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Early Childhood


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Francesca Blanco Francesca Blanco 405 Points

What has everyone's experience with gardening been like? Has it been indoors or outdoors? Floral or vegetable? How did you make this into a year-long project that the students were able to remain engaged with? 

Anne Lowry Anne Lowry 8543 Points

I have done school gardening in several different environments  (two different temperate, one high desert).  I do both indoor and outdoors.  At all of the schools, the focus has been on edibles. 

The interest does cycle up and down, but we treat the garden the way we would a pet; something in our environment that we have taken responsibility for, which helps keeps the interest going. Also, we look at the life cycle of our outdoor plants and observe them regularly, including looking for sap as evidence of damage, and discovering the unique ecosystem of each plant. Another tip is to plant herbs that survive the winter, so that you can always find them.  Mint and rosemary are great for that. 

Indoors, I have luck with rooting herbs and growing lettuce


Hope this helps!


Akeili Hawkins Akeili Hawkins 1985 Points

Hi Francesca!

I am a pre service teacher in Iowa and grew up in Chicago so most of the gardening I have seen in schools are indoors. I have experienced both floral and vegetable, but mostly floral. I have never seen this be a year long project, maybe a month or two at the most. The things being planted are often chosen by how long it takes them to grow to the point you want them to in the classroom and the shorter period of time it takes with the biggest outcome, the better! Maybe you could find something that takes a while to grow but also has significant growing points that change the appearance of what your planting. This should help keep students engaged throughout the year.

Anne Lowry Anne Lowry 8543 Points

At this time of the year, outdoor gardens aren’t practical for many of us.  But try indoor gardens!

My students and I use this book for rooting and growing kitchen scraps

Don’t Throw It, Grow It by Deborah Peterson and Millicent Selsam   ISBN 978-1-60342-064-8

This is a good teacher reference book on plants, and reads well

How Plants Work by Linda Chalker-Scott ISBN 978-1-60469-338-6

and this is a great resource for literature, year round

Junior Master Gardener’s Literature in the Garden

Of course, Peggy Ashbook’s Science in the Early Years from NSTA Press is an excellent resource!


And here are some collections by fellow NSTA members of plants

Nancy Lopez “ Plants”

LaToya Pugh  “Gardening Collection”

Mindi Eskridge  “Gardening Science Collection”


Now to another seed catalog.  Spring WILL come!


Elizabeth Sheets Elizabeth Sheets 55 Points

Hello Francesca!

I am a preservice teacher, so I have not had any experience in teaching something like this. However, when I was in high school, I took a botany class that allowed me to garden throughout the year. My school had a green room on the top floor, so that made indoor gardening much easier. We tried to grow both flowers and vegetables with the hope to have a plant sale at the end of the term, but the most successful plants were the vegetables. I was very engaged with this project throughout the year because I knew what the end goal was- the plant sale. All funds were directed back into the class and allowed the next class to purchase seeds and necessary materials. I feel as though the end goal is important in keeping students engaged in a long project. I hope this helps answer some of your questions!

Best Regards,

Elizabeth Sheets

Class of 2021 

Wartburg College

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