Summer

GrowLab: Activities for Growing Minds

GrowLab® is a K-8 plant-based instructional program that invites educators to use plants as a springboard for investigative, student-centered learning. In GrowLab classrooms, indoor and outdoor gardens become living laboratories for active inquiry, where teachers prompt students to question, experiment, and construct their own understanding of the world around them.

How to Find a Ladybug

Right Side Box: 

The Tale of the Lost Ladybugs

Once the state insect of New York, the nine-spotted ladybug population diminished until it all but disappeared from the radar. In fact when some youngsters spotted one of them near their Virginia home in 2006, it was the first of that species seen in the Eastern United States in 14 years! John Losey and other scientists at Cornell University figured that if lots of eyes scoured the country, they might help find more of them along with some other native lady beetles that were also disappearing. And so, The Lost Ladybug Project was born. But it wasn’t just about documenting locals. Scientists – and many homeowners – noticed that populations of other ladybugs were exploding. This included the orangey Asian lady beetle, which was introduced in this country to control pests. Have these imports excluded the native species from their habitats? This is one of the questions that scientists are exploring, thanks to a growing team of citizen scientists.

When Lila Higgins, an educator from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, first takes her teenage summer camp students out in search of lost ladybugs, they look a bit lost themselves. “I start by talking about ladybugs and other insects and asking students to notice what they see,” says Lila. She instructs them to put their “nature eyes” on. After all, scientists need to hone their observation skills. In many cases, they don’t see much.

The Earth Shows Us the Way

A Curriculum for the Modern World

Twine from the bark of the basswood. A delicious snack from the stalk of a cattail. Red dye from the bloodroot. Lessons like these and others based on Ojibwe traditional ecological knowledge are found in Kinomaage (The Earth Shows Us the Way), a two-week intensive summer course offered by the Northern Michigan University Center for Native American Studies.

Responsibility 101

Teaching Life Skills through a Youth Garden Business

Vocational agriculture teacher Rose Ormsby-Krueger (North Hollywood, California) uses a cut flower garden and farmers’ market enterprise to teach North Hollywood High School students valuable life skills. “Flowers don’t tell you they’re hungry every day, but they tell you they’re thirsty,” she says. “It takes responsibility to make sure they get watered and taken care of.”

Growing Food for Others

Growing an edible family garden is a great way to get your kids excited about eating fresh fruits and vegetables. It also provides a terrific opportunity to give back to your community.

Cut Flower Lesson Ideas

Growing flowers helps teach kids many art, language, language arts, math, and science concepts—along with patience, responsibility, and appreciation for the natural world. Below are some lesson ideas we really like.

Throw a Garden Birthday Party

What better way to celebrate your child’s spring or summer birthday than with a garden party? Although fancy dresses and tea sandwiches may come to mind, kids love to run around outside, play games and get their hands into the dirt-- all fun activities to keep them engaged and maybe even learn a little about the wonders of plants and seeds. Here are ideas for invitations, decorations, activities, refreshments and favors that will make your child’s big day a memorable one.

Learning about Bee Lives and Hives

When children arrive at the Krystal Garden in the Bronx, they find Jennifer Plewka waiting for them wearing her beekeeper’s suit and holding a large, inflatable bee.

Middle School Entrepreneurs Reap Pay, Profits, and Pride

Inner City Market Garden: Fresh Produce at Low Cost

A former classroom teacher with a passion for raising healthful food, Arna Caplan was volunteer director of a winning seed-to-table school garden program at an inner city K-8 school in Denver. “The Fairmont garden was always a special and accessible place where all students were welcome and involved,” says Arna. But as in many such projects, finding volunteers to maintain the garden through the summer was a huge challenge.

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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 07/25/2014
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