Outdoor and Environmental EducationOutreach 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 food plants.
  • Provide a connection between local gardens and larger ecosystems including streams, rivers, and Chesapeake Bay.
  • Instill a sense of place.