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Upright Pallet Gardens

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Apr. 3rd, 2015 | 12:54 am
location: Portland, Oregon

After sight seeing throughout the Western United States in 2013, I decided to stop in Portland to attend herbalism studies.  Soon after my arrival, I gained employment as a middle school teacher at Renaissance School of Arts and Sciences.  It has been an adventure working at this school, mentoring kids, learning how to build interesting lessons, and keeping the interest of a classroom.  During spring break, we offer a camp in which kids attend one class, 6 hours per day for 4 days.  Wanting to brighten the environment, I offered to lead a class in gardening.  The directors gave me a thumbs up, and I began researching ways to be creative.  My end plan was to teach how to make trash into living art, using wasted pallets to make living gardens.

Over the past year, I have learned a considerable amount in project-based, inquiry-led education.  Many small lessons are included within a larger objective.  In this case, within the creation of a vertical pallet garden, I included lessons on measuring, drawing 3 dimensional shapes, planning a construction project, and how trees are saved by re-using lumber.  The children made visual presentations of each of these to reinforce the knowledge and show off to visiting parents.  The gardens themselves were fun to make and sent home children inspired to do more gardening.  Today, after the completion of the garden beds, parents informed me that their kids won't stop talking about what they want to do to their gardens at home.

The attached pictures show the project from start to finish.  Take a few moments to read through the kids' description of how they built their garden beds, and check out their detail on the 3-D drawings.  Such drawing and planning has lasting impacts on their creativity and confidence.

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