Integrating School Gardening into the Curriculum
Posted by Breggie Hoffman on 20 January 2021 8:45 PM SAST
Post written by Tamlyn Combrink
Learn how gardening skills contribute to children's development and helps them grow.
1. Weeding and Watering
Gardening tasks such as weeding and watering plants and vegetables are a chance for children to use vital motor skills. They’re also activities which promote responsibility.
2. Seeing the Fruits of their Labour
Achieving goals allows children to become more self-confident, resilient and independent as they see their hard work materialise, especially when they are able to enjoy the food they have grown. What’s more, planting and growing food offers children an opportunity to learn about nutrition. Children may also be more willing to try new vegetables if they have grown their own, so it could also encourage a healthier lifestyle.
3. Working Side-by-Side
School gardening means children will communicate and work as a team towards achieving a common goal. This can lead to them developing new appreciation and respect for one each other. Why not try splitting up a planter into sections? A raised bed with compartments is ideal for team work; each group can take responsibility for a section with a different type of vegetable. What’s more, the act of gardening is a great opportunity for open, relaxed discussions in schools. That’s because it’s proven to be much easier to have ‘difficult’ conversations when occupied and not sitting formally, face-to-face.
4. Hands-on Activities
The practical, hands-on nature of gardening means children become strong, active learners. One benefit of teaching through gardening is that children will develop the ability to carry out tasks as they learn, becoming flexible with their thinking; they’ll solve problems by adapting to new challenges presented by nature. This inquisitive and rewarding approach to learning can even improve concentration inside the classroom.
5. Children will learn about the environment and sustainability
They can learn about insects and how they have an impact on the development of plants and vegetables. Finally, with composting activities for children, it’s easy to teach them about loving their planet.
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