We started a new unit in our weekly "Science with Shan" class - Gardening! Shan recently attended a great conference on the importance of gardening and exploring nature with children, and came back excited about the opportunity to share what she has learned.
I've often said that children are natural gardeners. I've planted gardens with children as young as 2 years old. Children are always curious and love to play in the dirt! By working in a garden, they experience the joy and satisfaction of caring for something over time. Like with our beetles, they bring something into existence that wasn't there before, and observe the cycle of life firsthand. It's an important life skill often neglected in (other) schools.
On Thursday, Shan started by having the children draw their "ideal garden". Children could be as imaginative and creative as they wanted. Then we brainstormed different types of themed gardens. Shan got us started by listing some popular choices - sensory garden, pizza garden, salsa garden, butterfly garden, etc. We added magic garden, pollinator garden, and a few others. After a vote, the best choice was deemed the pollinator (bee, butterfly, etc.) garden.
Next, we made seed bombs! You probably noticed those lumpy balls of clay in your child's backpack. Students didn't want to learn what seeds were used, so you will have to plant them and find out later!