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The Gardener By: Sarah Stewart Question of the Day How can gardens enrich our lives? Objectives: Build vocabulary by finding words related to the lesson concept. Listen for cause and effect. Listen as I read Eat Your Vegetables By Elizabeth Rusch

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question of the day
Question of the Day

How can gardens enrich our lives?



Build vocabulary by finding words related to the lesson concept.

Listen for cause and effect.

listen as i read eat your vegetables by elizabeth rusch
Listen as I read Eat Your VegetablesBy Elizabeth Rusch

Listen for the following vocabulary: encouraging, preparations, and soup kitchen.

Listen for cause and effect.

Listen as I use my voice to model reading with expression.

eat your vegetables
Eat Your Vegetables

Dustin Hill's vegetable garden is in his yard, a slice of country justminutes from the city of Portland, Oregon, down a gravel road riddled withpotholes. The light-blue farmhouse sits back from the road, with rakes,hoes, and a shovel hanging from pegs on the side of the garage.

Dusty got the idea for his garden while dishing out food at a soupkitchen with his family at Christmastime. He'd noticed that the soup kitchen was stocked with lots of meat, bread, rice, and canned beans. "But theydon't really get fresh produce very often, and I like my greens," Dusty said.

He had decided to do something about that. In January, Dusty hadinvited twelve friends from his neighborhood and his school to help himgrow vegetables for hungry people. "It's so much easier with a bunch ofkids than doing it alone," said Dusty. The group had dubbed themselvesPlanet Kids. To get the garden off the ground, they'd gotten a $490 grantfrom Take the Time, a local program that helps empower kids.

"None of us kids had ever gardened before," said Dusty. "We just kind of went at it. We didn't know when to water or how to plant seeds, how far to space them." So the kids read the backs of the seed packets, watchedgardening shows on TV, and asked their parents for tips.

Dusty and his friends wanted to provide the freshest, healthiestvegetables possible. So instead of spraying weed-killers, the group haddecided to get rid of weeds the old-fashioned way—by pulling them.

Some vegetables were ready for picking in July. Planet Kids filled twobig baskets with dozens of cucumbers and zucchini—huge zucchini! InAugust, Dusty celebrated with another harvest. "We filled two baskets andmore with tomatoes!" Dusty said.

Donations for Dignity

Once the garden had proved successful, Planet Kids had to decidewhere to donate the veggies. Dusty's mom suggested giving them toSisters of the Road Café, and Dusty and his friends liked that idea.

Not your typical soup kitchen, Sisters of the Road looks like a coffeeshop. Diners choose from two main meals and some side dishes. Afterordering, they snag a stool at the counter or sit at one of the cozy tables.While waiting, diners can watch food preparations through the opening tothe kitchen. Lemonade, tea, and coffee flow freely. Meals at Sisters of theRoad cost $1.25 per person. But no one goes hungry. People who have nomoney at all can pay for their meals by wiping down tables, sweeping thefloor, or slicing vegetables.

A Fruitful Experience

Dusty felt good about the garden, but something bothered him. The garden produced vegetables only four or five times a year. "I didn't like that we would bring food [to Sisters of the Road] one week, then not again for another three weeks.” So Dusty went back to Take the Time to ask for more grant money-this time funds to pay for fresh-picked fruit for Sisters. He found U-Pick Farms on the Internet. With 50 dollars each week, the group’s kids could go to farms to pick and buy 100 pounds of berries-berries that Sisters could blend into fruit smoothies, tuck into fruit pancakes, and bake into fruit pies.

Now, every Friday in the summer, the kids go fruit picking, filling large flats and big bags full of marionberries, blackberries, loganberries, rasberries, boysenberries, peaches, strawberries, and blueberries. It’s hot work, but fun. Kids compete to see who can harvest the most berries, and they sample the fruit as they pick.

Feeding people feels so good, and growing a garden is so much fun that Dusty wants other kids to try it. “Now I want to spread the word about hunger and do gardens all across Portland and get kids started in other places,” he said. He’s going to make a packet of material to send kids who want to start gardens to fight hunger. He’ll include tips, some seeds, and encouraging words.

“I still worry about how many hungry people there are,” Dusty said. “But I feel I’m doing the best I can, and it’s helping the people I can help.”


Questions?(Cause and Effect)What experience made Dusty want to grow vegetables for people in need?What was one effect of Dusty’s hard work?

concept vocabulary
Concept Vocabulary

Read the portion of the story about the soup kitchen. What does that phrase mean? Where does the term soup kitchen apply?

Let’s do the same for encouraging and preparations. Where do they fit in the diagram?

late for school
Late for School

Causes Effects

Overslept Not Enough Time

skill cause and effect
Skill: Cause and Effect
  • A cause tells why something happened.
  • An effect is what happened.
  • Words such as because and so are clues that can help you figure out a cause and its effect.



  • Sometimes a cause has more than one effect.
strategy use story structure to understand cause and effect
Strategy: Use story structure to understand cause and effect
  • A story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. This means that events happen all along the way. One event leads to the next. Good readers use this structure to find causes and their effects.




let s read winter blooms
Let’s Read Winter Blooms
  • Let’s find examples of cause and effect by using clue words.

Margo loved flowers. They made her think

of spring. There were no flowers growing in the yard now because it was January and the ground was frozen. Margo wondered how to grow flowers in her house, so she went to the library for a book.

Margo loved flowers. They made her think of spring. There were no flowers growing in the yard now because it was January and the ground was frozen. Margo wondered how to grow flowers in her house, so she went to the library for a book.

Think Aloud

“When I come across clue words like because and so in a story, I know the author is writing about causes and effects. If I ask myself what happened, I will find the effect, and if I ask myself why it happened, I will find the cause.”

She read the book carefully so she would know how to make flowers grow in her house. The book had a list of what she needed for an indoor garden, so she went to the garden shop to buy some supplies. The book said flowers grow best near a window because they need plenty of sun. So, she set her new green plants on her kitchen windowsill. The book also said that flowers need water. Margo put the watering can near the sink to remind her to water the plants often. She looked at her dreary yard and then at her cheerful pots of plants. She hoped they would bloom soon!
  • When I see the word so in the second paragraph, I know the author is signaling an effect. The author has used this clue word before. One thing seems to affect another. This pattern helps you recognize that events are happening in order and that they affect one another.
prior knowledge
Prior Knowledge

Brainstorm with a partner what you know about gardening. We will add your ideas to the web.

word rating chart
Word Rating Chart

Word Know Have Seen Don’tKnow









Where have you seen some of these words?

Do you notice any word endings?

spelling words contractions
Spelling WordsContractions
  • In contractions an apostrophe ‘ takes the place of letters that are left out.

let’s she’d he’d they’ll

you’ll when’s can’t we’d

I’d they’d you’d wasn’t

haven’t didn’t hasn’t

Challenge: should’ve needn’t

would’ve you’ve


  • The Gardener reveals the experiences of a girl through her letters.
  • The story describes vividly a year of living with Uncle Jim, growing plants, and learning.
  • Write a journal entry using vivid words and sensory details (include them all…sight, sound, smell, taste, feels)