Garden Based Learning!

First and foremost I have a confession to make … The only plant I have ever successfully grown was basil – and that was out of a can… on the sill of my bedroom window (where it currently lives as it is only a couple months old!)

I have always had a passion for environmental protection and have worked toward advocating for local and organic eating – but until now have struggled to find my ‘inner gardener’.

Being my stubborn…independent to a fault self… I RESISTED.. even AVOIDED gardening as a teenager… as my parents (who are avid gardeners) wanted to ‘teach’ me and wanted me to “be involved”… NU UH! I wanted to learn and be interested on my own terms with my OWN garden — typical Sarah moment… (not one I am proud of!)

But alas, as I transition into a new stage of my life, as an educator…. settling into the lower mainland after my four year undergrad, my inner gardener has begun to flourish!

I have come to the realization that technology has begun to saturate all aspects of human life and that  many of my students the environment has become ‘abstract’ – a foreign unexplored idea.

I saw gardening as a way to reconnect my students with nature and shift their thinking — Nature is ‘the natural’ in a world of invasive entities 

This long winded introduction leads me now to introduce a project I have chose to taken on throughout the duration of my 10 week teaching practicum – Garden Based Learning

No garden at your school.. NO PROBLEM! … Trouble shoot!

I am using home designed PORTABLE GARDENS, that can be transferred in and out of my classroom each day by my students. My goal is to integrate multiple subject areas into the garden project – so far I have managed to integrate science, math, language arts, healthand career and a small branch of social studies – Not too bad eh!

Day 1: Prepare the gardening site – AKA… the kids get DIRTY!!

Ideally I would have LOVED to do this outside, on a gloriously sunny day.. BUT no such luck! RAIN RAIN RAIN! I forged on! ((I am on a time crunch… 10 weeks!))

In 12 tupperware bins my students will be growing 5 types of vegetables:  radishes, carrots, lettuce, spinach, and Sugar Peas (all to be fully grown between 30 and 60 days — Fingers crossed!!).

What happened next….

48 Dirt covered hands

24 Students

12 Gardening bins

10 Weeks

5 Vegetables types

1 Ms Dalzell with dirt smudges on her face… Relieved – The planters are ready!


One thought on “Garden Based Learning!

  1. Hey Sarah!
    What a challenge you have risen to! I am continually impressed with your creativity and strong desire to have your students fully engaged in hands-on learning. The students absolutely love this project and are gaining experience and knowledge that most students likely would not have been able to get at home. Well planned and executed (and I can’t wait to see them eat veggies-too cool!) Well done!

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