“Do you think gardens are an important part of community? Why or why not?”
This was a question posed to Friends School of Minnesota kindergarten students before a neighborhood hike to the community garden. I asked them to hold that question while we walked and sketched. We would discuss their ideas after their experience.
The first six weeks of school have been focused on community building, what brings us together, and what bonds us as a classroom of learners. We are fortunate to have a community garden a few blocks away from school. It is a great example of people working together, sharing knowledge, growing food and flowers, keeping bees… all of which strengthens our community.
After time exploring and sketching the garden, I called students over to a shady, beloved play space under the “secret lilacs” and reminded students about the question we were holding from Morning Circle:
“So now that we have spent time in the garden, what’s your opinion about whether or not a garden is an important part of the community?
This is what the kindergarteners said:
“Gardens are very important because the flowers pass out many seeds, and the seeds create more flowers to make the Earth beautiful.”
“They are beautiful and help the community because they grow things on the earth.”
“Flowers and plants give oxygen—that is why if you chop a tree down, you need to plant a new one so we can breathe.”
“Gardens are important because we need the food that grows in them.”
“We have to respect gardens and not pick everything so that they can be alive again.”
It was interesting to me that the conversation turned from a strong sense of connection to the beauty towards the idea of respect and preservation. Seeds for the future, to be sure.
– Marshall Anderson, Friends School of Minnesota Kindergarten Teacher