Guest post by Natalie in Grade 2
For our last Living Wall project, Grade 2 planted herbs and cooked or baked with them. On Monday (5/6), Ms. Biale gave us a bunch of different recipes and each group used their herb as the main ingredient. We made lemon-verbena scones, peppermint lemonade, mini-pizzas with oregano, rosemary shortbread, and cucumber chive sandwiches. I was in the pizza group. Chopping up the oregano was pretty hard because we got the tomato sauce all over the place and it was slippery to cut. After the food was baked and cooked, we celebrated in our class by having a garden party and ate or drank everything we made. It was delicious! My favorite part was eating the food. From now on, I will make pizza at home with my oregano.
When Ms. O’Brien moved into her new classroom, she looked out the window at the back of the climbing wall and the colorful mural and got inspiration for a living wall project. Ms. Ray had just returned from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where she had visited an amazing living wall at a nonprofit called “Vertical Harvest” and she thought a living wall sounded like a wonderful science/maker collaboration.
Ms. O’Brien. Ms. Ray, and Mr. Louie met to put this idea into motion. Planning out the project provided several rich opportunities for problem solving, such as using measurement skills to see where the wall would fit, figuring out how to provide sunlight and water for the plants, and how to protect the wood finish from water damage.
First, the 2nd graders worked with Mr. Louie in small groups to laser cut their name and an image of a flower onto a wooden panel. Then, they used clamps for woodworking and special glue to construct their boxes. In science class, they planted succulents in pots and carefully arranged rocks and shells around them to create miniature gardens. Ms. Lovejoy and Ms. Davis donated the succulent plants.
Phase one of the project is located in classroom 2OA while the girls finish planting their succulents. Phase two will be located in the lower school entry foyer across from Ms. Yeung’s desk. For the final phase of the project, the living wall will be mounted behind the climbing wall outside. This project is a wonderful example of the collaborative spirit that organically surrounds us at Hamlin every day.