Forty classroom-ready science teaching and learning activities for elementary and middle school teachersGrounded in theory and best-practices research, this practical text provides elementary and middle school teachers with 40 place-based activities that will help them to make science learning relevant to their students. This text provides teachers with both a rationale and a set of strategies and activities for teaching science in a local context to help students engage with science learning and come to understand the importance of science in their everyday lives.
Activity 19: Urban Gardens
Gardening has been an important part of school curriculums going back to the 19th century. The term kindergarten literally means “child's garden” in German. The founder of the kindergarten movement, the German educator Friedrich Froebel (1782–1852), included gardening as one of the main activities young children participated in as part of his educational program. The progressive educator John Dewey (1859–1952) included gardens as a major part of his experimental school curriculum at the University of Chicago. Dewey felt that gardening was a natural way to teach science and other subjects through a process of learning by doing. Gardening cannot be done successfully without an awareness of place. What can grow where, when, and how are fundamentally place-based concepts that are essential ...