Indoor

Baking Bread to Nurture Cultural Understanding

When Ginger Clarke’s kindergarteners participated in the harvesting of their first school garden, yanking zucchini was surely a highlight. But then came the taste test. “None of the kids liked it either raw or cooked,” says Ginger. Determined to find a way to get students to try the versatile vegetable, Ginger invited the class to use it to make bread from scratch. It was a hands-down hit. “The kids were amazed by how much they loved it,” she explains.

Eatin' with Grandma

When Molly Hesser and other home school parents pondered what new project could support their local food and sustainability focus, they came up with a simple twist. Each family would specialize in raising just one type of vegetable, and they’d pool their products. To bring social studies into the mix, youngsters would first interview grandparents and other family elders about favorite foods from the past.

Food Roots and Routes

Overview: Students explore the journey of produce from farm to table and chew on the idea of eating close to home.

NCSS National Social Studies Standards Addressed:
Theme 3: Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of people, places, and environments.

Berry Festive Holiday Wreaths

Bright winterberries just cannot be beat for festive winter color. (image by Jessie Keith)It’s amazing how the holiday season hits us earlier every year. It is a shock to see the overnight transition from the Halloween décor at the local stores to dazzling displays of red and green merchandise, as if some momentous event were imminent.

Wreath Activity Provides a Sense of Place

James Doyiakos, environmental science teacher at Roald Amundsen High School in northwest Chicago, figured out how to turn an invasive plant problem into a creative lesson to connect his 150 freshman students with nature—by making wreaths.

Learning with Wreaths

Like many other garden-related projects, wreaths represent a simple activity that can be modified for multiple grade levels and can be used to teach many concepts related to environmental science, math, design, and history.

Wreaths from the Fall Garden

Right Side Box: 

Wreath Tip

Grapevines are a popular wreath base. If you want to use grapevine, it’s better to cut it before the first hard frost. Soak it in water to make it more pliable. If it won’t be used right away, coil it in a round tub or laundry basket to help it keep its shape.

As autumn gives way to the holiday season, and the days grow colder and darker, we instinctively want to capture nature’s final display of color before the snow flies. Wreaths are a creative, simple, kid-friendly way to do this.

Just about any natural material can be used to make a wreath, whether as the base or as a decoration on the base. Let your imagination wander—a wreath of bark? Driftwood? Seashells? Twigs? Bits of wood? Feathers?

It's that Pumpkin Time of Year

Courtesy of cool autumn temperatures, wilted leaves in our family pumpkin patch revealed several bright orange pumpkins-- an exciting site for my children who have been involved in their care since planting the seeds months ago.

Preparing School Garden Coordinators in Portland, OR

Growing Gardens' Educator TrainingGrowing Gardens, a nonprofit organization in Portland, Oregon, has established a training program as part of their Youth Grow Project to prepare educators and volunteers to serve as school garden coordinators. With 35 hours of hands-on training taught by a host of community experts, Youth Grow manager Caitlin Blethen shares that the goal of this certificate program is to help schools establish and maintain long lasting edible-garden-based education programs.

Matching Mentors with School Gardeners in Austin

Ann Richards School, Austin, TXThe community-based Sustainable Food Center (SFC) in Austin, Texas, among other activities, helps school kids throughout the city grow gardens – especially those in low income communities with a high incidence of diet-related diseases.

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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.

 

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Last updated on 11/23/2014
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