My students need to hatch butterflies, dig a pond and put in a submersible pump to provide clean water for the pollinators in their greenhouse.
The youth that attend our school come from high poverty homes. Research has shown that students that live with scarcity backgrounds have trouble staying focused and engaged during instruction, as they are more inclined to focus on basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, and affection. All the youngsters in our community qualify for free breakfast and lunch. There is also a program in place to send home food backpacks on weekends and snow days at each school.
My students need a non-traditional classroom setting to grab their attention and focus on their learning.
Many of them have not been successful scholastically. School gardens are a means of improving academic performance, promoting healthy lifestyles, demonstrating the principles of stewardship, encouraging community and social development.
The horticulture class spends class time exploring the forest that surrounds the school, which has inspired the students to learn about pollinators and water sources. My students discovered a natural spring in the woods behind the school garden and tapped it and created a stream to funnel the flow into the greenhouse to water the vegetable garden.
Last autumn was the first season of utilizing the high tunnel/greenhouse which was provided by the Dept. of Agriculture, on the school campus. Students noticed that when the vinyl sheeting on the sides were open, that butterflies and ladybugs flew into pollinate the vegetable plants. They were also thrilled when they identified praying mantis climbing among the seedlings. However, after the sides were lowered as the fall temperatures began to get cooler. The preteens noticed decaying butterflies lying in the rows of greenery. They determined that the pollinators needed a water source to adapt to the enclosed garden.
What is a garden without butterflies?
As spring will soon arrive to this rural mountain community, the youngsters are dreaming of tending their crops. They are planning to dig a pond, put a submersible pump in so as to sustain their pollinators.
There are many lessons that can be presented to students in the outdoor classroom. The hands-on, interaction with the environment can enhances student achievement — not only in science, but also in reading, math, and social studies.
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|Little Giant 566612 475 GPH Direct Drive Pond Pump, Submersible Pump, 80 watts • Amazon Business||$94.91||1||$94.91|
|Insect Lore School Kit Refill with 33 Live Caterpillars Habitat • Amazon Business||$52.99||1||$52.99|
|Qingo Collapsible Insect and Butterfly Habitat cage Terrarium Pop up open - 23.6 Inches Tall (White) (White) • Amazon Business||$13.99||1||$13.99|
|National Geographic Readers: Caterpillar to Butterfly • Amazon Business||$3.99||1||$3.99|
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