Math and Science in a Garden
Here at Pace we recognize children can have short attention spans, so we like to incorporate as many subjects as we can into one lesson. If our students are listening and engaged in the classroom for 30 minutes, it’s beneficial to relate to the subject in ways that are both practical and purposefully academic. When it comes to gardening, it’s actually not that hard.
Pace students have the opportunity to work on a variety of horticulture projects. Children generally enjoy nature and we all benefit from being outside, delving into hands-on learning. A typical gardening project looks something like this:
The objective: establishing a layout for a garden
- How many square feet will the garden need? What is the perimeter of the garden? What is the area of the garden?
- Concerns: Are there plants that cannot grow next to each other because it introduces possible obstacles? Are there some plants that would thrive on top of or near each other because they’re so beneficial to one another?
- Organizational skills
- Critical thinking skills
- Grammar-sentence structure
With each mathematical question we will have to solve the corresponding formulas. What is the formula for area or perimeter? How long is it? How wide is it? The perimeter will tell how much fencing we will need, the area will tell us how much soil we will need. We may also introduce volume because soil has depth. If we want 2 inches of soil on the entire area then how much is that?
One awesome lesson in gardening includes research, organizational skills, science, math and proper use of sentence structure when we write it in our workbooks.
And it’s fun because it’s gardening! Our students are engaged like never before, because their eyes aren’t just reading about gardening in a textbook, but their hands are getting to construct and create something they can later take pride in. Our students have shown such gratification towards building in the backyard, and they take home practical skills when learning is active.
This type of hands-on learning is how we like to construct our lessons, allowing our students to become physically engaged. When they get to run, spread the soil or plant the plants, we’re bringing elements that aren’t there in a traditional classroom experience. We get to go outside and have some fun!