Small spaces, homeschooling, no garden, love for cooking, love for gardening….
All of these things started popping up in my mind as I racked my brain trying to figure out what to teach 4th graders and above at our spring homeschool co-op. What could be more fun than learning about growing a few culinary herbs and how to use them!?
So teach them I did. We didn’t do anything too fancy or go too deep, but I hope the kids enjoyed learning some basic facts, care, and uses of Oregano, Thyme, Chives, Parsley, Basil, and Cilantro each week.
The Class Layout
- Pot Painting – Because what kid doesn’t like to personalize things and make them their own? We cut down on the mess by using special paint markers. (You can find the pens here through an affiliate link)
- Fun Facts – A quick Google search populated a number of fun facts about each of the herbs we were learning about. I made sure to include some tips on what dishes the specific herb would go well with. Then I created a Fun Fact Coloring Sheet in case we needed to kill some time. (You can get the coloring sheet along with the other documents for free by signing up for our monthly e-newsletter!)
- Use Your Senses – What good is it to learn about and plant an herb without experiencing it in real life? I brought in both the dried and fresh version of each herb and encouraged the kids to use each of their senses to experience them. Both fresh and dry herbs can usually be found at your local grocery store.
- Snack – Well, I called it a snack, but it was really a continuation of our experience of the herb for that week. Browsing the internet, I found many recipes highlighting the specific herb I was using. During class, the students were able to taste how an herb helped to elevate the specific dish.
- Planting and Care – Finally came the part where the students could plant something to take home. Their pots were now dry (with the markers it doesn’t take long), so we prepped the soil by getting it nice and damp in a 5 gallon bucket. Then each of the kids were able to fill their pots and plant their seeds. I also included care instructions in their packet for the week. (If you’re curious, you can find the info on the pots we used here, and each of the seed packets Oregano, Thyme, Chives, Parsley, Basil, and Cilantro through our affiliate links.)
Over-all, the class went smoothly and as planned. However, we ended up not needing to color the fact sheets. The kids loved personalizing their pots, so I gave them more time to do that while giving them a brief overview of the facts. The sheet still went home with them in their binders.
You can receive a download of the student packet for free! Just sign-up for our monthly e-newsletter, and you’ll receive the download right in your inbox! You have permission to make as many copies as you need.
- Pots (Affiliate Link)
- Paint Markers (Affiliate Link
- Folders (Affiliate Link)
- Fun Facts Coloring Page
- Colored Pencils
- Herb Seed of the Day: Oregano, Thyme, Chives, Parsley, Basil, Cilantro. (Affiliate Links)
- Snack Highlighting Herb of the Day (A quick Google search will give you lots of ideas)
- Planting Charts
- Soil (An Organic Seed Starting or Potting Soil works well)
- Water (for wetting soil)
- Fresh and Dry Herb of the Day
- 5-Gallon Bucket or Lg. Tub for Mixing Soil
- Wooden Spoon for Mixing Soil
- Plastic Wrap (To Cover Pots and Act as a Greenhouse Until Plants Germinate)
- Rubber Bands (For Securing Plastic Wrap)
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