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Keywords: STEM, garden, community, journaling, cooking
Subject(s): Biology, Art, Civics, Social Skills, Spelling, Autism, Geography, Early Learning, Grammar, Dyslexia, Life Science, Special Needs, Writing, History, Earth Science, Speech and Language, Reading, Math, English/Language Arts
Grades P-K through 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: NEARI School, Holyoke, MA
Planned By: Danielle Crescione
Original Author: Danielle Crescione, Holyoke
Each month will represent a new lesson plan that coincides with the garden prep:

April: We will begin our snail and slug patrol. We will also try experiments with worm bins and decomposition. We will look at innovative ways to remove weeds.

May: Study flowers and pollination. We will start to look at insects and begin our irrigation system for planting. We will construct rain barrels to collect rain water.

June: Plant the crops we need. Gather community volunteers. Have a harvest celebration with cooking
Plant our last round of beets

July: Check on all watering systems to make sure they are working properly. Plant crops for fall

Aug: Turn all our compost. Soil testing with UMASS. Lessons on spacing and depth

Sept: Make room for winter crops. Community awareness. We are part of something bigger!

Oct: Pull out summer crops. Plant cover crops. Talk about seed dispersal and start collecting seeds.

Nov: Soil Month. Composition, building and erosion. Study nutrients. Have a harvest day and make a dish

December and January: Design cloches for garden beds. Sprouting experiments indoor. Create spring planting calendars. Observations in notebook about the effects of weather on the garden. Journal Journal Journal!

Feb: Start seeds indoors. Construct trellises. Plant experiments with seeds, light and temp.

March: Celebrate Spring!! Hypothesis on growth time and measure plants. Learn about decomposers in the compost. Begin weeding and start radishes and beets!
Our school works with students that struggle with mental health, behavioral, and educational needs.We feel that this is the beginning of a huge endeavor to unite not only this community but to connect with other schools in our small radius.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Gardening crosses over with every other subject the students are involved with. Each teacher is excited to be bringing the garden curriculum into their class.
Once the garden is up, we are going to invite the mayor and the news to come and have a meal with us, using the harvest from the garden. We will also be involved with the local farmers market.
Materials: Whiteboards, Digital Cameras, Flash/USB Drives, Inspiration, Authoring and Publishing, Web Page, Autism, Cause and Effect, Early Learning, Speech and Language, Hardware Devices