Resource and Education
Getting Started with School Gardens
Greenhouse Manual: An Introductory Guide for Educators (PDF)
"The manual clearly and concisely lays out a basic understanding of greenhouses, how to integrate them into lessons, and how to effectively use greenhouses in classroom curricula and out-of-school activities." From the United States Botanic Garden, the National Center for Appropriate Technology, and City Blossoms.
Shale Meadows Elementary School
Milkweed Milk Jugs and Monarchs
Karen Rissmeyer, Cynthia Buettner, Stephany Merick
January 5, 2022
Karen Rissmeyer (Master Gardener class of 2021!) has initiated an exciting learning project at Shale Meadows Elementary School. Karen, a newly retired educator from Olentangy Local School District, reached out to principal Greta Gnagy and teacher Mandy Robek of the Shale Meadow Monarchs to offer Master Gardener help to create a Monarch school garden and to teach students about the life cycle and food source for the Monarch butterfly.
After two years of schools restricting outside access to their students for health concerns, Master Gardeners were finally invited back into the classroom to share the science and fun of gardening – woohoo!
On Wednesday, January 5, three intrepid Master Gardeners (Karen and MG intern helpers Cynthia Buettner and Stephany Merick) arrived at Shale Meadows Elementary school armed with milk jugs, milkweed seed, a handy dandy drill, duct tape and soil. Their mission – to educate five third grade classes about monarchs, their migration, their host plant, and why creating a monarch waystation is helpful to the continuation of the species. Karen led a discussion that taught the students about monarchs and also about milkweed, winter seed sowing, and reviewing the water cycle. As a retired teacher, Karen was more than ready to jump into leading the students in a game, simulation, and discussion that led up to the winter seed sowing activity.
Students drilled milk jugs, filled them with potting soil and wet the soil. Fluffy milkweed seeds were scattered in the soil (and possibly elsewhere) and gently misted. Do-it-all duct tape sealed the cut edges of the jugs and they were ready to be put outside to stratify in the cold. The student “Milkweed Crew” will watch over the jugs when they're out on the playground over the winter. Karen taught the “Crew” what to watch for (moisture –too much, too little) and what to do to make their little seedlings healthy and happy.
Thank you to Greta Gnagy and Mandy Robek for giving us such delightful mini gardeners and for allowing us to share the wonder of Monarchs with your third graders.
And thank you to our creative and energetic intern MGs Karen Rissmeyer, Cynthia Buettner and Stephany Merick who are bringing the science of gardening back to our schools!
Conger Elementary News
May 3, 2021
Seeds are beginning to sprout, along with the curiosity of Linda’s cadre of second grade gardeners at Conger Elementary. The garden planters are incubating the mini gardeners’ eclectic personal choices of wildflowers, dill, Johnny jump up, bee balm, milkweed, lavender, mint, thyme, lemon balm, oregano, blanket flower, butterfly weed, and a grass that is “a funny shape”.
The kiddos are doing a great job of checking on the seeds, pulling weeds (for the most part) and making certain their boxes are watered. To see all the buddies out there at recess inspecting their seedlings and smelling the herbs is priceless. One little boy loves to pick the dandelions and asked Linda if that was ok since they were not in the pots. Carefully picking a small bouquet of yellow sunshine, he handed them to Linda and said that they were for her for helping them plant the garden. And this is why we bring the magic of gardening to children!
Linda also brought gardening science inside the classroom through fun activities linked to the importance of birds and insects in pollination. Using wild bird seed and peanut butter or lard, the kiddos made pine cone bird feeders that they could hang up at home. Why we all need “good bugs” in our gardens was Linda’s next lesson and our mini-gardeners then constructed cozy bug houses from twigs, grass and leaves scavenged from the playground, hopefully attracting those beneficial insects.
Thank you again to Linda Harrison for loving, caring and sharing nature’s beauty with her little buddies.
Gardening with Kids
Ideas for gardening with kids...two ideas per page:
Delaware City Schools
Dempsey Middle School
Olentangy Local School District
Johnnycake Corners Elementary
Tyler Run Elementary
Wyandot Run Elementary