Outdoor and Environmental Education → Outreach → Creating an Edible Garden → Why should gardening be used as an instructional tool?
Gardening as an Instructional Tool
All types of gardens provide a great outdoor classroom for interdisciplinary learning experiences for students. Gardening as an instructional tool will:
- Engage and motivate students.
- Promote inquiry! Students can develop testable garden questions and set up experiments to answer them.
- Provide a learning laboratory for investigating living things including plant growth and development, animal/plant interactions and adaptations, and the concepts of food chain and food web.
- Provide a learning laboratory for mathematics, both in the planning and construction of the garden container, and in the growing of the plants.
- Promote the authentic use of math as a tool in science through measurement, the construction of tables and graphs, and data analysis.
- Provide a food laboratory experience in which students can be involved with food research and production, from planting to harvest.
- Promote healthy lifestyles and increases the likelihood that students try a new food.
- Engage students in the concept of sustainability—support local growers, grow your own food.
- Provide a familiarity with agriculture—through an authentic
experience, students experience the work and time involved in growing
- Provide a connection between local gardens and larger ecosystems including streams, rivers, and Chesapeake Bay.
- Instill a sense of place.