10 Ways to Integrate School Gardens into Arts, Science, and Math
1) Make a scarecrow. See Atlanta Botanical Gardens 2009 Scarecrow Winners for inspiration.
2) Paint a sign. Nothing says Our Garden like a freshly painted sign. See 25 photos of garden signs from Life Lab.
3) Build a trellis. Trellises are needed throughout the year to support such vegetables as peas, pole beans, tomatoes, melons, cucumbers, and gourds. See trellis as art from Maine artist, Paul Jurutka.
4) Make a germinator to showcase germination process (see video.)
5) Read Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman. Some have turned the book into a school play. Others were inspired to make a movie.
6) Keep a journal. For scientific purposes we want to track the following: what we’re growing, when did we sow seeds, how long did the seeds take to germinate, how often do we water, how long does a plant take to mature (from seed to harvest), how big does a plant get (height and width), and how much does it yield.
Many other scientific experiments may be initiated with results tracked in a journal. See Conducting an Experiment from cornell.edu.
7) Plant seeds of lettuce or cilantro and observe the different plant stages. Reserve one plant to be saved for seed. These plants (all annuals) will flower and seed within the school year. Students can observe the entire lifecycle of a plant (seed-to-seed), as well as learn to collect seeds for the following seasons.
8) Collect bugs and insects into a terrarium and observe their habitat and behavior.
9) For math students, examples of gardening equations:
a) If a row is 8 ft long and we space our carrots 3 inches apart how many carrots can we grow in one row?
b) Our pole beans grow 8 inches a week. How many feet will they be after 12 weeks?
c) My raised bed is 4ft x 8 ft x 1ft. How many bags of dirt (2 cubic feet each) does it take to fill the raised bed?
10) For more inspiration see School Garden Potpourri of Ideas