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Monday, April 22, 2013

Project Based Learning in Biology---Gardens With Healthy Foods Grown by Students:)

Imagine biology classes creating project based learning activities that would motivate students to build gardens which would provide them with more nutritious eating choices than many are used to eating. 

This is a chapter of biology which until recently didn't receive much attention in the biology class due to the pressure to address all the biology standards before the state standardized test was administered.  With this SEED TO TABLE learning project, students develop an understanding of the joys of gardening that they never would have experienced within the confines of a classroom.  Here, students build their own gardens from scratch and nurture them right up to the point of harvesting.  Many have never had this opportunity to explore the benefits of gardening in their own homes so there is a look of awe as they see their small seedlings develop into edible plants.

Other great features of gardening is the development of teamwork.  Students work together to accomplish a shared task.  This opens up talking opportunities for English language learners, shy students, students with special needs, etc.  With the teacher there, academic language is everywhere within reach of every student.  Another plus is the connection to math.  This connection is a real world one.  For example, planning a meal from this produce involves measurements.  Cooking involves proportions of vegetables and condiments.  Students must also determine how to provide food for a given number of guests. 

Last, but not least, is the fun element:)

Denise

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