Classroom to Garden
“Math can be successfully integrated into garden work in a way that makes the math real for students. Students always ask me, ‘Why do I need to know how to do this?’ Work in the garden is one powerful way to do just that.” 5th grade teacher
Over 75% of the teachers in Cambridge Public Schools report using their CitySprouts garden at least once and as many as 20 times each spring and fall. The CitySprouts’ team facilitates teachers’ on-going use of the school garden by ensuring that the school garden is planted and cared for from April through November; helping teachers’ plan outdoor lessons; and planning professional development for teachers around existing curricula. Classroom lessons are extended to the CitySprouts gardens in a number of ways, for instance-
Science: 6th grade students learn about sexual and asexual plant reproduction by examining strawberry plants’ dual forms of making new strawberry plants
Math: 4th grade students plant peas in the garden and return to measure and chart their growth over 6 weeks in April and May
Literacy: 1st graders make a real-world connection to the Little Red Hen by planting wheat, harvesting and grinding the wheat berries to make bread
Art: 5th graders create “Andy Goldsworthy” style sculptures from objects in the garden, and watch as the sculptures morph and change over time.
“I cannot say enough about the enormous value of our school garden program. It has helped both students and their teachers to develop in the following areas: responsibility, cooperative behaviors, initiative and love for plants and science, environmental awareness and concern, understanding life science concepts as well as scientific investigations, problem solving, and math skills.” J. Petner, Haggerty School Principal (2006)