Gardening with Kids: Irrigation - History and Science

Organic Gardening Education - Irrigation Canals in Ancient Mesopotamia
Organic Gardening Education -
Irrigation Canals in Ancient Mesopotamia
As many of you know, I not only have a passion for organic gardening, but I also enjoy using it as an opportunity to teach my children about history and science, while sharing life skills with them. Each year, my children pick out which veges or flowers they will not only plant, but also care for and harvest.

Thus, I have decided to do a series on organic gardening with kids, that will also cover science and history lessons you can implement in your garden or home schooling.

Organic Gardening Education - Two thumbs up for successful irrigation
Organic Gardening Education
Two thumbs up for successful irrigation

 When learning about how the ancient people of our earth used to get water to their plants, something so simple to us, became more of a challenge. The first lesson was from Ancient Mesopotamia and how they irrigated their first crops.

I try not to buy anything unless we cannot figure out a way to achieve a lesson without new resources. After a family event recently, we had several disposable, large aluminum roaster/serving pans on hand.  Snipping an end off each of them, carefully not to cut myself on the sharp edges, I then used binder clips to hold them together, as well as tape.

Organic Gardening Education with Kids - The process of forming irrigation canals.
Organic Gardening Education with Kids -
The process of forming irrigation canals.
One can line the inside of the pans with a large trash bag if desired to help hold in the soil and water. We did snip a small rectangle on one side and then on the other to act as a river entering and exiting the region. The goal was to figure out how to get that water when poured from our watering can, to go into various "farming" regions alongside the river, without washing all the soil away.

We also had quite a few "river rocks" from an old fish tank available for our use, as well as twigs from our neighborhood.
Organic Gardening Education with Children - Took a couple of tries to get the water  to reach all the land.
Organic Gardening Education with Children -
Took a couple of tries to get the water
to reach all the land.

I try to take photos of most of our "experiments" in history and science as a visual aid to add to their history and/or science binders. And it did not stop here. After this lesson, we were able to move onto various simple machines that made irrigating crops even easier as knowledge and experience increased. Such as how a lever made it easier to lift water over the banks.

My children now realize that turning on a hose and watering the garden is not such a chore compared to what their ancestors went through to grow crops. Learning about life through hands-on experience helps cultivate a greater appreciation of what we have and a desire to improve upon it for future generations.

* BONUS: Play the Geography Challenge of Being an Ancient Farmer for a year.



4 comments:

  1. Gardening is really a good way to bond with your kids, especially nowadays that kids have less appreciation in any outdoor activities. Anyway, your kids all look excited about learning the importance of gardening and the proper way to form an irrigation system, just like how our ancestors do it during their time. -Juliane Knoll @ HKDunnIrrigation.com

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    1. Hey Juliane - you have an AMAZING name! :) Enjoyed your website too!
      Thank you for dropping by and reading the post. Nothing like "hands on" to leave an impact in the minds of children, especially in history and science. Speaking of gardening, I need to get out and water mine.

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