Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!
This time of year poses an ideal time to take learning outdoors.
Grow creative minds with a garden of learning by directing your students’ attention to a garden near your classroom window.
If live flowers aren’t part of your school’s environs, create a garden ahead of these activities by “planting” silk or paper flowers in pots or ground soil outside your room.
Ready, set, grow creative minds with a garden of learning!
Ask kids a question that poses an artistic array of answers about posies!
The question…When is a garden outside our classroom window more than a collection of colorful flowers?
As students begin to ponder your question, invite them to gather with you near the classroom window that looks out on the garden.
Garden of Learning – Garden of Creativity – Point to the garden and ask your class to silently observe the flowers.
Tell the students that you want them to look for a garden of creativity.
Some may question what you mean by a garden of creativity.
Reply that you’re looking for ideas on how students might see the garden through the eyes of a poet or storyteller, a painter, dancer, actor, or music-maker.
Now, what could the garden be besides the bed of pretty flowers planted outside?
Allow some time for students to spontaneously offer thoughts and suggestions.
Leave room for open-ended conversation to encourage creative thinking.
Then take the lead and tell the class that you have some answers of your own PLUS a choice of activities to follow, as detailed below.
Please note: These activities are age-appropriate for fourth and fifth grade students but may be modified for younger children.
Answers for growing minds:
A garden is more than a collection of planted flowers when we choose to make it…
♣ a garden of wishes to grow in a poem to write, beginning with the line: If flowers were wishes, each garden blossom is…
Distribute notebook paper to your class and ask students to brainstorm about how flowers might be like wishes before they begin their poetry writing.
Help prompt their creative thinking with some ideas that your students can visualize. For example, dandelions are considered to be weeds by many people while others see beauty in the simple yellow flowers.
Could a garden of dandelions be like dreams that others made fun of until the dreams had happy endings?
Do puffy dandelion seeds blow away into dreams when the wind carries them aloft?
Could a garden of multi-colored flowers be like a dream that people of different countries and cultures can live in a peaceful world?
When students finish their poetry writing, give them time to illustrate their poems.
They can return to the window that overlooks the school garden and illustrate it as they see it, or they can create an illustration from their imagination.
A garden is more than a collection of flowers when we choose to make it…