I love gardening in my preschool program. I think preschoolers learning about where food comes from and the work involved in growing and feeding people shows them 1. the importance of hard work and 2. helps them to see that taking care of the earth is important.
During the theme about the orchards we were able to connect what was on the table with where it came from. This is important because technically, growing food could be considered an abstract concept and most educators believe that you can not introduce abstract concepts to children. I do not fall into that category though. Mostly because I have been able to use my Amazon account to find documentaries and videos so that they can actually see what I am talking about. We may not be able to see it in person, but we access to a whole host of resources now that can be used to help children put a face to the concept we are learning about.
The Orchard theme with Mother Goose Time could be considered abstract for the children because not every child has been to an orchard or have the ability to go to one in person. So an entire farm dedicated to the growing of fruits or just growing a fruit can seem a far off and not interesting topic if you do not find resources that can help bring the subject to life. One of the videos I used to bring the subject to life was John Deere Farm Days. This video showed farm equipment and plant life. You do not have to have the children watch the entire video, you can watch the video a head of time and have it ready to at the section that fits into what you want to teach for that day.
Another resource that I use for helping me with the theme of the month is Scholastic Magazines. Specifically, My Big World With Clifford. I have been incredibly lucky this year, Clifford has been right on the mark with the Mother Goose Themes. Which means that it has been super easy to streamline the lessons and use the magazines to help reinforce lessons that we have been working on.
In summary: Farm to table is a good lesson and Orchard was an awesome way to teach this lesson. And resources are an awesome way to teach abstract concepts!
Live Long and Keep Teaching!
*Mother Goose Time Supplies Mother Goose Time for an honest review.