Fall | Plants: Pre-K and Kindergarten

Harvest: How Much?

Summary: Today we will gather some of the juicy garden produce and explore some different ways to measure how much produce we have collected. 

Before Visiting the Garden: 

Gather: Yardstick or measuring tape, bathroom scale, graph paper, and a container for harvesting veggies. 

Explore: “The Maize Festival” by Diego Rivera. What vegetable are they harvesting in this fresco? 

Read: Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert

In the Garden: 

After a season of careful tending, our garden is now ready to be picked and the produce enjoyed!  Let’s spend a little time looking in the garden for ripe fruit.

Questions to Explore:  

What color(s) is the produce?

How big are the vegetables? Do some look ready to pick or do they need more time?

Gently prod the veggies, what do they feel like? (Introduce words like juicy, plump, hard, soft, tough, dry)

Do you smell anything from the ripe veggies or herbs? 

After assessing what produce is ripe in the garden, gently gather the ripe produce and place it in your bucket or basket. If you have questions about ripeness, ask the garden coordinator for advice. 


Now that we have an assortment of produce, let’s do some math! 

  1. Did you know that math could be colorful and delicious? It’s true! Take a few moments to brainstorm ways to measure the produce you have collected. 
  2. Using the tools you brought to the garden, can you measure the produce by height? Which vegetable is the longest? Which is the shortest?
  3. Can you weigh your produce on the scale? How much in total did you gather? Which vegetable is heaviest? 
  4. Math is also about sorting; how many different ways can you arrange your harvest? Try sorting by smell, color, texture, and shape—there are so many ways to measure!
  5. Record your observations on the graph paper.

Now that you’ve measured your harvest, take it home and continue to use your math skills in the kitchen as you follow or create a recipe for enjoying your produce.  

Beyond the Garden | Cooking Class:

If you want to explore more ways that math is used in the world of food, contact a local restaurant or grocery store and ask if they have a chef willing to talk to you about how the create food for their customers. Food is a fun and delicious way to begin exploring different math concepts. 

Continue Exploring | Supporting Materials:

Recipes for exploring edible math: https://letsmove.obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/recipes-kids-kids

Note for Parents:
Each lesson suggests you explore a piece of artwork and read a specific book with your child. The artwork and books are easily available for view with an online search. However, these suggestions are not necessary to complete the lessons.

Guiding Principles


Learning, though not always visible, is always happening. The lessons are designed using inquiry as a base. Rather than “right answers” be more concerned with asking good questions.


Things may not go as planned. The lessons are designed to be used in whatever way works best for you. You can use all of the lesson or just pull a piece out of it.


Planting and cultivating a garden is believing in possibility. The lessons are designed to generate excitement about the future.


Each lesson includes a way to take the learning out into the community for more learning and more connection.


When a young child’s innate curiosity is unleashed in a garden the possibilities are endless. Any topic is open for exploration.


You will get dirty. There will be bugs.