Teaching a planting class provides an opportunity to demonstrate proper planting techniques and procedures to a group. Preparing the materials for the class ahead of time allows you to concentrate on the task of teaching and provides students with the information and resources they need to succeed in your class.
A class packet contains all the printed material used in your class. This includes a class outline or syllabus to the class, handouts, recommended reading lists and additional resources.
Before you begin the class, your students need a class outline so they know what to expect and the schedule of classes. Be sure to include due dates for any projects, reading assignments and tests. The class outline serves as your guide for teaching the class and provides students with easy reference to the expectations of the class.
Handouts provide additional information and resources for students. These may include graphs or charts, such as seed depth charts, USDA planting zones, recommended cultivars for the region or other class-related materials.
If you intend to use a slide show or projector for presenting the material, print out the slides with an area for note taking and include this in the class packet. This helps focus students during class and keeps notes and materials in one place.
Seed Starting Supplies
You will need enough seed starter for all students to plant two to four plants. If you intend to teach how to mix your own soils, you will need the appropriate materials like potting soil, peat moss and vermiculite, and a large container for mixing. A plastic tote large enough to hold the material to be used in preparing soil serves as a container for mixing and makes transporting quick and easy.
Organize a selection of planting materials like peat pots, peat pellets and trays. Not only will you need them when students begin planting, they make excellent visual props and give the student a better understanding of the materials you discuss. Even though planting materials may be familiar to you, keep in mind that not all students are familiar with the variety available. Providing the opportunity to see the material improves understanding and promotes learning.
Seed Packets and Seed Catalogs
Bring a variety of seed packets. You should have enough for one packet to every two people. Students may not be aware of the valuable information available on the seed packet. Providing hands-on experience with locating and interpreting this information is invaluable to students in a planting or gardening class. Include several seed catalogs, as these provide a wealth of information valuable to students.
Your preferred mode of presentation determines the material needed. Flip charts, visuals and presentation equipment should be prepared ahead of time. Include markers and pencils. For notes on white boards, you will need white board markers and an eraser. If you intend to present with a slide show or use a projector, make sure you have access to the necessary equipment.
Gather an assortment of garden tools for demonstration. Hand tools, likes trowels or hand cultivators, are easy to transport and require minimal space. If room allows, tools like hoes, rakes, shovels, garden forks and hand cultivators can be included.