Monday, June 25, 2007

Grammar soup

Recent rain has seen the vegie garden and herb spiral produce some spectacular looking produce. And captured here, on a rare sunny afternoon, the garden is looking very tasty indeed.

With school holidays only days away it seemed a good opportunity to turn ripe vegetables into a learning experience.

After picking and washing the vegetables we took them back to the classroom for closer inspection. We talked about using fresh, organic vegetables with no processed ingredients. We also talked about safe methods for chopping the vegetables and how chopping smaller pieces would help speed up the cooking. Unfortunately our cooking technology was a Crock Pot that dates back to the 1970s and was not very speedy at all. But students were astonished that soup could be made in a classroom without all the usual trappings of a kitchen and this was an important lesson too.

So while the soup simmered away the class wrote a procedure for making vegetable soup.


The method was as follows:
1. Soak the soup mix overnight.
2. Set up the cooking pot and add the soup mix.
3. Turn on the power.
4. Gather vegetables from the garden.
5. Prepare vegetables by washing, peeling and chopping.
6. Add prepared vegetables to the pot.
7. Carefully stir the soup then cover with a lid.
8. Cook till the vegetables are soft and then serve.

As we wrote the procedure we stopped to identify the verb in each procedure point. The word "carefully" was discovered to be an adverb so then we made soup-related sentences and worked out whether the describing words were adverbs or adjectives.

For example: "The soup is cooking slowly" and "We are writing on a dusty blackboard".

Despite insufficient cooking time and the need for an extra stock cube, the students declared that Grammar Soup was delicious.

Task 1: Follow the procedures to make your own soup.

Task 2: Find the verbs in the procedure list (above).

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Fungi Patch - June 2007

The cold weather has had an interesting effect on the fungi patch.
Here's an image of an emerging stinkhorn, most probably a Lantern Stinkhorn (Lysurus mokusin). The interesting thing is that while these usually emerge and perish in a day, this particular one has looked like this for three days!

Here is another that has stalled in its development:

I suspect the cold and rain has prevented their development so it will be interesting to see what today's glimmer of sunshine does.
Meanwhile, some Red stinkhorns Phallus rubicundus have appeared and deteriorated during the same period so I've deduced they prosper in a cooler temperature.

It looks like the stinky stuff has washed off in the rain. I doubt there were many flies about to assist with spreading the spores.

This last image is of a Phallus rubicundus that was emerging this morning.

The race is on between it and the Lantern stinkhorn... stay tuned.