Thursday, September 23, 2010

Outdoor Classrooms are for Learning

Mrs. Glawe's 3rd Grade Students

With school back in full swing, we have several classroom visits on the calendar. The BCIG 3rd graders were morning guests last week. We postponed a day because of the weather forecast but that didn't dampen the enthusiasm of the 60+ children who arrived! Divided into three groups the elementary children enjoyed three garden stations. Jack highlighted some of our children's theme gardens including Emily's Kinder-garden (Flowers for each letter of the Alphabet), Tyler's Barnyard Garden (Flowers that share common farm animal names - hen and chicks, lamb's ear, cockscomb, horseradish, etc) and the Garden Among Friends (Flowers that share their names with women: Melissa, Veronica, Iris, Heather, Rose, Lily, etc. and some boy names too: Jack in the Pulpit, Johnny Jump Ups, and Sweet William to name a few). They tickled the sensitive plants and noted the flowers of their birthright in the Calendar Garden. In the Herb Garden, I shared some of the charming folklore and legend of herbs. In the Medicinal Garden, the children saw how Aloe can heal and the Vick's plant offered a familiar scent that they were quick to identify. The Culinary Garden gave them an opportunity to taste the sweetness of Stevia and sniff the fresh leaves of sage, basil and chives. Each teacher also led her group on a butterfly chase and the children managed to gather a dozen monarchs to take back to their classroom to study. The children also took time to gather seeds for their own flower garden next spring. Many of the "pass-along" annual seeds were ripe for the taking and we are happy to spread some of those old-fashioned, non-hybrid seeds throughout the area. If the kids remember to put their seed sacks in a cold, dry spot for the winter, they will be viable and ready to plant by the time the dismissal bells ring out next spring!

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