Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Garden Unit Study

The weather is sunny and the soil is warm.  Why not inspire some "growth" in your homeschool with a lovely study on gardens? I am sure it will yield abundant results...

Chapter Books to Read AloudThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Short Story Read AloudMary's Meadow by Juliana Horatia Gatty Ewing (free online). A delightful story that will charm you and inspire you to create a garden.

Additional Chapter Books for independent readersRainbow Garden by Patricia St. John 




I would suggest reading together from the above chapter book for 1/2 hour a day. Read one of the pictures books per day as well since they are the non-fiction source of information in this study. (The books are just suggestions and you may use whatever you have available to you.) Then, have the children do some of the listed activities below each day according to their abilities. Include all work separately in a notebook/binder or composition book for each child. Don't forget to let them decorate their own covers with pictures of gardens, stickers or clip art! Encourage them to be creative.  By the end of a few weeks you will have a nice collection of "garden scrapbooks" to cherish as an educational keepsake..


Garden Inspired Learning Activities~

Spelling/Vocabulary:

  1. compost
  2. garden
  3. mulch
  4. produce
  5. fertilize
  6. vegetable
  7. transplant
  8. nutrients
  9. cultivate
  10. nutrients
Bible/Penmanship/Grammar: Copy some Bible verses about gardens in your best handwriting and pay attention to punctuation as you do so.

Bible History: Read about the gardens of the Bible ~ Garden of Gethsetheme and Garden of Eden and discuss the two endings in each garden and what we can learn from them.

Science: Research which insects are good for the garden and which are harmful and make a list with two columns displaying the results.

Science/Research: Using an encyclopedia or the internet, read about "compost" and "crop rotation" and do a report about the benefits of both.

Science/Art: Using encyclopedias or the internet, read about companion planting. Draw or make a garden collage showing examples of good "companion" planting being sure to label what you planted near each other and describe the benefits of it.


Literature/Character Building: Read "Training and Restraining" from Parables from Nature by Margaret Gatty (The link will take you to the story for free). This excellent, short story will teach a lesson about the garden that is sure to bring on a good family discussion!

Science Project: Plant a garden (herbal, flower, vegetable, medicinal, etc). If you have enough land maybe each child can plant a different type of garden as suggested above.



Language Arts: Read some poems from A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson and have children copy some garden poems in their best writing making sure to pay attention to punctuation. My favorite is the book illustrated by Tasha Tudor!

Geography: On a blank world map, color the countries with and label the ten most famous gardens.

History: Research the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and write a report about it.

A Girl with a Watering Can by Renoir
Art History: Choose a favorite painting regarding a garden and do a picture study with your children.  Have them observe the painting for a few minutes a day and see what new things they notice about the picture. At the end of the week, print out a picture of it and paste on paper and have the child write their "review" of the artwork.  Some ideas are Claude Monet's Garden PaintingsVincent Van Gogh Garden Painting, or a Girl with a Watering Can by Renoir. You may also want to read a short biography of the chosen painter as well to enhance this study.

Arts/Crafts: Create and decorate your own seed packet and plant markers.

Field Trip: Go and visit a local garden in your area. You will be surprised what surrounds you!  Take plenty of pictures and scrapbook pages after your field trip to add into notebook.

Home Economics: Can something from your garden or make freezer jam with younger children.

Foreign Language: Memorize the word "garden" in the foreign language you are learning.



Science/Nature/Family: Play the Garden Game!  This beautiful game has gorgeous illustrations while educating about garden life.  An excellent investment for game night!

Science/Nature/Projects: Choose a few projects from Green Thumbs: A Kid's Activity Guide to Indoor and Outdoor Gardening (A Kid's Guide series) to do as a family.

Movie SuggestionsHomestead Blessings: The Art of Gardening,  The Secret Garden (Based on the novel)



May this study "cultivate"
a love of gardening in your family!

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