Summer Camp

Flower Power

Tapping the Universal Appeal of Cut Flowers

Whether starting zinnia seeds on a sunny windowsill, planting blooming bulbs in a container, or growing big garden plots of flowers so they can make and sell bouquets at the local farmers’ market, schoolchildren all over the United States experience the beauty of cut flowers as they learn valuable math, science, art, and history concepts.

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.

Garden-Inspired Performing Arts

Bringing Kids and Concepts to Life

Creating compost and exploring its creatures can be cool. So can tracking garden pollinators. It’s well-accepted that when students dig in with hands and minds, they build skills and grasp concepts. Now, imagine how your young scientists would flourish if you also invited them to interpret and portray their discoveries through a cast of characters; dramatic story; poem, rap, or song; musical performance; or interpretive dance.

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.

Make Your Own Hummingbird Feeder

Overview: Based on what they know about hummingbirds, students will design and create their own feeder using everyday materials.

Subject Areas: science, visual arts, math

Key Concepts: physical adaptations

Skills: problem solving, creative thinking, teamwork/cooperative learning, artistic expression, observation, investigation

Location: indoors and outdoors

Which Plants to Plant?

Overview: Students research hummingbird-attracting plants and make selections to grow in a school garden.

Subject Areas: science, language arts, technology

Key Concepts: habitat needs of plants

Skills: research, teamwork/cooperative learning, oral communication, decision-making

Location: indoors

Estimated Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour or more

Design a Hummingbird Flower

Overview: In this activity, students design and create a flower adapted for pollination by hummingbirds.

Subject Areas: science, visual arts, language arts

Key Concepts: physical adaptations, pollination, competition

Skills: problem solving, creative thinking, teamwork/cooperative learning, artistic expression, oral communication; observation (if real flowers are examined)

Location: indoors

Estimated time: 1 hour+

Migration Mishaps

Overview: Migration Mishaps is a game that helps to demonstrate why animals that migrate, such as hummingbirds, are threatened by habitat destruction.

Subject areas: science, physical education, math, geography

Key concepts: habitat, migration, survival, competition, limiting factors, population dynamics

Skills: graphing and map skills (extension activity)

Location: outdoors

Estimated time: 20 minutes

Territorial Tactics

Overview: Territorial Tactics is an energetic tag game in which students simulate the territorial behavior and survival strategies of hummingbirds. It is designed to teach students tactics used by dominant territorial hummingbirds to guard a feeder or patch of nectar plants, and tactics used by other hummingbirds to try to feed from that protected food source. (The game is like Capture the Flag with a few adaptations.)

Subject areas: science, physical education

Key concepts: behavioral adaptations, intra-species competition

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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     | &      |     Created on 03/15/99, 

Last updated on 01/22/2015
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