Tutor Courses






General aims of these sessions:

Involving the children with: Planning and preparing a family plot Learning about the soil and how to prepare it Planting vegetables and flowers Using containers to grow food and plants Caring for plants as they grow Harvesting food at the end of the season

Topic Content
1. Understanding the soil and how to improve it Analysing a variety of soil samples. Discussing which suits different crops. Gathering information from group on the soil in their locations. Planning.
2. Growing foods Identifying who has previously grown food/plants. Valuing an intergenerational approach to growing, e.g., collecting tips from parents. Identifying what parents and children would like to grow. Developing an action plan within the available timeframe.
3. Preparing the ground Visiting a garden/allotment, testing and /or improving the soil. Preparing raised beds if possible.
4. Planting vegetables/flowers in containers Introducing children to container gardening. Exploring options for growing own food and flowers if no land is available.
5. Growing plants with children Identifying plants. Identifying plants� needs for healthy growth. Setting up and monitoring plant growing experiments.
6. Planting vegetables/flowers in the ground Planting seasonal fast-growing foods and flowers. Exploring the use of supports/netting as needed. Discussing growing season and anticipating possible problems.
7. Caring for plants as they grow Looking at how to protect plants from pests and diseases in an organic way. Using pruning to encourage growth. Dead-heading flowers.
8. Harvesting the crop Harvesting. Maximising the growing season for food and flowers





Session 5: Growing plants with children


Plastic pots/cups
Potting compost
Recording sheet for each family
Cardboard box

Task Suggested Activities
Identifying plants Discuss what parents and children already know about plants. Can they name the parts of a plant? Use a real plant to point out leaves, flower, stem, roots, etc. Show parents and children photographs of different kinds of plants. Ask them to label the plant names they know and say which ones are native to Ireland and which are not.
How to grow plants Ask parents and children to share what they know about growing plants. Do they grow plants in pots or a garden at home? What do plants need to grow? Have pre-soaked seeds for each family to plant up and take home after the session.
What plants need to grow Discuss how to observe what might change in a plant, how to record growth, leaf appearance, shoots, length, colour, etc. Provide a chart and show parents and children how to record details about the plant they are observing.
Control group comparisons Compare sample plants starved of water, light, food, heat, with a plant that has had ideal conditions for growth. Ask the children to guess which is which. Provide materials to make a poster showing how to care for plants.


Literacy Links:

Spoken and written plant vocabulary, Recognising words, naming plants,
Writing familiar words,
Transcribing information,
Using writing with visual media (poster, labelling plants),
Observing plant growth and keeping a record

Numeracy Links:

Counting seeds,
Using measuring tools,
Recording measurements, time, temperature, height;
Planting in a pattern,
Using mathematical terms/symbols