Monday, October 5, 2009

Activity: Gardener Interview

Interviewing a local gardener provides a great opportunity for children to learn gardening tips and to recognize that their school garden is one of many gardens in the community.

The follow activity outlines the steps for conducting a gardener interview with your students. The goals of this activity are for students to learn how to ask good questions and conduct an interview, practice listening skills, synthesize information, create stories or draw pictures, and learn about local gardening techniques.

Local gardener to be interviewed

  1. Contact a local gardener and invite him/her to come to your class. Consider contacting a parent, community member or local master gardener volunteer.
    Make sure that whomever you contact is comfortable speaking in front of your class.
  2. Discuss interviewing techniques with your students. Make sure they understand how to ask good questions and use good listening skills.
    If necessary, break students into pairs to practice interviewing and listening. Have them interview each other and present what they heard.
  3. Brainstorm interview questions to ask the gardener.
    When did you begin gardening?
    What types of fruits/vegetables do you plant?
    How do you use the plants?
    What tips/suggestions do you have for our garden?
  4. Have students write down the questions they will ask the gardener.
  5. Confirm the date/time of the interview with the gardener.
  6. On the day of the interview, ask a student to introduce the class.
  7. Either ask the gardener to describe their gardening experience or have students begin asking questions.
  8. If you already have a school garden, show it to your guest.
  9. Thank the gardener for coming to the class.
  10. After the interview, discuss with the class what they learned.
  11. Have students either write a story about the interview or draw a picture.
  12. Send a thank you note to the gardener.

Inviting a gardener to come to your classroom allows students to realize that they are part of a larger gardening community. It can be conducted before students start a garden or once they have begun gardening. Either way, it should allow for great gardening stories to be shared!

Work Cited:

Activity adapted from Krasny, M. (2005, June). Garden Mosaics Program Manual. Cornell University.

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