Grade 5 LP

 

5. Be My Friend: Companion Planting

ACTIVITIES AND RESOURCES

Science

 

Amazing website for symbiosis!  Contains detailed explanation and lesson plan along with great flash cards containing examples of the different symbiotic relationships: parasitism, commensalism, and mutualism.

 

 

Simple article explaining science-based benefits of  The Three Sisters of Companion Planting: Corn, Beans, and Squash

 

 

Article by the National Gardening Association explaining basic companion plants and helpful bugs as well. Downplays the scientific basis for some types of companion planting as being “farmer’s lore”, but it is an overall a good resource for finding general information about the topic.

 

 

Excellent one minute video about the symbiotic relationship between barnacles and whales.

 

 

Math

 

Fantastic site explaining a variety of examples of the Fibonacci Sequence in nature.  Includes many graphics and kid-friendly illustrations.

 

 

Interesting article explaining the Fibonacci Sequence as it is found in nature.

 

 

Detailed lesson plan explaining the space needed by typical plants in a garden and guiding students to plot the garden mathematically depending on the space needs of each plant. (No need to grow the actual garden.  Students can take measurements at the Greenway Table Garden on their field trip!)

 

 

One interesting math activity that involves plotting the design of a three sisters garden based on a certain number of seeds given (27 Corn seeds, 45 bean seeds, 9 squash seeds). Students are expected to find the number of seeds needed for each three sister mound (1 squash, 15 beans, 3 corn).  Once they have done this, they can plot the garden on paper and use different colors to indicate how they would plant these seed combinations.

 

After plotting the garden on graph paper, have the students evaluate how much space they would save using the Three Sisters planting system.  You can also use this to teach sequences: 3 corns seeds in the first mound, 6 corn seeds in the second mound, 9 corn plants by the third mound, ect.

 

Social Studies

 

Ben’s Guide to U.S. Government For Kids contains tons of great information and a plethora of links to government sponsored websites designed just for kids.

 

 

Explain the three branches of government: Executive, Judicial, and Legislative.  Ask students to think about the different functions of the branches.  Additionally, you could explain the branches of local, state, and federal government.  Have the students ponder how the Three Sisters method of planting is similar.  How do the different branches support each other?

 

 

Fun one minute video on the branches of the government.  Compares executive branch to the principal!

 

 

Language Arts

 

This is a very simple and interesting telling of the Iroquois myth of The Three Sisters.  Would be wonderful accompanied by pictures of each individual plant (corn, beans, squash) so that students can see why the Iroquois described each sister the way they did and include an additional picture of the three sisters growing together.

 

 

Read passages from “Carrots Love Tomatoes” and discuss sustainable gardening techniques and symbiosis.

 

 

For a touch of humanity, you could do a class reading of The Giving Tree or The Gardener and discuss how we support each other as humans: family, friends, school, community, etc.  Discuss how plants enrich our lives (food, beauty, oxygen, etc.) and how we enrich each other (laughter, support, community parks enjoyed by children and supported with local government money from all the taxpayers, The Greenway Table Garden bringing sustainable gardening practices to our community, etc.).