all ages

Greenhouse Styles

 

Greenhouses can be either freestanding or attached to a building and come in a variety of styles. Most commercial greenhouses are freestanding structures built in exposed areas with plenty of sunlight (maximum sunlight is the most important factor for efficient plant growth).

Selecting a Greenhouse

Greenhouse questions and considerations

If your school is considering building, purchasing, or resurrecting a greenhouse, there are a number of factors to consider--and questions to ask--long before you begin designing planting projects. This section highlights some of those factors.

Your decision about the type of greenhouse will be influenced by how you plan to use it.

Planning Questions

Gather key participants in your school to answer the following questions early in the planning process:

Digging Deeper with Literacy Connections

After reading the article, Garden Tales, consider some of these other opportunities for cultivating literacy within a plant and garden context.

Legends and Lore

Plant Stories Revealed

"When my third graders read legends and folklore, we discuss the difference between these tales, which are imaginary interpretations of natural phenomena, and scientific explanations, which can be proven using evidence," explains Salinas, CA, teacher Kata Callaghan.

"After discussing how tales are often created to explain nature, I challenge the kids to use their imaginations to explain growing phenomena -- why seeds grow better in certain soils than others -- for instance. Then we set up real science investigations to explore the same question," she continues.

School Greenhouse Guide

Opening New Worlds of Growing Experiences

Introducing greenhouse gardening into the classroom enriches the curriculum

[img_assist|nid=13778|title="Through this project-based curriculum, I have seen kids begin to realize that a plant is a living thing and that what they do to that plant on a day-to-day basis matters," shares Sandy May-Fitzgerald, a special education biology teacher.

Getting to Know Plants

Cultivating Understanding

What should kids know about plants? The formula for photosynthesis? The difference between a taproot and fibrous root? A botanist and a fourth grade teacher might have very different responses to this question. In any case, students need opportunities to observe, explore, and "mess around" with plants to spark their curiosity and appetites for learning more. As educators, we can then encourage active explorations through which students can discover how plants function, survive, and interact with other elements of the ecosystem.

Garden Planning

Finding Meaningful Memories

To prepare her students for carving out a garden site in the schoolyard, middle school teacher Joan Dungey in Yellow Springs, OH, invited them to reflect on and write about their favorite childhood places. Students next shared their memories with a partner; then each pair presented highlights to the rest of the class. "I found it interesting that nearly all of the students recalled some sort of peaceful natural spot where they had played or explored the world as youngsters," notes Joan.

Thinking Like a Seed

As spring approaches, visions of bountiful gardens, greenhouses, and windowsills inspire classroom growers to plant seeds indoors. By learning a bit about what makes seeds tick, you can better focus students' seed observations and investigations, and enrich their understanding of what these little treasures need to spring to life.

Garden Training for Future Astronauts

After donning their space suits, a 5th-grade "astronaut commander" leads a crew of three K-2 "astronaut trainees" into a shuttle simulator, blasts into space, docks with the space station, and travels through the airlock into the space station simulator. Says Planetarium Resource Educator Dr. Stephen Schiff, "Once inside the International Space Station model, this young crew will work on different missions, including growing vegetables using a hydroponics gardening system."

But What Are They Learning?

Assessing Student Gains

By Anne Grall Reichel

As educators, we experience the excitement that hands-on approaches generate and enthusiastically watch students become involved with science as they create products and solve problems. Yet we find ourselves in somewhat of a dilemma. We sense that these approaches significantly impact student learning but find it difficult to measure the full extent of student growth using traditional test approaches.

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Kids Gardening and the National Gardening Association actively work with schools and communities across the country to provide educational resources and build gardens to promote health, wellness, and sustainability.

 

Copyright © 1999-2014 National Gardening Association     |     www.kidsgardening.org & www.garden.org      |     Created on 03/15/99, 

Last updated on 09/19/2014
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