
I had the same problem with my kids. Then I found out that the school only requires kids to do soemthing creative with something to do at home. So I went with a really cool recycled craft, and they had a blast! Now we spend alot of time reading, drawing, and playing games together. :)
I didn't have the problem with my girls. I let them explore on their own with their craft projects and just encourage them to do what they're interested in. I always keep craft supplies on hand and they find many ways to decorate them anyway. I have them draw pictures or color in books and then cut them out and do the craft project that way. They have a blast with their paper crafts and I like that it keeps them occupied and their hands clean. Plus, they have lots of time to go around and visit one another. So I think it's the same way with your girls - let them be creative, encourage them, and let them finish their projects at their own pace.
Just keep this in mind: even though they have a project to do, their job is not to finish that project, but rather to find a way to enjoy themselves and be creative.
I'm an English and Media teacher. In addition to studying my own children and teaching them to read and write, I have a 12 year old and 7 year old. I'm a wife and a stay at home mom. Life is busy but not stressful. I enjoy running, reading, cooking, doing crafts and sewing. These things keep me busy and I like the relaxed pace of life in Tennessee.
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