Early Childhood

Cultivating Inquirers

Watching pollination first hand is bound to draw inquiry out of your school gardeners."There's no question that teachers and students are equally fascinated when they have ample time to observe and investigate flowers and their pollinating partners," reports Lisa Wagner, education coordinator at the South Carolina Botanical Garden.

Turn on Learning With Bulbs

"A bulb is a promise," Wendy Sherman tells her pre-schoolers in Sudbury, MA. "You can do your part to provide certain basic conditions for them, and then you have to hope that nature comes through with the rest." These marvelous packages, each containing a complete miniature plant and its lunch, can provide a captivating theme for exploring plant growth and adaptations, using math skills, and enriching history, while brightening winter classrooms with the promise of spring.

Thematic Gardens

School gardens can take a variety of shapes and sizes. These barrels are placed outside each classroom and can easily complement lessons.An ordinary mixed vegetable, flower, and herb garden provides endless possibilities for explorations across the curriculum. Many schools have also chosen to create special thematic gardens to focus and inspire garden adventures. Consider the possibilities of a Native American garden, for instance, for making connections to social studies and beyond.

Reaping Rewards

How Gardens Grow Kids

"When my kindergarten students move on to new classes, their teachers are surprised and delighted that the kids have such great skills and content knowledge," reports Carmel, CA, teacher Sarah Coburn.

Butterfly Gardening Basics

Butterfly Garden at National Gardening Association in South Burlington, Vermont

Welcoming Caterpillars and Butterflies to your Schoolyard

Growing plants that attract butterflies is a sure-fire way of engaging youngsters in the school garden, and it invites discoveries about pollination, insect life cycles, and the interdependence of insects and plants. The first step is understanding what makes butterflies tick at different stages of their life cycle.

Amaryllis: Tropical Treasures in the Classroom

Amaryllis, tropical natives, are dramatic, fast-growing bulbs with brilliant blooms bound to captivate your classes year after year. Unlike bulbs from cool climates that require chilling, the amaryllis hails from warm climates, and will bloom 4-6 weeks after planting, with little care.

Green Tips for an Early Spring School Garden

Bulbs can store energy (food) in the form of starch to fuel their seasonal growth cycle. Because they contain a miniature plant with flower, stem, leaf and root parts, bulbs are ready to spring forth when conditions are right. Many bulbs native to tropical climates adapt well to classroom conditions and, with minimal care, will prChicago Botanical Garden Spring Bloomsoduce resplendent flowers during our winter months.

Transplanting Across the Curriculum

Your students have spent all winter and early spring nurturing their classroom plants. As spring emerges, you may be planning to move your precious seedlings into school or home gardens, school or community flower beds, or other outdoor locations. Consider using transplanting as an opportunity to continue teaching about plants' needs and adaptations, and to tie in subjects across the curriculum.

Move 'Em Out

Transplanting Hints

Planting seedlings with Hurlburt Field Child Care Center: Hurlburt Field Child Care Center is a winner of the 2011 Muhammad Ali Center Peace Garden GrantIf you're gardening both in and out of the classroom, it may be nearing time to transplant carefully tended classroom plants to outdoor gardens and flower beds. To help your transplants make a successful transition, consider the following tips:

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Last updated on 04/23/2014
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