Archive for Thursday, May 7, 1998

SUNFLOWER STUDENTS DIG INTO LESSON

May 7, 1998

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First- and second-graders learn about plants and flowers in a hands-on lesson.

The idea sprouted in Sunflower School classrooms more than a month ago, and Wednesday it was put into action by students who got a chance to dig into gardening.

More than 100 first- and second-graders hiked from the school to Clinton Parkway Nursery and Garden Store, 4900 Clinton Pkwy., for a tour and the opportunity to plant flowers.

``It follows with everything we're doing,'' Janet Breithaupt, a first- and second-grade teacher, said.

Breithaupt's students began planting vegetables, plants, flowers and grass in their classroom several weeks ago to learn about root systems and growing seasons.

``We wanted to give them hands-on experience so they can be introduced to different types of plants,'' she said.

Ann Peuser, Clinton Parkway Nursery owner, questioned students on fruits, vegetables, bees and the correct color of healthy leaves.

``It's a good deal for the kids,'' Peuser said. ``It's a win-win situation. They get out of class for a while and we get to talk about plants. We get parents out here, too.''

About eight Southwest Junior High students helped guide the younger students through the greenhouse and into the flower beds. They planted marigolds in honor of Mother's Day, Peuser said.

Peuser conducted an informal poll and found that the majority of students, like first-grader Ryan Hobbs, have a garden at home.

Ryan is an old pro when it comes to green thumbs.

``We've done it before at my school and my house,'' he said. ``I like digging up stuff because you can get your hands dirty.''

Ryan's classmate Dorian Green declared the trip a success, but admitted he was more enthusiastic about planting vegetables than flowers.

``You can eat them,'' he said. ``We do that at my grandma's house.''

-- JL Watson's phone message number is 832-7145. Her e-mail address is jwatson@ljworld.com.

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