As a preschooler, what can be more exciting than planting a seed, tending a garden, and watching it grow? Santa Fe Christian Preschool wanted a garden to make their units of study more tangible. But, how could the Preschool get a garden created?

Enter SFC’s fourth-grade students. Hearing about the need, the 4th-grade teachers decided to develop a plan to create a garden for the preschool and to use the service project as a way to engage students in multiple subjects.

Problems to Conquer

Julie Johnson, a fourth-grade math teacher, challenged students to consider all the requirements needed to build out a garden. They began by asking questions. What are the space limitations and water restrictions? Where should the boxes be located for optimum sun? What about gophers? The final challenge – build the garden for $500 or less.

Creative Solutions

In order to tackle the project, the students began by using geometry. By measuring the area, perimeter and volume, the optimum box size and soil amounts were determined for each of six boxes. Next, students created a formal design plan; created a budget; shopped for materials and physically built each box. Students decided to place wire mesh under the boxes to solve the gopher issue.

Unique Designs

During art class, Mrs. Lippe worked with students to plan, design and create a mural unique to each box. Then students primed, sketched, painted and varnished all the boxes for weather protection.

An Event to Remember

A formal ribbon cutting ceremony was held to dedicate the Preschool Garden on March 29. Fourth graders and Preschoolers created temporary paper flowers for the boxes until the actual seeds start blooming.

The Garden Project is a perfect example of a hands-on project-based learning. SFC fourth graders used reasoning, teamwork, investigative and creative skills to solve a problem. To see the results of this successful collaborative project, visit the SFC Facebook page for photos and videos.