Thursday, June 19, 2014

Plants for Caterpillars. Flowers for Butterflies.

We went outside with clipboards and graph paper one recent afternoon. Students sketched a plot of the garden shape (an elongated trapezoid) in order to plan their own butterfly garden.
Collectively they used tape measures to measure the dimension of the space and they made careful notes on their individual diagrams (mostly perimeter but some details on area for a few of the older students). They also noted any permanent features (such as the bench, fence, gate, and the garden boarder). We talked about the different butterfly species that are found in New England and the types of plants that they might like. 

We did some research to find out what types of plants are native to the area and which plant species are best for attracting butterflies! Later, working together with our art teacher, students made their own bubble diagrams with watercolor crayons. We lead students in a lesson about what a landscape architect might do and tools they might use in planning outdoor spaces. They drew colored circles to represent where they would like to ultimately place each plant in the ground. Students were reminded that many of our plants will grow both tall and wide over the next few months. Students decided to place the taller plants in back along the fence, the smaller plants in front, and to draw a path so that they will have space to step around the plantings for watering. 

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