Growing plants from seeds is a popular springtime science project.
It provides a hands-on activity for students from elementary through high school years that easily provides experience with the scientific method and extensions to topics in other subjects. By extending it to include planting a victory garden, it can also bring community interaction and provide a source for community outreach.
Growing Vegetables Supports Educational Objectives
Besides the popular science lesson objectives to growing vegetables, extending the lesson to planting a garden plot at school provides connections to many other subjects as well. Deciding where to plant provides students with opportunities to communicate and negotiate with school administration about the location. Determining whether to plant in the ground or as a container garden also addresses communication, but it can also pull in economic considerations for costs of containers verses fencing.
Mathematics are involved as well. Economic considerations include purchasing supplies and cost savings of growing vegetables for school lunches. Geometry can be applied to designing the plot area and designing trellis structures for tall or vine plants.
Social studies and social skills are also a part of planning and maintaining a school victory garden. Students can be given supportive tasks, such as weeding, watering or harvesting. Older students could be given supervisory or scheduling authority. Students can use the garden as a place to study or as a foundation for learning about the history of victory gardens or volunteerism.
Garden Plots at School Supports Community
A school vegetable garden can be a connection to the community by inviting interaction. Community members might be asked to volunteer time or expertise in gardening as a guest or mentor. Seeds, supplies and even the garden plot itself might be donated by others in the town or neighborhood. Children can interact with farmers and garden enthusiasts while tending gardening tasks.
Community outreach is another way a school garden plot supports the community. It provides an opportunity for the school to invite the community to participate in education both through assisting as experts and visiting the garden. Once harvesting begins, the garden can also provide food for school lunches or be donated to a local food pantry.
Growing vegetable plants in the classroom is an engaging and fun way for students to interact with science. Extending the lesson and creating a school vegetable garden provides many connections to other subjects. It also provides a connection to the community through both interaction and outreach activities.