Hi, I'm Julia from Twinkl*, an online educational resource library. Who doesn’t love getting in the garden with the children? As an educator, it was one of my favourite things to do. I’m not the best at it, but I will definitely give it a red hot go (maybe that’s where I’m going wrong - I need green thumbs, not red. I digress).
Encouraging children to take the food scraps from lunch to the compost bin, aerating it and giving it a mix; and eventually being able to pour all that lush fertiliser onto our flowerbeds. I remember once, we even started accidentally growing melons because the compost had some seeds in it! The children were fascinated and it was a provocation for a long-term project. Some may even say that it was a ‘sustainable’ project - see what I did there?
‘Sustainability’ often seems to be a word that buzzes around the garden like the humble bumblebee, but it has a real and serious meaning. As educators, it is our intention to lay the foundations of all the knowledge and skills children will need as they become young people entering the ‘real world’. Part of that is ensuring that they have the means and knowledge to tread lightly and make minimal impact so that they can then pass our Earth onto future generations.
Glowpear has recently partnered with Twinkl, the world’s largest online educational resource company that provides high-quality, trusted educational materials, which are all teacher-created and checked across the Australian curriculum. Making the most of our green spaces, even in the most built-up areas is the perfect message to be sending to children about how they can still live sustainably.
As the weather becomes warmer, Glowpear’s very own Associate Professor Simon is keen to tell our Twinkl readers all about soil. Now while, as he says, it’s “not the most glamorous part of the growing process,” there is a lot to be said about the state of one’s dirt and the outcomes for your plants. Just like children, you can’t expect them to grow up to be nice and healthy without the right nutrition.
There is a whole range of fabulous Twinkl resources that can help with your soil mixes, but Associate Professor Simon picked his favourites.
This Types of Soil Fact Sheet supports students to learn about the makeup of the soil and how different characteristics can affect conditions and plant growth. You can take it one step further by physically testing the soil in this School Garden Soil Type Testing Lesson Ideas activity. It’s perfect for children in Years 3 and 4 as part of Earth and Space Sciences.
But it’s not just soil that we need to explore, but the amount of space and light the plant has. Different plants like different things and to help you get a better understanding, check out this Growing Plants Resource Pack. Inside you will find:
- Plant Growth Sequencing Activity
- What Plants Need Interactive Visual Aid Template
- Plant Growth Prediction Worksheet
- Plants Assembly Script
- Seeds and Plants Matching Cards
- Plants and Water Differentiated Worksheets
Of course, plants, like children, get thirsty, and of course, opting to use a Glowpear self-watering planter is perfect!
Last, but certainly not least, Professor Simon tells us that some plants like to have a friend. Of course, we don’t want them to get lonely and perhaps share a little story together, but many plants actually do better when they’re next to a different species. Some deter pets while others improve growth, even enhancing the flavour or just creating a little bit of shade from the sun.
Does your school have a gardening club? How are you embedding sustainable practices into your everyday life? Definitely some food for thought there, but if you’re keen to get started with some school gardening of your own, why not download these Gardening Club Resources or How To Plant and Grow Vegetables Fact Sheet to get you started?
You may even like to take some inspiration from our incredible Twinkl+ Plantcare. It is the home of all things plants. From indoor houseplants to outdoor garden plants, wildlife and homegrown veg, we have so many activities and resources to keep your plant babies happy and thriving!
Twinkl is made for teachers and their library of over one million teaching and activity resources have been created by experienced teachers. To get a FREE one-week trial of Twinkl Ultimate, giving you full access to the Twinkl website head to www.twinkl.com.au/offer and enter the code TWINKLAUGLOW
*Note: Julia is the Marketing Manager for Twinkl.