By Kerry Craig
Elementary School Outdoor Education Teacher
“Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.”Albert Einstein
One of the main aims of Outdoor Learning in Elementary School is to get students up close to nature, and you can’t get much closer than a worm in your hand! Contributions to the ISP Fund help us work towards this goal by providing additional resources such as gardening equipment, observational tools, and reference books.
Last year as part of their unit on Sustainability, Grade 3 students initiated a project to plant gardens outside of their classrooms. The students designed the project and made all the necessary preparations, including deciding what plants to grow and how they would take care of their new gardens. In the end, students planted strawberries, spinach, radishes, tomato plants, and flowers! The Grade 3 gardens thrived throughout the year, and the students were proud to pass on their gardens to the new Grade 3’s.
“It was fun to plant seeds and then even more fun to taste the food. We ate spinach, radishes, and tomatoes. We couldn’t believe how many tomatoes came from one plant! I hope the new Grade 3’s will have as much fun as we did!”Orla, Grade 4
This year, after studying the plant cycle through the lens of a tomato plant, Ms. Kerry and the current Grade 3 students formed a Garden Club that meets at lunchtime and runs once every 6-day cycle.
Working in the garden is a favorite student activity, and sparks enthusiasm and curiosity in our young learners. Whether rain or shine, they come to Garden Club ready to get their hands dirty!
“It’s very fun! I loved raking leaves and taking soil from the composter to our garden beds. If you compost, it makes good soil for the plants.”Karel, Grade 3
During this transitional season, the club’s focus has been on getting the garden ready for winter. This has involved a lot of hands-on work to cover the strawberries with mulch, dismantle the tomato plants, and transfer compost from the composter to our garden patches. Students have also found exciting earth treasures such as worms, grubs, and other interesting creatures along the way!
“In Gardening Club, we learn to look after animals. When we were digging in the compost, I learned about a new thing – it was called a grub! We looked at it, felt it, and then put it back in the dirt.”Madison, Grade 3
“ I like everything about Garden Club! I learned about putting straw on the strawberries for winter.”Arbel, Grade 3
These nature explorations connect closely to our curriculum, especially when we are talking about decomposers in the garden (worms, beetles, and grubs in the compost in Grade 3). This work also links closely with what these students will do in their Grade 4 Forest unit (decomposers in the forest). Gardening Club equips students with real-life skills that they can use throughout their lives and also enables them to share skills they have learned from their families with other students (and their outdoor learning teacher!).
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT IN 2021/22
Your generosity and involvement in the life of ISP make us the great school that we are today.
Please consider making a gift to ISP Fund in 2022/23.