Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Getting close and personal with vermiculture at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
The first graders traveled to Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens last week to extend our explorations of worms in their Young Gardners program.  We were delighted to discover actual worm cocoons in the compost and noticed that these worms had “hairs” that helped them to move about.  A visit to the Children’s Garden provided us with a  taste of fresh parsley leaves and broccoli – which some of us were surprised are actually the flowers of the plant. 
Our first spotting of a real worm cocoon!
More worm cocoons!
Other creatures that inhabit compost:  a small centipede
Watering a compost garden on a bale of hay....who knew you could garden on hay?
Getting a taste of the Children's Garden: parsley (leaves) and broccoli (flowers)

Lewis Ginter's own Early Childhood Program Developer, Kristin Mullen, led our tour and was kind enough to mention our visit in a recent LGBG blog post.  She was impressed by the children's ability to take charge of their own wormy investigations.  She aptly described what many observers to our classroom notice:  that while our project work may seem chaotic, the children are working, thinking, and communicating like scientists working in true hands-on fashion. 

 Above:  planting seedlings in the Children's Garden.

The following day, we had visitors to our c – five little chicks from a first grade family’s home coop.  The children showed great care with the little birds and delighted in how soft and delicate they are.  They were then invited to try their hand at observational drawing of the chicks, which was no small task as the birds shifted constantly in our hands.  

Other observational drawings from the afternoon visit from the chicks:

Remembering the tale of the Iliad, R. draws a Trojan wooden chick
Others used movement to share their observations of the chicks 
and how they moved:


The children always have available to them a variety of ways to connect to nature.  When the context is varied - either on- or off-site - new possibilities to expand self-knowledge and try something different present themselves.

What never ceases to change is the children's innate desire to make connection to the natural world and explore it in new and exciting ways.


  1. What a bunch of little cuties! (And the chicks are pretty nice, too.) I am quite impressed with Fiona's chick impression - she's got some serious hopping skills.

  2. What a nice blog post Christine! It looks like your class really enjoyed their visit and learned a lot. Thank you for sharing their experience.
    ~Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden