Diversity and adaptations of organisms

Know Your Food

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The 2012 Food Day School Curriculum was designed for educators as a Food Day resource that can be used in the classroom or to increase your own knowledge about what it means to Eat Real: Download the 2012 Food Day School Curriculum

Many times gardening is promoted as a way to teach youth where their food comes from.

Many times gardening is promoted as a way to teach youth where their food comes from. This phrase, “know where your food comes from,” is one that has received much attention and rightfully so.

The Rain Garden is an Effective Tool

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A Book for a Rainy Day

Title: The Listening Walk
Author: Paul Showers
Illustrator: Aliki
ISBN: 978- 0064433228

Installing a rain garden in your home landscape can create family interactions.

“Because Your Children Live What They Learn…”

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Here are some meaningful plant selections to incorporate into your peace garden:

Rhododendron - in Russia, the blossoms signify peace, health, and purity

Mistletoe - in Scandinavia, associated with Frigga, the goddess of love

White pine tree - for the Native American Haudenosaunee, or Six Nations Peoples, the five needles joined together indicate unity

Peace Rose - a rose variety introduced in 1945 to commemorate the end of World War II

Sunflowers - a symbol of freedom from the threat of nuclear weapons during the 1990s. Sunflowers are warm and welcoming; grow in friendly crowds; and produce nutritious seeds for people and wildlife.

Cosmos - named after the Greek word for well-ordered universe; symbolizes peace and order

Education in the garden is a great way to teach kids to live responsibly and peacefully.This philosophy, from the creator of Playschool Child Care, Inc., Carol Acosta, is what continues to guide the program more than 25 years later.

Growing BIG in the Great Outdoors

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Bonnie Plants’ Third Grade Cabbage Program is a free program offered to third grade classrooms nationwide. The purpose is to support youth to eat healthy and be garden advocates. To support this purpose, Bonnie Plants offers resources online to help students grow their cabbage. In addition, lesson ideas and recipes are provided along with help for teachers and parents. Visit the Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program website for more details about registration.

You can also view a complete list of the Third Grade Cabbage Program scholarship winners for 2011 for each state. 

Being outside has so much to offer; whether you are a gardener or not, there is a place for you in the Great Outdoors. Each year, thousands of third graders nationwide find a special place outside by participating in a program which challenges them to grow an oversized cabbage.

Compost Happens

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Jean shares some of her ideas to get kids interested in composting:

  • Ask students what happens to blue jeans and t-shirts in the landfills? Can they be composted?
  • Ask for an old cotton t-shirt and/or an old pair of jeans to be donated. Place them at the bottom of the compost pile, or use a smaller piece for a worm bin. Do the students realize they are wearing plants? How long will it take to break down? Have students make guesses as to what will happen to these old clothes.
  • Do you have multiple working compost bins at school? Have a t-shirt composting race with another class. Which class will have a faster compost pile? What causes one compost bin to decompose materials faster than the other? Was one pile being turned more than the other? Take the temperature inside the pile. Is one pile hotter than the other?
  • Consider doing an experiment with a piece of a t-shirt in one pile and a plastic bottle in another. Let the students predict what will happen.

As the wife of an active duty Marine, Jean Persely has made the most of her frequent moves by teaching others to “bloom where they are planted.” Jean has committed to making a positive impact on any community she joins. It was in 2005, that Jean developed a vision to impact a school community by planning the introduction of a garden.

The Beginning of a Library Garden

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NGA's Own LibraryGardens.org

Libraries have a unique opportunity to provide a visual connection between literature and nature. Grants are available to support library gardens, but often require someone with a vision. National Gardening Association offers assistance in this area. Whether you’re interested in developing a particular theme garden or a garden that encompasses a variety of books, our professional staff of landscape architects, horticulturists and educators can help you develop your vision. Visit Library Gardens for more information about how we can design your library garden which will in turn help you as your seek support for funding the installation of this space.

The Village of Plain City Garden features several animal topiaries named after classic authors.In an effort to preserve the historic Village of Plain City, Ohio, local gardeners and members of the county Master Gardener program pulled their resources to establish a landmark for the town.

Companion Planting

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Download related lesson plan Growing Garden Companions.

Arranging crops so they complement each other in some way is known as companion planting. Plants that have different requirements — for nutrients, sunlight, and space, for instance — often make good garden buddies. Because they are unlikely to compete for resources, you can plant them close together to save space. What's more, some combinations can actually help one or more of the companions flourish. Consider the following factors:

School Gardens = Natural Playgrounds

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Teachers at the K-State Center for Child Development use the produce from the garden to prepare simple dishes with their students. Here’s a recipe for Caprese Salad that is easy to make in a classroom.

Ingredients:

  • Thick slices of a Ripe Tomato (enough for each child to have at least one)
  • An equal number of slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Twice as many leaves of fresh basil
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  • Olive oil

Make sure everyone washes their hands and the work surface prior to touching the food.

Starting at the edge of a serving platter, place a slice of tomato, a basil leaf, a slice of mozzarella and another basil leaf. Continue in that pattern, forming a spiral from the outside in, until all the ingredients have been arranged. The salad should end in the center of the platter. Drizzle the salad with olive oil and sprinkle with black pepper and salt.

Upon arriving at the Center for Child Development (CCD) on the campus of Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, visitors quickly recognize the uniqueness of the facility.

Promoting Environmental Stewardship through Rain Gardens

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How to Design a Rain Garden

This detailed account provides step-by-step instructions for designing, installing, and maintaining a rain garden. Additional content provided to use this as a high school activity. Download How to Design a Rain Garden (PDF) »

Instructions for how to install a rain garden and use it to promote environmental stewardship.

Rain Garden at Coolidge High School, Washington DCSchool gardens have a long and successful history with a variety of purposes.  Ninety six percent of the 2010-2011 National Gardening Assoc

Outdoor Living in the School Garden

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Learning in the Outdoors

Here are two lessons created by our staff at NGA to get your students learning in the garden.

Image taken from: Adirondack ArtImage taken from: Adirondack ArtA footprint map is a visual of animal footprints used to identify animals. Guides showing local animal tracks are a great way to help your students identify garden visitors. Tiny identification guides can be downloaded online and tucked into garden journals. Posters are also available for display in the classroom. Do a search of animal footprint maps to locate a guide for your area.

Visitors to the NGA headquarters at Vermont Garden Park sitting comfortably outdoorsMany times, as gardeners, we think of the garden as “ours”. The garden exists to fulfill our purposes whether to provide food for our family, education for our students, or a beautiful setting for family and friends to enjoy.

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Last updated on 04/19/2014
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