Nann Parrett has been visiting Mrs. Berry’s classroom at Hawthorne Elementary, where she has students excited about gardening through art projects and science activities. During every visit, the class discusses the term “Observation,” and students get the chance to observe the results of their efforts in various ways.

They had a blast when Parrett brought the worm composting bin, when they got to handle wriggly red worms while talking about the important job worms have in the life cycle. Another time, students crafted lovely butterfly mobiles, a spring-inspired chromatology project where they talked about how colors are made.

Their latest activity involved the effect different quantities of worm compost tea has on grass seeds. They worked collaboratively, delegating roles for carrying out their experiments. The Managers helped to make sure all members of their group had a job. The Artists crafted signs for their groups’ lab samples. The Diggers filled the milk-carton pots with soil. The Planters sowed the seeds. The Measurers rationed out the compost tea for each of the three samples they managed. The Waterers watered the samples. It was so rewarding to watch students working together, helping each other to fulfill their roles successfully.

Students will observe their three samples over the next couple of weeks to determine the ideal amount of worm tea solution for growing their plants.