Date: June 8th, 2016

Grant from Platteville Community Fund Supports Agriculture Project

PHS FFA members (left to right) Katelyn Templeton, Kaylen Kruger, Amber Lancaster, Marty O’Neal, Brandon Loeffelholz, Lucas Johnson, Brigid Reimann (teacher and FFA advisor), Cody Shambow, Alex Sonsala are set to distribute tomato plants to the PMS 6th graders.

PHS FFA members (left to right) Katelyn Templeton, Kaylen Kruger, Amber Lancaster, Marty O’Neal, Brandon Loeffelholz, Lucas Johnson, Brigid Reimann (teacher and FFA advisor), Cody Shambow, Alex Sonsala are set to distribute tomato plants to the PMS 6th graders.

By Gary Munson
Platteville Main Street Program – Sustainability Committee

Teaching and Doing:
The Best Ways to Learn

The end of the school year is always exciting.  This year, the Platteville High School Future Farmers (FFA) made it even more exciting for the 6th graders at the Platteville Middle School.  A group of FFA students prepared a tomato plant for each 6th grader and went to the middle school to teach a lesson on plant growth and care.

Plants and plant growth are topics in the 6th grade science curriculum.  Urban agriculture and agricultural education are included in the FFA program.  The two were combined when the high school students prepared the plants and put together a lesson for the 6th graders.  Teaching something to someone is one of the best ways to really learn about a topic.   When you combine that with getting involved and “doing” the lesson, it makes the learning come alive.  The tomato plant that each 6th grader took home to plant will keep the learning going all summer.

Hands-on learning was an important part of the FFA lesson for the Platteville Middle School 6th graders. Left to Right: Nina Schaefer, Bristol Ogden, Molly Jude (teacher), D.J. Leifker.

Hands-on learning was an important part of the FFA lesson for the Platteville Middle School 6th graders. Left to Right: Nina Schaefer, Bristol Ogden, Molly Jude (teacher), D.J. Leifker.

The project was under the guidance of PHS teacher and FFA advisor, Brigid Reimann.  She led a group of FFA members as they prepared and taught the lesson.  The lesson was designed to give the 6th graders a better understanding of plant growth and to show them how to care for their tomato plant.  “The students did a wonderful job with the lesson,” remarked Gary Munson, Sustainability Committee member.  “It was well organized and clearly presented.  The 6th graders were really paying attention to their high school teachers.”

The tomato plant project idea came from the Platteville Sustainability Committee.  The committee is one of the functions of the Platteville Main Street Program.  The costs were covered by a grant from the Clarence Gribble Trust of the Platteville Community Fund, a component of the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin.  The tomato plant project is one of four urban agriculture projects that the Sustainability Committee will undertake this year.