Gardening and Outdoor Education 

Fall 2019

Melanie Mayo

Early Learning Center

    Our ELC bunch this year is so creative and full of spark!  I saw their creativity in full display as we created beautiful nature mandalas recently with found natural objects from the garden.  
     We have explored plants with flower pounding art, tasted tomatoes from the garden, tilled the soil, worked to break apart dead seed heads to remove their seeds and good old fashioned observation in the garden. Exploration is our favorite thing!  
    We will be using the seeds they collected to make Seed Balls that they will take home to grow next month!

young chldren planting seeds in the campus garden

Lower Primary

     This fall, Level 3 and 4 students were introduced to their herb garden and planted new herbs which they’ll watch grow.  We also learned how herbs are used for culinary and medicinal purposes and explored the smells and textures.  With the herbs, students made herbal tea and an herbed cream cheese to taste.  They also learned about the basic parts of seeds and how seeds disperse naturally. 
     Level 3 students planted 2 types of spinach in the main vegetable garden and will be comparing and contrasting their growth as well as their taste.  They also learned about pollination with a fun cheese ball and juice box activity. 
     Level 4 students planted onions in the garden and have just seen their big pointy green onions emerging from the soil.  Level 4s also studied bats and learned how flowers and animals can actually communicate with each other in subtle ways.

children studying various kinds of plants

Middle Primary

      Middle Primary students are off to a wet start in Garden!  We learned about mysterious vernal ponds (they appear and disappear), the natural water cycle happening every second around us and how our cities create an urban water cycle.  Students started their nature journals with a concept map of Erosion to understand how our hydrosphere affects our geosphere.  To understand the power of water we learned about Hurricane Katrina and the story of what happened to New Orleans many years ago.  
     We also completed a study of Monarch butterflies and observed Monarch caterpillars in our butterfly garden milkweed patches.  We found one chrysalis that hatched and one that did not.  
    In our Naturalist Study, we enjoyed learning about John Muir and Rachel Carson, environmentalists and world changers.

older elemtary studnets working in the garden

Upper Primary
        Level 6 students are going to be our Green Team this year.  They are studying the trees on campus and in the woods, testing the pH of various garden soils, and learning how to take care of the composting bins.  They recently conducted a Student Wildlife Index and will be writing a report to submit to Mr. Fallo next month.  
     Level 7 students have been working in Google Classroom on a “Rockin Radish” project this semester.  They divided one large garden bed into squares, which they amended and planted, and are now growing their own individual patch of radishes.  They should be ready to taste in mid-November!  
     Students are growing into the responsibility of using technology to electronically turn in assignments.  Please encourage your student to log into Google Classroom to stay on top of their radish project assignments. They also picked peppers for the cafeteria and learned how to make pickled banana peppers from our garden harvest.  

ST NICHOLAS SCHOOL 7525 Min Tom Drive | Chattanooga, Tennessee 37421 | ph: (423).899.1999 | fax: (423).899.0109 | [email protected]