Potatoes, wireworms and other bugs

wireworms in potato_7575first grade potato_7577 Plant a potato here in the early spring and you will find wireworms! That’s what the first graders found out, and what a great opportunity to learn about insect larvae in the soil while trapping a pesky pest. We even were able to catch some click beetles (the adult of the wireworm) so the students could see what they looked like.

The first graders had skewered potatoes with their names and planted them, and sure enough when they came back from spring break they found wireworms.

wireworm magnifying scope_7573

We used great little magnifying scopes to examine them. A big thank you to the South Whidbey Schools Foundation for funding their purchase.

Each week the students pulled up their potatoes to examine their growth and any wireworms might have burrowed in them, and then replanted them. potato to bring home_7673    potato planting instructions first grade1_7663that

How patient and kind the potatoes were to endure this exercise! In the beginning of May, everyone wrote instructions about how to plant potatoes to share with their families and the potatoes went home with the students.

Wireworms are just one of the many bugs and insects that can be found in the garden. The First Graders went on to study aphids, red wriggler worms and the creatures that hide in rocks and wood terracing. Lots of habitats for the students to explore!

The kale, quite popular in garden tacos, was running out of steam and aphids were now enjoying it by the thousands. What a revelation to the students, and another great opportunity to examine bugs and draw them.

aphids first grade

first grade carrot pulling_4748In addition to studying insects and bugs, the first graders also planted lettuce, pulled out the kale, did the final seed saving on last season’s scarlet runner beans, examined the decomposing pumpkins (now sprouting volunteer pumpkins!) and of course, ate lots of garden veggies.

The carrots and peas were big enough that everyone could enjoy them before the end of school.

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