I have always wanted to start a gardening program for children. I feel like it is an activity full of opportunities! You can cover every subject with the use of a garden and provide a very enriching experience. From the math in the layout of the garden to the science in plant growth. Students can write about their garden and their experiences and researching the different needs for each plant.
In my ideal world I would offer this program to students in all grades as a club or extracurricular activity. Students could work together across age groups and provide assistance to those who need it and make a peer supported atmosphere.
As a teacher you can also incorporate recycling and composting. To teach students to make a smaller impact on the environment.
There is also the opportunity to build a strong sense of community in a garden. Students share the workload and responsibility of a garden as well as the food they produce. The students in the school need to work together and support each other. Depending on the size of the garden the school could use the produce for school lunches and or snacks. It could also be used as a market run by older students. The co-op I work for in the summer donates any extra produce to local food banks rather than waste.
This also encourages healthy eating. Children are more likely to try new things if they participate in the growth or making of the food. The goal of the garden is productivity the more you tend and learn about the plants and gardening the more productivity the garden will produce.
I have started a small garden with my children and their friends this week and they are currently working on the layout. I was hoping to have it finished and pictures however the weather has not been cooperating with us. I will continue to post the progress of our garden. I am also talking with the co-op I volunteer at through the summer about starting a children’s program but it will most likely have to wait until next summer.
The first part of our garden is design and layout.
We will be finding the perimeter and area of our space so we know how much wood we need to box it out as well as how much soil we will need to fill the space.
We will then go into what type of plants and what they need, space, sunlight, water ect.
http://www.letsmove.gov/sites/letsmove.gov/files/pdfs/LM%20School%20Garden%20Checklist_0.pdf -School garden checklist.
http://www.edutopia.org/blog/garden-based-learning-kristin-stayer -Great resource for garden education.
https://communitygarden.org/programs/yardmap/ -Website to assist in layout of yard.
https://communitygarden.org/programs/garden-mosaics/ -Website to help make a layout and plan for the garden.
http://schoolgardenweekly.com/instructional-activities/school-garden-lessons-activities-and-curricula – Good resource for lessons around gardening and activities.