Before every walking field trip I tell my students “we are not going to pick the flowers, because gardens are someone’s art, and we don’t want to mess up anybody’s art.” My students nod sweetly and agree, but just like Curious George, given about 5 minutes, we may forget. On our last kindergarten field trip a couple of us forgot not to pick people’s flowers. The daffodils were just too yellow and beautiful and some of us just couldn’t resist. We put the flowers back, but you know, that was very hard for us, too. Some of us cried because letting go of something that is so beautiful is hard, even when we know it is the right thing to do. I asked myself, what might help us get to the place of understanding the amount of work that goes into a garden and help us to respect our neighbors’ flower beds. I am hoping that your own seeds grown at your own house will teach that lesson. Maybe watering our flower seeds every day and seeing how much work goes into your own flower garden will do the trick.
I asked each student to draw a little gnome for their garden. My sweet mom has been saving seeds from her garden for us, and each student got to choose two different envelopes of seeds for their garden. We stapled the whole thing together into a little kit with instructions on how to make your garden. I hope that the Curious Georges in each of us will find delight and joy in watching seeds grow, and with that grow an understanding of how much work goes into a garden, and see it as an art.
April 22 addition:
Wow! One of our kindergarten teachers set up a gnome garden in her classroom! Love!