For those of you who have been following my blog for awhile, you know that I started a school garden this spring and tried to keep it going throughout the summer. Unfortunately with the drought that we had in our area this summer, the garden pretty much died. I had great plans to harvest pumpkins, carve them, and observe that pumpkins grow on vines. But the pumpkins died in August and I thought that was the end of our garden discoveries. But I forgot that I teach 5 year olds and they can make ANYTHING into discovery fun!
So this afternoon, we had school in our outdoor classroom! Equipped with clip board, pencil, and crayon, each child ventured into our school's backyard. The kids made tree bark rubbings, leaf rubbings, looked for insects, explored weeds and flowers, examined nuts and pine cones, and generally loved nature! I handed each child a small Ziploc bag and they collected all sorts of fun things. I planted sage, lemon verbena, parsley, and basil in the early summer with the hope of creating a sensory garden. Well, it worked! My kinders smelled, touched, and enjoyed the various plants. I allowed them to remove leaves and put them inside their bag which was great fun for them because this is something they are not often told they can do! Despite the fact that there was no visible crop in our garden, the kids still had a wonderful time!
I took a horticultural class this summer and my assignment was to create an interactive activity that could be used for children in an outdoor garden. I thought I would share it with you HERE. Hopefully it will give you some ideas as to how to bring YOUR students to the outdoor classroom at your school!