Kindergarten students at Waupaca Learning Center planted the gifts they gave their mothers for Mother’s Day.
In early March, all the students went to Silver Mist Garden Center, where each one filled a pot with soil and fertilizer and then placed a Coleus plant in it.
The students decorated the pots ahead of time, and the plants stayed at the garden center to be cared for by the garden center’s staff.
Silver Mist donated the pots, soil and plants.
Last week, teachers picked up the plants and moved them to the school, so the children could take them home in time for Mother’s Day.
Bonnie Timm owns Silver Mist Garden Center and explained why she decided to offer the program.
“It was inspired by my daughter being here, of course, and wanting to be involved in her life,” she said.
Timm’s daughter, Sienna, is in kindergarten at WLC.
“I see how much she enjoys it when she comes to the greenhouse,” Timm said.
She thought her daughter’s friends would, too.
From a young age, Timm’s daughter has been exposed to flowers and enjoys them.
“We plant a lot together, I love that time with her,” Timm said.
Her goal was to educate the students about the benefits of plants and gardening to both the earth and to people and animals.
Timm taught the students about the parts of plants and what each part does for the plant.
Back in the classroom, kindergarten teachers expanded on the lessons Timm began in the greenhouse.
In Jan Bergen’s class, they compared cuttings, bulbs and seeds.
“We grew beans in paper cups and watched the seeds grow into plants. We looked at the size of the seeds and compared that to the size of the plant. We saw that little acorns grow into big oaks. We labeled the parts of a plant and looked at the difference between dirt and soil,” she said.
Mary Erspamer helped her students make flowers.
They traced their hands for the petals and their feet for the leaves.
They labeled the parts of a plant, kept a classroom plant and discussed what it needed to survive, such as water, sunlight and space.
Erspamer’s students took turns watering the classroom’s plant, and she said it is still alive.
Her students, and many others, made a Mother’s Day book or card to go with the plant they were giving them.
Heather Frosch said her students labeled the parts of a flower and sang the “Parts of A Flower” song to the tune of “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.”
In Kathy Listle’s classroom, students made plant diagrams, created flower projects, read flower stories, colored flowers and made “seed windows,” where they watched seeds sprout and roots emerge.
When Andrea Fossum-Grall talked to her students about plants, she also told the students they eat a root when they eat a carrot.
“We read a lot of books and wrote about parts of plants in our writing journals,” she said. “We talked about how plants are good for our environment, how they breathe in bad air and give off oxygen that we need to live.”
Fossum-Grall also talked to the students about what Silver Mist Garden Center does for the community and how it is a job opportunity for people who live in the area.
The teachers appreciate the time Timm and her staff spent with the kindergarten students.
Timm hopes she got them excited about gardening and planting flowers, saying, “They are our future gardeners.”