Linking with unit and inquiry topics

A way of integrating the garden program into the existing curriculum is to link with the term units or inquiry topics established by each of the year levels in each of the schools.  For years this approach was not that effective because

1. it increased my workload to an unrealistic level trying to cater for every class

2. no time to communicate and collaborate with classroom teachers effectively

3. due to this lack of time and communication having to guess where the classes were up to according to their term plan

4. not necessarily covering the core content that was essential to the educational and experiential goals of the garden or sustainability program and contributing to the randomness of the content

However, using the Foodweb Education framework, even if the unit topic is not specifically science related, applying the framework to your planning becomes an effective way to integrate with the existing curriculum, reduce workload on yourself AND classroom teachers and increase meaningful learning for the students.

Examples of integrating with seemingly unrelated classroom units

Unit: Pulling Strings – Puppets

Foodweb framework: Use the Foodweb Story to build understanding of character and story development. Turning the story into a play and finally using other hand puppets to recreate their own puppet play based on the Foodweb story

Foodweb Story - energy flow through ecosystems

Foodweb Story – energy flow through ecosystems

Creating their own 'energy flow through ecosystems' puppet show

Creating their own ‘energy flow through ecosystems’ puppet show

Unit: Gold Rush in Victoria

Foodweb framework: Use the themese of energy flow and matter cycling to look at society and societal changes during this period in history and re-create village life based on these understandings.

Photo0842 IMG_2540 Photo0841

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