Indoor

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

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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.

Teen Mentors and Third Graders Flourish in Literacy Garden

Photo by Callie PowellIn Downsville, Louisiana, third grade teacher Donna Alford had a bounty of science-focused books, but no time to dig into them with students. Meanwhile, at the high school next door, teens had worked with community volunteers to bring a greenhouse and garden to life. English and biology teacher Keli Bryan imagined some fertile connections: Create a service learning project in which tenth graders serve as mentors to the third grade reading class by using gardening literature and curricula.

Plants and People - Himalayan Expedition Part 1

When you step out of your tent, the rain-soaked landscape reminds you that a sleet storm blew through camp during the night. Makalu's peak is still hidden in the clouds. Before long the rest of your teammates are awake and you gather around the fire, eating toast with butter and drinking hot tea. Now that you've met some of the people of Makalu-Barun and learned a little about their surroundings, you begin to think about the relationship between the two. Do these mountain people use the natural resources found in Makalu-Barun to survive?

Plants and People - Appalachian Expedition Part 2

You are amazed at how many useful plants there are in the mountains. The fact that plants like ginseng are rare is a reminder, though, that the variety of useful plants available in the mountains today is nothing like what it used to be. Traditionally, most collectors were local people who harvested enough for their families. Sometimes they would gather additional plants to sell in the local market. In recent years, however, there has been increased global demand for natural products like medicinal herbs. This has brought outside collectors to the mountain.

Plants and People - Appalachian Expedition Part 1

When you step out of your tent, the rain-soaked landscape reminds you that a storm blew through camp during the night. It's a little cloudy out, but the sun is already trying to break through. Before long the rest of your teammates are awake and you gather around the fire, eating toast with butter and drinking hot tea. Now that you know a little bit about the people of Blair Mountain and have seen their natural landscape, you begin to think about the relationship between the two. Do these mountain people use the natural resources found on Blair Mountain to survive?

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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 09/01/2014
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