My students are 6th graders in a large socio economically disadvantaged middle school in Monroe North Carolina. They have been given the opportunity to create a school garden this spring through another grant and will be incorporating lessons in Math. As a cross curricular project I would like them to read Seedfolks, a novel about a small girl whose one action of planting seeds to honor her deceased father causes a vacant lot and the people who live around it to change. I would love for my students to see that their actions have meaning and that they can change their world for the better.
My students are learning the English language as they learn content in middle school. They particularly need reading practice and this book will appeal to them because not only are the characters a diverse group from all over the world, but also because the action in the book of creating a garden mirrors what they will actually be doing this spring.
I envision these books being a springboard for literacy lessons in cause and effect and character change and development.
I also plan lessons in civic engagement as students read about how one young girl's action of planting seeds leads to changes in her neighbors and her immediate environment. Students will learn that that young people have efficacy and can impact their communities in positive and significant ways.
Furthermore, students will be able to compare and contrast their garden with the garden in the book and the thirteen primary characters with themselves. Creating and evaluating are at the highest levels of Bloom's taxonomy of educational learning objectives and students will be engaging in these higher order thinking skills as they create their own garden (via another grant) and evaluate it and themselves as they read this book.
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