Garden-Based Learning: Engaging Students in Their Environment


>>Roshelle: All right,
go ahead and walk. Look for those organic materials. You can look on the ground, in the beds.>>Students are really engaged. They’re excited to learn about
the gardens and the impact on the students has been amazing. It just really lets them explore
and use that curiosity to learn.>>Katie: We built our first garden
over in first grade, taking out a space that was where people dumped furniture and we just slowly changed
one area at a time each year.>>Elaine: We started a couple
years ago by putting in a few beds, just planting with the kids and
trying to figure out gardening and working it into the curriculum. We went through the Nevada
state standards and the Next Generation standards and
we wrote curriculum based on that. You’ll see the art teacher
out there with the kids. There’s math, science,
there’s everything. When they’re working in the gardens,
it’s all tied to our standards.>>Roshelle: We want to be able
to feed our worms and we want to be able to add to our compost.>>We typically do a garden lesson
at least two to three times a month. Part of our science curriculum
is looking at plants and nature, so we thought it was a
great asset for students to learn how they can reuse
scraps and soil and worms, to help make our soil better.>>Malachi: An organic thing
is something that humans eat and then they throw away,
but they can actually put it in a compost or in the dirt. I think this is more important
than math and science, because you’re helping nature grow.>>Katie: Initially, I just
wanted my students to know that vegetables don’t come
from the grocery store. They come from the soil, from the
ground, they grow and it’s a process. To do a lesson once in a classroom with
a lima bean in the window is not enough.>>Student: We’re checking if the
worms, they pooped or they peed. We check it by this. We need the pee so we can water our
flowers and make them grow more.>>Roshelle: Students are actually in the gardens every day,
even if it’s only briefly. So sometimes it’s something,
just a ten minute activity where they’re maintaining.>>Alana: I check to see if the soil
is moist by dipping my finger in. The last thing I have to do is
turn the compost bins around. I’ve got to see if there’s any problems,
and if there is, I check off yes and then write it down here. I think one day, maybe I’ll
have a garden of my own.>>Elaine: It might look like they’re
running around, but they’re really not. They have very specific jobs, and
they’re planting and they’re harvesting and they’re checking for bugs
and they’re collecting seeds. They’re planning farmer’s markets
so that we can sell the produce and make money to fund the gardens. The enthusiasm for learning
is just incredible. You can start by planting a few seeds
in a pot, the kids, they’ll respond.>>Roshelle: Come on under the tree.>>Student: Can I put this in?>>Roshelle: Is it organic?>>Student: Yeah.>>Katie: They get to go outside and
teach lessons in a different way than what they would have, had
they been inside their classroom. There’s a purpose for being
outside and in the garden.

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