Gardening Across the Curriculum: What Kids Learn By Getting Their Hands Dirty

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Gardening across the curriculum: learning activities for kids.

Gardening Across the Curriculum: What Kids Learn By Getting Their Hands Dirty

My plan is to wrap our official homeschooling up by the end of May. Our learning though, never ends. I’m a huge fan of learning through experience.

This year, we’re going to try to finally figure this gardening thing out.

You see, even though I live on a large homestead and raise my own animals, plants are another story. My thumbs are definitely not green.

I’ve tried in the past. Many times. But I’ve always tried to go too big. This year is different. This year I’m shrinking my gardening plans into something more manageable.

And planning on the kids helping a lot more. After all–gardening is a great way to learn. Here’s a look at gardening across the curriculum, what getting their hands dirty can teach kids.

Math

Math is everywhere in life. In our gardening time, my kids will be:

  • Counting seeds
  • Measuring depth for measuring
  • Measuring space between plants
  • Marking the growing season on a calendar so we know when to expect a harvest
  • Measuring rain
  • Estimating the height of plants
  • Comparing plant sizes
  • Sorting flowers by color
  • Sorting seeds by size

Science

Nature is naturally scientific. While gardening, the kids will specifically study:

  • Botany (plant identification)
  • Classification of plants and bugs
  • Insect studies
  • Learn about good garden insects and pests
  • Observe and name parts of plants
  • Differentiate between weeds and plants
  • Weather studies
  • Water cycle
  • Composting–the cycle of life
  • Nutrition

Language Arts

We’ll be reading and writing a lot about our garden! Here’s what I’m planning:

  • Reading seed packets
  • Identifying letters on seed packets (for my non-readers)
  • Research square foot gardening via internet and books (for my oldest)
  • Read these books from the library (aff. links):

As we read each book, we’ll talk about the plot, the characters, and write down what we learned about gardening.

  • Writing our own gardening stories
  • Making science journals and writing in them about our plants

Social Studies

Gardening across the curriculum means all subjects are covered! Here’s how we’ll tackle social studies:

  • Checking out zone maps to determine what zone we’re in
  • Visiting the local farmer’s market to learn more about our community
  • Learning about George Washington Carver & his work in agriculture
  • Studying ag around the world
  • Comparing food eaten in different parts of the country
  • Organic vs. conventional growing systems

Art

Gardening is so colorful! We’ll be doing some fun art projects:

  • Making a seed collage
  • Sketching the parts of plants
  • Making a stepping stone path
  • Color inspiration picture (pick one color from the garden and then use shades of that color to create a picture)
  • Create plant markers

Engineering

  • Building a trellis playhouse with Daddy
  • Building raised beds

PE/Health

  • Weeding the garden
  • Learning about the importance of water for plants and people
  • Nutrition studies
  • Washing hands
  • Washing produce before eating it

I’m so excited to dive into our garden studies. I’m hoping for a great harvest. But even if we just grow a bunch of weeds, I know the kids will learn so much by getting their hands dirty.

Do you garden? What other examples can you share of gardening across the curriculum? I know I didn’t cover it all!

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