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Jr Master Gardeners 3/16/11

We worked on three activities in class yesterday.

First, I boiled two pots of water. In one we put a red onion (cut up) and in the other, coffee. Then, we added strips of cotton cloth to see what would happen by the end of class, two hours later. The onion turned the cloth yellow, the coffee dyed the cloth a soft tan. If you do this at home, keep the cloth in longer for a deeper color. Eggs do well with these natural dyes also.

For our next project, I was excited to find a bag of bug houses, the exact amount we needed, too, in the classroom closet. We hadn’t hunted for insects and bugs yet so we set out to find as many as we could. What the students found included: ladybugs, spiders (one with eggs on it’s back), a mosquito, several ants, a beetle and one unidentified crawling object.

Next, we did plant pounding. Each student picked several different leaves or flowers and put them between two strips of cotton. Using hammers we pounded the leaves. The juices came out of the leaves which stained the cotton, leaving the shape of the leaf and some other details. It’s a cool activity for anyone to try.

To round out the day, I paired the students up in teams of two and gave them each an interview form. They had to learn something new about each other. The exercise goes along with the career and personal growth lessons we’re doing now. Many questions asked about future aspirations. By the end of the course, next month, the students will have researched careers and then they’ll host a Career Day.

Next week we might be working in the garden.

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