Gardening and plant-based learning open a door to discovery of the living world. It stimulates even as it focuses and calms. Within the school environment, a garden offers an unparalleled platform to help kids achieve learning goals in ways that are recommended by the National Science Standards and most state and local educational bodies.
With plans to grow crops like lettuce, spinach, green beans, tomatoes and a variety of root vegetables, National Park School has partnered with the Rutgers Community Extension, the Gloucester County Office of Land Preservation and a host of other groups to provide students with what Principal Carla Bittner calls an "edible education."
With a little help from Mother Nature and support from the school community, school gardens can be quite rewarding and successful if simple guidelines are followed, said University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator Nancy Kreith.
Educating children through gardening and healthy cooking. That is one of the goals of the Boise Urban Garden School or BUGS, which celebrated the grand opening of its education center in Boise's Comba Park.
Granny's Garden School develops, promotes and supports hands-on learning experiences through school-based, garden and nature focused programs to help children experience nature, the satisfaction of growing their own food and to appreciate the simple pleasure of picking a flower.
Drawing on over thirty years of work with young people in gardens, Life Lab, a nonprofit organization, has emerged as a national leader in the garden-based learning movement. Through workshops and consultations, we have provided tens of thousands of educators across the country with the inspiration and information necessary to engage young people in gardens and on farms.
On an unseasonably warm February day at Decatur High School, agricultural sciences teacher Dan Tedor’s class roams the expansive greenhouse watering the flowers and also the different varieties of vegetables that will soon be transplanted to the Federal Way Community Gardens.
The following activity is from the curriculum guide GrowLab: Activities for Growing Minds. This curriculum brings plant-based explorations to life through 46 lesson plans and hundreds of extension activity ideas that spark students' curiosity about plants and invite them to think and act like scientists.
Do you wonder which species of bird it is that you keep seeing on your backyard fence? Are you curious about what butterflies are visiting your garden? Would you like to know more about the mammals that call your local park home? Thankfully there are plenty of smartphone apps that help you quickly and easily identify flora and fauna, record your findings and learn more about them. Not only that, but a few will even turn you into a citizen scientist.
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