Watt Watchers of Texas: Texas is Too Good To Waste™

Activity: Gardening with Students

Grade Level:

Activity Overview: This project will teach students how to upcycle and reuse containers to start a garden. Teach kids ways to reuse food by having a discussion about planting leftover food to start plants.

Time: 20-25 minutes to make the recycled planters. 1 hour or more to plant the classroom garden.

Materials: Tin cans (one per student), hammer, nails, and metal file (optional). Have students bring in recycled cans from their own homes.

Directions for Making Recycled Planters

Make sure the tin cans have the top lid fully removed and are empty, washed, and dried. If there are remaining metal fragments where the lid used to be, use the metal file to file it down for safety. Use the nails and hammer to make drainage holes in the bottom of the can. Optional: remove the labels from the cans and have the students decorate the outsides with paint.

Make sure you have a place to keep the students' plants in sunlight until they are ready to take them home. You can also make a larger planter to move them onto school grounds.

Plant a Classroom Garden

Teach the students how to seed and reuse plants by having them plant their own individual garden from store bought seeds. Follow the directions on the seed packet. Have them use their individual planters to start seedlings and transplant them into a larger pot or garden area.


SCI.4.7A, SCI.2.9A, SCI.K.1B, SCI.1.1B, SCI.2.1B, SCI.3.1B, SCI.4.1B, SCI.5.1B

Watt Watchers of Texas is a Partner Program of Smart Energy Education.
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