Why gardening?

March 27, 2017

STEAM gardening middle school

For the third trimester, I decided to have a Gardening STEAM Elective.  Being data and research driven, before I started I dug up some research based reasons for teaching gardening to kids.  And, some of the major benefits that researchers have found are it engages all the senses, it encourages healthy eating habits, gardening lets kids dig into scientific concepts, it teaches responsibility in terms of caring for the plants and our environment, and it teaches patience in an instant gratification world. 

I decided that the class would be student driven.  I wanted the kids to take responsibility for what was planted where and what they created.  I also have given the students free range to explore the greenhouse area and beautify with their creative energy.  I provide a makeshift makers space lab with outdoor themed items.  I guide through problem solving and make light suggestions. One problem that had to be solved for an infestation of aphids!  

 I encourage them to do their own research and find garden themed ideas to create.  I am delighted with the ideas and projects they have produced and continue to produce!  

Here is a sampling:

Yarn bombing defined as “Yarn bombing, yarnbombing, yarn storming, guerrilla knitting, kniffiti, urban knitting or graffiti knitting is a type of graffiti or street art that employs colourful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn or fibre rather than paint or chalk.”  A group in Gardening class have taking to crocheting and decorating a tree near the greenhouse.  


Rock Painting - this mandala patterned rock was created by Anna.  She uses geometric designs to create a beautiful piece of art! 

Sun Catchers 

Students has found pleasure in creating sun catchers out of glass pebbles and hot glue.  They had to use their creative thinking skills to figure out how to glue the pebbles together without permanently glueing it to a platform.  

Plants for seeds - There is always excitement when something in our elective germinates!  The students take turns tending to the plants ensuring they are watered and cared for.  Here are some tomato and cucumber plants that were mere seeds just a few weeks ago! 

Tic Tac Toe - Cardinals verses Blue Jays.  This was created with our Early Childhood students in mind!  It is a fun way to play a traditional game like tic tac toe and learn about colors and nature! 

Other projects that are currently in progress are painting birdhouse, designing stepping stones, creating a checker board of bees vs lady bugs on a crocheted blanket, and the designing and creating of a fairy garden.  

Tara Cadena, Middle School Team Lead

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