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Planting the seeds of greatness at East Terrell Hills

students planting seeds

Judith Sanchez-Higgins grew up in an isolated farming village in Oaxaca, Mexico. They planted their crops in specific, traditional ways. Now, she’s teaching those traditions to her second-grade dual-language students at East Terrell Hills Elementary School.

During a recent cool morning, her students got a firsthand lesson in those traditional planting methods handed down in her former village. Students used bamboo shoots as shovels, measured the ground with their feet and collected their seeds in traditional vessels. In Sanchez-Higgins village, seeds from different vegetables are planted together, not separately. So, corn, beans and squash seeds were all buried in the same hole.

student with teacher in the dirt student planting seeds student showing us seeds

This hands-on lesson teaches students science. It teaches them about cultures they learn about in social studies. It also teaches them about themselves.

“I think it’s important because these students need to learn this isn’t just a subject,” said Sanchez-Higgins. “This is real life. This is how food is made. This is more than just a science lesson; it teaches some of them about their culture. I’ve got students from Latin America. They may have seen these same types of farming happen in their native lands. But these kids are seeing they can grow their own food; they don’t have to rely on anyone. They can change the world by doing these types of activities.”

students posing for a picture

Judith Sanchez-Higgins is bringing unique perspectives to hands-on lessons #theNEISDway

Evan Henson
posted on: 03/06/2024