Master Gardener Teaching Kits

MG Teaching Kits to Learn, Teach, SustainMaster Gardener Teaching Kits are classrooms in a box. Each kit focuses on a specific subject with curricula easily adjusted to any age group, from kindergartners to teenagers to seniors. These Teaching Kits are designed to bring environmental education to schools, community groups, youth programs, senior centers, and Master Gardener clinics in King County.

Some of the special theme-related items you will find in each of these well-designed teaching kits are included in the descriptions below. Each kit also includes a multitude of supplies such as videos, DVDs, hand lenses, Petri dishes, posters, puppets, and other hands-on props for the activities. The 3-ring handbook binder includes background information on the topic along with diagrams, worksheets, teaching tips, curricula, and lesson plans for educating both folderschildren and adults. Each kit is housed in its own storage bin with a folding luggage cart that make it easy to transport.

The Teaching Kits are available in both Seattle and in Federal Way. For more information on how to reserve a kit, or find out more about the kits, contact Elaine Anderson, the Master Gardener Program Coordinator in King County, elaine.anderson@wsu.edu, 206-685-5104. Print this Teaching Kit brochure to share with others interested in the Teaching Kits.

Roots and Shoots Teaching KitRoots and Shoots Kit contents

This Teaching Kit has background information on plants as food makers, plant adaptations, how trees grow, houseplant pests, growing salad in a pot and propagating a variety of plants. The kit includes hands on items to go with the planned activities, such as:

  • A plant press
  • Hand lenses and Petri dishes
  • Root viewer and root and bark samples
  • Potting soil and peat pellet samples for the potting activity
  • Seed catalogs for selecting projects, and grocery ads for the “plants that we eat” activity

The kit also includes Ollie the Owl, color match cards, Plant Life in Action DVD on Photosynthesis, and several books and activity sheets about seeds, plant biology, incredible plants and trees.

Insects Teaching Kit

This Teaching Kit has background information on insect study, bringing hands-on garden work on small discoveries into the hands of kids too disconnected from nature. The kit discusses good bugs and bad bugs, what to find in your garden, what is a problem and what is beneficial. The kit includes background and activities like:Insects Teaching Kit

  • Anatomy of insects and spiders and an identification key and game to sort them out
  • A guide to common small schoolyard animals
  • Where to look for insects
  • How to collect insects and keep them in a home away from home

There are diagrams and charts about webs, eggs and cocoons and a key to the six main orders of adult insects.  There’s even a “Mini-Beast Journal” for the explorer in you to track your insect adventures.

Seeds and Flowers Teaching Kit

This Teaching Kit introduces us to seed saving techniques and the function of flowers, fruits and seeds. Posters show the anatomy of flowers, and information sheets explain the use of flowers by humans in uses from perfumes to eating. The kit includes:

  • Seed Sample Box
  • Tools for collecting and saving seeds
  • Books and worksheets about basic botany of flowers

Pollinators Teaching Kit

This Teaching Kit teaches about not just bees, bats, and hummingbirds, but about their habitats, too. The kit introduces users to concepts like conservation and preservation. Some of the activities include:

  • Mason Bee habitat instructions
  • Diagrams of flower anatomy
  • Worksheets about pollinators and their habits

The posters and planned activities help to understand the need to avoid using chemicals that endanger the habitats of our most frequent and easily identifiable pollinators.

Native Plant/Wildlife Habitat Teaching KitNatives Teaching Kit contents

This Teaching Kit teaches about the benefits of native plants, backyard and schoolyard habitats, and noxious weed and native plant identification. The kit includes:

  • A Survivor Game
  • A plant press
  • Bird hand puppets
  • Books and games about habitats
  • Plant identification cards

The included lesson plans and activities will afford a great introduction to natives in the city, how they nourish the rich diversity of insects and animals in our urban environment, and give hints on how to explore the world nearest to us, our neighborhoods, to find and nurture these plants and wildlife.

Soil and Compost Teaching Kit

This Teaching Kit focuses on the soil-food web of life. It teaches about soil composition and soil building. The kit includes:

  • Activities to understand mulching, its uses and purposes
  • Decomposition and its role in soil making
  • Composting methods and activity bins
  • Soil samples

This kit gives a hands on experience with soil, teaching how to collect and analyze soil samples. There is information about various uses of compost, and the benefits of compost in the garden.

Trees Teaching KitTrees Teaching Kit contents

This Teaching Kit teaches about the forest layers and habitat, the role of wildfire, botany and tree identification, and how trees are used by both animals and humans. The kit includes:

  • Tree slices and a variety of cones
  • “Ollie the Old Owl” puppet
  • A clinometer to measure tree height
  • Cone hunt checklist and identification cards
  • Tree photos and poems

A variety of posters to help identify trees and twigs in our Pacific Northwest forest are included along with books and videos to help educate the users about trees, planting the right tree in the right place, and what a tree can mean to you.

Worms Teaching Kit

This Teaching Kit teaches about the benefits and anatomy of worms and other decomposers, the art of worm bin building and maintenance, and managing food waste indoors. Included in this kit are:

  • Worm Digest issues
  • Did you know articles about killer worms and how earthworms help build soil
  • Wormania DVD
  • Posters on worm anatomy
  • Puppet show props for an educational and entertaining activity on worms
  • Petri dishes and eyedroppers for your hands-on experiments

This kit helps us to understand how worms decompose food waste, what to feed worms in your worm bin, how worms hear and see, along with a “Worms Eat Our Garbage” workbook.

Water Teaching Kit

This Teaching Kit introduces us to the water cycle, how the average family uses water, and water conservation. There are also activities about the Puget Sound natural features and the salmon streams and regional water systems. Activities include:

  • Water Charades
  • Water Cycle Puppet Show
  • The story of H2O and pollution problems
  • Home Water Use chart

The kit has activity books on water, wetlands and watershed model activity, recycling water, and coloring pages on water-loving species.

Observation Chamber

This separate chamber can be combined with any of the Teaching Kits to provide an easy way to watch growing plants, soil layer models or as a temporary worm home. The chamber comes with removable panels that reveal see-through sides for a peak into nature about its business.

The Teaching Kits are available in both Seattle and in Federal Way. For more information on how to reserve a kit, or find out more about the kits, contact Elaine Anderson, the Master Gardener Program Coordinator in King County, elaine.anderson@wsu.edu, 206-685-5104.

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The Master Gardener program is a part of Washington State University Extension presenting science-based research on a variety of environmental subjects including, plants, pest management and gardening. WSU Extension programs and employment are available to all without discrimination. Evidence of noncompliance may be reported through your local Extension office.


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