When Asha took the class 3 kids for weed hunting, we observed so many things on the farm apart from Ragi, Tuwar, and Beans that we had sowed. I was really keen that we introduce the kids to the idea of Foraging on the farm and went back home to search for resources online.
As usual, the internet resource pool is amazing - a very quick search revealed so many useful ideas.
Here is what I explored: 1. https://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2016/may/09/how-to-teach-foraging
Roshni also found a nice resource called a handbook on weed identification by Dr. V.S.G. R Naidu and made a list of all what we had seen on the farm with Asha and Laksh a week before.
1. Nella Nelli https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phyllanthus_niruri
2. Catnip https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catnip
3. Crowfoot Grass https://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Crowfoot%20Grass.html (I think this is what looked like ragi the other day?)
4. Touch me not Mimosa pudica https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mimosa_pudica
5. Creeping woodsorrel https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxalis_corniculata
A lesson plan (see the relevant section on the website for it) , a worksheet , and full of ideas Roshni was all set to take the Class 5 kids! It was fantastic-- GowriShankar was excited to find manathakkali or wonder berry at the farm; Chandan showed us how to check if ragi was ready;
(these are kids of parents who are actively farming)( I often get asked in interviews if kids know the source of their food. I have to really smile at the question, these kids are our teachers, they know much much more than what we think we need to teach them.When we explore ways where we can value their knowledge- everyone learns!); we all compared berries and tasted ragi flowers; Manju saadhya and Gawri measured tallest Ragi and Tuwar plants ; There was a bit of discussion on plants and medicinal value. And the Homework was to write & illustrate one home remedy/kashaya/kaadha recipe.
Roshni designed a clever worksheet around the timeline of Ragi's growth and of writing down observations with a nice space for them to draw their favourite moment on the farm!
Of course there were some "ouch" moments- In order to spend some quiet time observing, and stepping barefoot on soft sand , we soon came to realise they were home to red ants!!! EEKS!