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Incredible Edible Wakefield Edible Activity Trail

By Sarah Ward

The Edible Activity Trail was created by Incredible Edible Wakefield as a fun way to introduce children to the idea of growing food whilst also helping to develop their maths and English skills.

The idea initially came about as the group needed a way of encouraging teachers to bring pupils along to Eastmoor community garden and wanted to inspire teachers to bring food growing into the curriculum.

The Community Garden has four primary schools within walking distance but was an underused resource as busy teachers were reluctant to bring groups out of school for activities they could also do within school grounds.

The answer was to develop an activity which made teachers lives easier by letting them download exercise sheets from the community garden website and bring classes along to take part in an activity trail Incredible Edible Wakefield volunteers had set up in advance.

Each child or small group is given a Plant Search Identity sheet, a pen or pencil and a clipboard/rest.

There are nine planters, each with a number on it, located within the confines of the Community Garden and the first stage involves finding each of the planters and identifying the Edible Plant it contains.

Once found the pupil(s) have to write the number on the planter in the box below the plant name on the Plant Search activity sheet.

Once all the planters have been found and the plant search sheets completed the teacher/helper(s) check the answers against the answer sheet and where necessary correct any incorrect plant numbers.

There are then four options for secondary activities – a word search containing the names of the nine edible plants, a crossword with a hidden phrase and key stage one (addition) and key stage two (multiplication) maths quizzes – using the numbers on the planters i.e. Peas (9) + lettuces (8) = 17.

The trail engages children actively in their learning, encourages healthy life choices – and makes learning fun whilst improving literacy and numeracy.

From the children’s point of view, “it gets us learning what kinds of vegetables we can grow and what different kind of vegetables we don’t eat a lot or know about and to learn about them.”

The trail is now in its fourth year and over this period has been enjoyed by hundreds of children from all four local primary schools as well as a number of Brownies and Scout groups doing their gardening badges.

You can watch a short film of one of the classes enjoying their visit here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-3EAYplWWw

or download the activity pack here:

http://www.eastmoorcommunitygarden.co.uk/teaching-packs/