This fall, every Haldane student grades K-4 had a chance to experience and explore their school garden. Together with Haldane’s Farm-to-School initiative, the PTA Garden Committee offered ideas for grade-level garden activities, allowing teachers to creatively incorporate these into their curriculum.
Garden parent volunteers lent knowledge, support, and supplies – helping students and teachers. The results were fantastic: engaged, motivated students learning science, math, and history from the natural world of plants.
Kindergartners explored the garden the way scientists explore our world: by using their five senses. First graders read Eric Carle’s The Tiny Seed and toured the garden to discover the many different shapes (and functions!) of seed pods, from floating parachute milkweed seeds to fat marigold pods of very thin seeds.
Second graders didn’t just plant tulip bulbs in the garden this fall, they measured, compared, contrasted, and estimated – all part of their math curriculum.
Every fall third graders study plant parts. What better place to do that than in a garden full of blooming plants? Students brought clipboards, iPads, and diagrams into the garden, breaking apart flowers to find and label stigma, style, anther, filament, petal, etc.
In keeping with their unit on Native Americans, fourth graders studied the garden’s Three Sisters Bed, reading the Iroquois legend and discussing why corn, squash, and beans were grown together. They shucked dried corn grown from the garden, pounding it into cornmeal with mortar and pestle.
Children grow more than plants in the Haldane School Garden. They grow their minds.
Photos courtesy of Haldane Garden Committee