Circle of Seasons’ Gardening Program for elementary school students provides children with experiential learning
opportunities across numerous academic disciplines, including math, biology, chemistry, nutrition, social science and visual art. The benefits to students beyond traditional academics are also numerous. Children learn about:
The Gardening Program at Circle of Seasons Charter School addresses issues that many of our children face: a disconnect
with nature, an excessive exposure to electronic entertainment, an overabundance of fast food and junk food and a scarcity of exercise and outdoor play. The Gardening Program also provides opportunities for partnering and collaborating with local businesses, organizations and farms.
Circle of Seasons Gardening Program is focused on the following age- and developmentally-appropriate content:
First and Second Grade: The Gardening Program for first and second graders emphasizes observation of
the natural world. Nature songs and stories are utilized to communicate the mysteries of nature, the balance
of life and the “circle of seasons.” Experiential learning includes creating and tending to a garden from
planning to mulching and weeding to harvesting.
Third Grade: The Gardening Program for third graders emphasizes elements of homesteading, including
self-sufficiency, sustainability, subsistence agriculture and preservation. Experiential learning includes
conducting germination tests, constructing a garden component (for example, a fence) and animal care.
Fourth and Fifth Grade: Students in the upper grades learn about the water and nutrient cycles, botany and
weather. Experiential learning opportunities include composting and building a weather station.
Through EITC grants, the COS Foundation will provide materials that are crucial to the Gardening Program: tools,
plants, soil, equipment for planting, harvesting, composting and animal care. EITC grants could also be used for
field trips to local and regional farms and visits from guest speakers.
When young students gain appropriate knowledge about the environment and how it supports life, the particular
needs of various plant and animal species, the cycle of the weather, the importance of conservation and the
responsible allocation of our natural resources, they obtain a wealth of insight into the impact of humans on the
earth and on each other. Through COS’ Gardening Program, students of all ages gain practical knowledge and
skills, and learn reverence, respect and responsibility for the world around them.
-Environmental sustainability, connection to and respect for nature
-Nutrition, the food chain, healthful food choices and lifestyle habits
-The connection between a community and its history
-Farming and agricultural practices
-Responsible stewardship of the land and their school property
-Collaboration, perseverance and patience
-Spatial awareness, map skills and visualization techniques