Posts Tagged ‘gardening’

Garden for Wildlife Month

“Be it an apartment balcony or a 20-acre farm, any space can accommodate a garden that attracts beautiful wildlife and helps restore habitat in commercial and residential areas. By providing food, water, cover and a place for wildlife to raise their young you not only help wildlife, but also qualify your garden to become an official Certified Wildlife Habitat. During May, the National Wildlife Federation sponsors this month to inspire and assist anyone who is passionate about wildlife to make a difference right in their own backyard.” (Chase’s Calendar of Events 2015)


Photo by Robin Koch, USFWS Volunteer [CC BY 2.0]

This website has inspired me and my kids to participate in the “Garden for Wildlife” initiative. We are going to visit our local plant nursery or garden center and choose some plants that will attract wildlife. We only have a small space of dirt to work with, so I’m going to add potted plants and trees to enhance our patio area. My kids also help with their school gardens. They plant flowering plants, seeds, vegetables, and more. It’s wonderful for them to learn how to create a garden and help wildlife at the same time. Plus gardens make surroundings beautiful.

Community gardening

Community Gardening
Photo by Brett Billings, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A great resource for learning about gardens and gardening is SIRS Discoverer. Here are some examples of our articles for students:

Get Outside: Butterfly Garden National Geographic Kids

Green Scene: Create a Hummingbird Garden! National Geographic Kids

How are your students learning about gardening this month? Share with us in the comments below.

Share Earth Day with Your Students

Children, Teacher Gazing at Globe <br \> U.S. Department of Education, via ProQuest SIRS Government Reporter [Public Domain]

Children, Teacher Gazing at Globe
U.S. Department of Education via ProQuest SIRS Government Reporter [Public Domain]

Young students love learning about Earth and discovering ways that they can help the planet. As adults, it’s our responsibility to teach them ways and encourage their ideas. The classroom is an ideal place for this type of learning and exploration. And Earth Day, which is April 22, is the perfect time!

SIRS Discoverer, and its April Spotlight of the Month on Earth Day, can assist in planning for this significant global holiday. Founded in 1970, Earth Day began and continues as a day of environmental education and action. In honor of our Earth, plan activities that promote awareness and appreciation of nature, recycling, and the environment.

An outdoor garden is a great classroom. Lessons that occur there can help students develop listening, comprehension, and collaboration skills, as well as providing a solid foundation in Earth sciences.

Try an activity that helps students understand the parts of a plant and how they grow. The printable PDF version of the associated Teacher’s Guide provides information, photos, and activities. You can help your students dig deeper and understand more about plant growth with this article and associated activities on composting.

Your students can learn the art of recycling–literally–with this activity, which provides age-appropriate ideas and instructions for recycling newspapers into papier-mache, collages, or weavings. Or, impress them with the power of nature, and show them great ways people are using wind, water, and sunlight to generate “clean energy.” A diagram, quiz, and activity are provided.

We can also help the Earth–and help young students help the Earth–by learning about what is happening around the globe, from the deteriorating condition of our oceans’ coral reefs , which can lead to discussions about the warming of our planet, to the destructive and growing Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which emphasizes the necessity of recycling and limiting our use of plastics.

SIRS Discoverer’s Animal Facts feature is a wonderful way to introduce students to the many amazing creatures of our planet. Some are endangered, like the Asian elephant; yet some have recovered from the brink of extinction, like the Galapagos tortoise. Why are some animal populations struggling? How can we help the diversity of Earth’s life thrive?

Celebrate life on Earth, and Earth itself, this Earth Day. If it is important to you, it will be important to the children you reach!

Discoverer Spotlight: Gifts from the Garden Month


Organic Fruits and Vegetables at Marketplace
by National Agricultural Library, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, via ProQuest SIRS Government Reporter [Public Domain]

Gardens are wondrous miracles of Mother Nature. Imagine…a plot or pot of soil, seeds, water, sunshine, and a little tending each day results in beautiful gifts from the Earth! There are all types of gardens all over the world, each with their own special offerings. Flower gardens full of beautiful colors and wondrous scents; vegetable gardens offering a bounty of fresh carrots, peppers, radishes, and tomatoes; fruit groves where trees are heavy with oranges, apples, and peaches; berry bushes dotted with strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries; herb gardens fragrant with basil, thyme, and oregano; even bonsai gardens filled with tiny, old trees. These gifts brighten our homes, help our minds be more calm and patient, and make our bodies healthier. Gardens give us a bounty of health and happiness!

Join SIRS Discoverer and celebrate Gifts from the Garden Month during the month of May. Find articles about rooftop gardens, hydroponic gardens, bonsai gardens, butterfly gardens, and even Antarctic gardens! Learn about the many gifts a garden provides, from delicious fruits and healthy vegetables to self-esteem and friendship. Gardens even provide food and shelter for wildlife! Perhaps you will be inspired to start your own garden and discover what gifts a garden can provide for you.