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The Garden is a Classroom

Updated on May 23, 2011

The garden classroom

Have you ever seen the look in a child’s eyes when she or he sees the first butterfly? I have and to me that look is the best definition of wonder and awe that I can come up with. Education should inspire similar reactions.

The pure delight of finding something you did not know before, something new. The joy of discovery when you see a butterfly emerge from a cocoon or watch bees buzzing from flower to flower on their endless journey to collect pollen for the hive.

The garden, both at home and at school, is a safe environment where children can experience discovery, while learning about nature and so much else.

Reading a scene from Romeo and Juliet after watering the roses in the garden, and then talking about the uses of rose hips, could make a dynamic lesson that helps the child appreciate  Shakespeare, roses and wild food.

We learn by doing and when the teacher or instructor can couple the theoretical or the literary experience with a real world event the lesson will take on a deeper meaning.

Math is a necessary part of gardening; read the instructions on a seed pack and then create a math problem based upon that information.

If the gardeners are growing peas and pole beans for example, they will need to build supports which also requires math in addition to basic mechanical skills.

Biology and botany are obvious garden subjects. How does a garden grow? This is a short question but the answer introduces the student to photosynthesis, pollination and soil science, for example.

Plants have their own history and students can journey back through time by tracing how a plant came into being and explore geography when they uncover the various lands that plant may have traveled through over time.

A vital lesson is the most obvious one, where food comes from and what real food tastes like. Have you ever bitten into a just picked tomato, still warm off the vine?

The awareness that food does not originate in the grocery store nor naturally come in microwaveable boxes will change the learner’s relationship with food and those who produce it.

If your child’s school does not a learning garden think about starting one. Talk with the principal, to start.

If you have a garden at home and are not already gardening with your young ones do so, you will create memories and lessons that will last a life time.

bee and sunflower

Bee and sunflower, Bob Ewing photo
Bee and sunflower, Bob Ewing photo

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  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick

    You are welcome and thanks for dropping by.

  • Fossillady profile image

    Kathi 6 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

    Liked your hub, can't wait to have grandchildren so I can teach them, math, science, history and geography through my garden! Very inspiring, Thank you

  • Fossillady profile image

    Kathi 6 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

    Liked your hub, can't wait to have grandchildren so I can teach them, math, science, history and geography through my garden! Very inspiring, Thank you

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Glenn, thank you for the kind words and thanks for dropping by.

  • Glenn S. profile image

    Glenn S. 7 years ago from Delaware

    Bob, I am an Agscience teacher grade 6 - 12. This is a supurb article. Well done, and thank you for the post.

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Gardening can be a great homeschooling activity, thanks for dropping by.

  • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

    Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada

    The basis of my gardening know-how came from things I learned from my Gramps while we were out in the garden. I built onto that knowledge and tried and am still trying to pass it onto my children and Grandchildren. My daughter who is homeschooling my two granddaughters spends a lot of time out in the garden with the girls too. The girls both have their own little patch in which the grow anything they like...

    what a great hub Bob

    regards Zsuzsy

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    TM04 let us know how it goes and thanks for dropping by. Hello2 thanks for dropping by.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

    What an interesting point of view. Thank you for an enjoyable read.

  • tonymac04 profile image

    Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

    Brilliant - I love gardening and learning! The idea of a learning garden at a school is also a great one. Will see what I can do about that.

    Thanks for this super Hub.

    Love and peace

    Tony

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thank you for your kind words and for dropping by.

  • Wealthmadehealthy profile image

    Wealthmadehealthy 7 years ago from Somewhere in the Lone Star State

    Another wonderful piece! Thanks for writing it!!

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    It sounds ideal, thanks for dropping by.

  • Sally's Trove profile image

    Sherri 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

    Our garden was a classroom for our child and her friends. We organized play dates there, where our daughter's friends could come and help pick tomatoes, watch warring mantises, plant seeds, let honey bees alight on little hands, measure a slug's slow progress against its ability to destroy, and swing on the rope and pine seat hung off the dogwood tree. They made collages of dried leaves and learned to press flowers. They learned about what it takes to survive and also to appreciate beauty.

    The garden is a microcosm of human life and lessons. You can teach life from there.

    Great Hub.

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    I hope so, thanks for dropping by.

  • jayjay40 profile image

    jayjay40 7 years ago from Bristol England

    I couldn't agree more Bob, well done I'm sure you've opened a few people's eyes

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thank you for dropping by

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Very nice hub. You make some very valid points for parents.