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KidsGardening.Org - For Teacher and Student Gardeners
As school gardens continue to grow in popularity, teachers and students seek resources to help them create beautiful, natural outdoor spaces. KidsGardening.org provides a wide assortment of free materials to help teachers and students learn about plants and flowers through hands-on involvement.
The site’s colorful home page.
The site, which is part of the National Gardening Association, isn’t just for teachers. However, teachers who wish to incorporate gardening into the curriculum will find a wide array of possibilities for creating school gardens. The School Gardens page is regularly updated with news about student gardeners and grant information.
School gardens are increasing in popularity.
The site includes a Lesson and Activity Index, which is organized by categories and keywords.
Lessons and activities are plentiful.
In addition to the lesson plans, the site features a small Online Curricula section covering three topics: Harvest of History, Mountain Adventures and Nature’s Partners: Pollinators, Plants and You. While Harvest History takes the form of a long article, Mountain Adventures and Nature’s Partners consist of multiple modules, resulting in the potential for several days of instruction.
A few modules illustrate concepts in great detail.
It also includes a large bank of project ideas which address multiple curriculum areas. Students can write garden-inspired poetry, learn to make dye, and interview community members about food traditions.
Project ideas cross curriculum lines.
If you’re a teacher or administrator hoping to spearhead a school gardening project, begin with the Benefits of School Gardens page, which lists a dozen scholarly articles about the benefits of student gardening. These benefits include but are not limited to increased science achievement test scores, improved nutrition knowledge and higher levels of environmental awareness.
School gardens provide participants with significant benefits.
While home gardening may be as easy as planting a packet of seeds, school gardening tends to be a little more complex. In these times of limited school budgets and increased time for testing, the idea of a school garden may be a hard sell. However, a lengthy, detailed article on getting started takes these obstacles into consideration. It includes resources for convincing administrators and parents of the value of school gardens.
Getting started made simple.
Gardening at the school level can become a pricey project. To counter this challenge, the site includes a detailed section on applying for grants to offset some of the costs. Multiple grants are often available.
Grants are available to fund gardening projects.
Teachers who want to implement school gardening projects but lack their own gardening experience can take advantage of the How-To Guides section. Topics include pest control, hydroponics, and school greenhouses. Formats include text and video.
How-To Guides teach the basics.
Connect with Fellow Gardeners
The site’s Garden Registry is another helpful tool for school gardeners. The registry includes a directory of gardening programs, within the U.S. and around the world. It includes large botanical gardens to small school and library gardens. The purpose of the directory is to help gardeners find volunteers and donors, and connect with other gardeners. Belonging to the Registry is also part of the process of finding and applying for grants.
The Garden Registry links gardeners across the US and around the world.
KidsGardening.org provides teachers with substantial opportunities for teaching students about science with its wide variety of gardening-related resources. The site’s creators seemed to anticipate most potential issues, and addressed them with well-written, research-based content.
July 28, 2013 by Stacy Zeiger
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