Native people from different parts of North America have used a wide range of agricultural techniques. Perhaps the best known is the inter-planting of corn, beans and squash – a trio often referred to as the “three sisters”. Cultivating these companions in your school garden, a small planting near your school, a large container or even indoors, can inspire studies of Native American customs, nutrition, and folklore. As students dig in, investigations of plant growth and relationships will also flourish.
Students will investigate the “three sisters” crops (corn, beans, and squash) and explore the benefit to planting these crops together. Students will also learn about Native American Legends and plant growth.
Activity 1: Legend of the Three Sisters
Students will record characteristics of corn, beans and squash. Then, they will read about the legend of the Three Sisters, identifying which sister represents each crop. In the reading, students are invited to examine how the three sisters complement each other when planted together.
Activity 2: Garden in a Glove
Students will germinate the three sisters using a glove, five cotton balls and seeds. Students will use water to dampen the cotton balls. Then, students will select one seed to place on each cotton ball inside one of the glove fingers. They will complete this for each of the seeds
Curriculum is broken up into small activities that can be done over multiple sittings allowing students to have good breaking spots in between each part.
See this lesson in Modular Delivery through our Google Classroom Example, follow the instructions below.
1. Log in to a google email account, it does not have to be associated with a school.
2. In the menu option, select Classroom.
3. Using the + in the top right hand corner, select join a class.
4. Enter the Class Code: agals5q
5. Select Classwork at the top and you should see the topic “April 2021 – Three Sisters”
6. Underneath this section the lessons are broken out into 2 assignments.
Students complete the whole lesson through 1-hour long lesson in an in-person classroom setting.
The activities below will have the student portions in Spanish but the teacher directions are in English.