Combining Vegetable Gardening with School Curriculum

comments (0) March 22nd, 2012

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MikeTheGardener MikeTheGardener, member
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Do you have school aged children? Are you a vegetable gardener? Imagine if you were able to combine the fun and reward of vegetable gardening with the education your child receives in school? I was thinking about this the other day and wanted to do some research on the topic. As a father of two and an avid vegetable gardener, to me the possibilities of combining the two, seemed like a no brainer.

However, I wanted to find out from teachers in the classroom if this is something that they do. After putting out some feelers I was fortunate enough to get in touch with 5th grade science teacher from High Shoals Elementary School, Linda Cooper.

According to Linda she incorporates a garden in the teachings of different types of plants. Linda, who also taught 1st and 3rd grade, (I teach 1st & 2nd graders part time, so I know how difficult that age group can be at times with the amount of energy they have), says, that in the lower grades, lessons include learning about the parts of the plant, seed sprouting, the plants basic needs, plant life cycles and the effects that over population or scarcity of plants has on communities. “A vegetable garden can give students more experience when taught these items,” says Linda.

As well as teaching science, Linda also runs the 5th grade environment club which currently has 20 students that have built raised beds for the purpose of growing fruits and vegetables. “Our students are also getting ready to start up a greenhouse that was purchased for our school.”

In her program, students get a chance to learn about farming and agriculture, where our food comes from and vegetables the students may not be familiar with. All great teachings that could lead our youth toward a path of understanding the importance of growing at least some of their own food.

Beyond getting the students excited about growing their fruits and veggies, her hopes are that the older 5th grade students become as passionate about vegetable gardening as she is and they assist with teaching the younger students their new learned skills.

Linda also believes she can incorporate the economic impact a vegetable garden can have and has laid out future plans to teach students vegetable gardening combined with math as it relates to purchasing equipment, supplies and being able to either sell what you grow, or calculate what you can save by avoiding paying for the grown vegetables in stores. Yet another valuable lesson combined with vegetable gardening.

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posted in: garden, learn, school