Let’s Talk About: National Garden Month

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April is the ideal time to observe National Garden Month. Winter is over. Growing cycles are starting again here in North America.   It’s the perfect time to celebrate with Mother Nature.

There are a lot of reasons why students in school should be involved in gardening activities.  It fosters a Maker Mindset – a bent towards innovation which asks “what can I do with what I know.”  Gardening at school is also a great STEM activity which has an added benefit of teaching life skills.  

Here are a few of the objectives that students can work towards when gardening at school:

Science – using sensory observations to understand physical properties; understanding basic life needs and functional parts of plants; the effects of seasonal change on plants  

Technology – can be used to collect and analyze data; communicate in a variety of ways including reaching out for expert advice and retelling the story of an event

Engineering/Design process – problem solving steps to design gardening solutions

Math – accurate measurement for planning when planting; collecting, understanding probability and statistics through analyzing and presenting growth data

Life Skills

  • Environmental Responsibility – We’ve all heard that we need to save the bees. Gardens provide a bee-friendly environment that all of our students can easily have a stake in creating.
  • Patience – Part of gardening is waiting for things to grow.  You can’t rush the process no matter what you try. Students will learn to anticipate their harvest while waiting for plants to mature.
  • Nutrition – Students who typically don’t eat vegetables might agree to try them if it’s something they’ve grown with their own hands.  Who knows? They might find they like them…
  • Resilience – Gardening doesn’t always work out the way you hope it will, but you can’t give up.  Students will learn to recover from temporary setbacks.

Want to learn more about gardening with students?  Check out these resources and then leave us a comment to let us know how you plan to infuse gardening in your school.

About the author: Ruth Okoye

Dr. Ruth Okoye is the Director of K12 Initiatives at The Source for Learning. As a long-time technology coach, Ruth shares ideas and strategies for professional learning and thoughts on how to motivate yourself to “dig deeper” into educational technologies.

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