Help with school project

CylaFebruary 13, 2014

I work in 9 different schools running Girl Scout troops in the after school programs. One of the badges we will be working on in a few months is gardening/flowers. This is really hard to do since the roster of kids in the after school programs change constantly, limited resources and supplies, only an hour to run each age group, and I have to bring those supplies into and out of the school with me.

My first idea was to have the children plant a small patch of flowers at the school, but it won't work at all schools since several of them barely have any grass, let alone an area to garden. I then thought back to my first grade class, remembering putting Lima beans in a ziploc bag with a wet paper towel and watching them grow. I thought this would be a better idea since it won't cost as much money, each girl can have their own plant, and they can take it home with them.

The problem I am running into is the scheduling of the beans. Due to the number of schools I go to I see each school biweekly. My idea of how to do this was the meeting before the gardening badge go ahead and have the girls out their bean in their Baggie and place it in the school window. When I return in two weeks it should of of taken root and the actual gardening badge day we go ahead and plant it in a paper cup and send it home with the kids, with instructions of course.

My question is which type of bean would be best for this that I can also get at the grocery store? I will be working with 100+ kids across the schools so I need the bean to be cheap and in large quantities. Since it needs to sit in a window for 2 weeks it does not need to be fast growing; don't want the kids to come back in 2 weeks and their plant outgrew the Baggie and died. I'm not really worried about zones or anything, I am sure that each of these kids will take the plant home to only die, but they need the experience more so than the plant.

Any feedback will be great, thank you in advance. Also if anyone else has any better ideas than this please let me know!

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Craftybrat(z7)

Buy a bag of mixed beans...Then there is more varieties to talk about...Also to watch as some do out grow their baggies and as some simply do not grow..Also some with dark paper, some with a bit of soil, etc. make the experiment more educational that way. I do this every spring and the kids love it but not to exciting with out some variances

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 7:22PM
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Cyla

Thanks for the reply. The problem is that I cannot be there to watch the beans, I rotate between 9 different schools and I cannot trust the children to watch their own bags to see if it would outgrow the bag or not (Most of the time we meet in the teachers lounge and the children dont have access there without it being a Girl Scout meeting time) What I am looking for is a common type of bean that takes usually about a week and a half to germinate, that way the sprout wont die before I get back in two weeks.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 9:51PM
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Ann English

I think green beans (like blue lake) might work, depending on how much light/ warmth is in the window. Have you looked at the Kid's Gardening site? They have great resources.http://www.kidsgardening.org/article/make-seed-starting-and-planting-calendar

    Bookmark   last Tuesday at 7:04PM
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