Friday, March 30, 2012

the school garden becomes a mud house

Our school garden has undergone several changes in the four years we've inhabited the space. When we first arrived it was a triangular dirt space, with woodchips covering the ground, and a small sickly looking tree guarding the area.

Since then my science classes have planted small trees, kindergarten classes have planted flowers, and pre-k classes have planted vegetables. Over time this became a big patch of wild-growing plants that were hard to care after.

Ms. Merril's pre-k kids began using the garden this year as a place to explore and play. They started digging holes and adding water. They brought out tools to aid in their explorations.

After watching with envious eyes for a few weeks, as one of the teachers in charge of recess, I decided to let students into the garden area during recess. The only rule: respect all living things.

 The first thing most students wanted to do was dig.

 Some students started mixing soil with water.

A mud kitchen was created.

"We're cooking."

"I think we found treasure."

Creatures were discovered.

Holes were started.

Twigs, branches, and roots from dead plants were used as tools.

"We're cleaning the dirt."

This child looked for gold with his magic stick.

Rocks were sorted.

"I found an ancient artifact. I don't know what it is."

"Let's go clean it off!"

"It's a lego piece!"

"It looks like a faucet."

A sign was made.

An entrance was labeled.

"Is that a meteor?"

"This soup has so much fiber."

"Yeah, we put many yummy vegetables in it."

It's amazing how much kids can do in 25 minutes with a little patch of dirt.

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