Garden Learning Engagement

In LE 7, learners discussed how there is some evidence telling us to take certain actions, and some evidence telling us that we should NOT take other actions in the garden. Now that you have made a final decision on your garden “Should We” question, you are ready to take action and apply the garden method with the group. There are many ways to take action(or NOT take action) in the garden. For example, the group may decide they want to harvest some of the sunflower seeds, but they also want to leave some seeds for the birds. Taking action may include harvesting some seeds and creating signs or communicating with the farm manager why they think it is important to leave the sunflower stalks up for the birds into the fall.


Having space for learners to take action on their questions gives learners agency in the garden. The goal of the garden storyline is to grow ‘garden habits of mind’. An important part of learning to ask and answer questions in the garden is learning how to take action when decisions have been made. It is also important for learners to see that gardeners often need to take action even with partial information. Often gardeners will make decisions with uncertainty in order to try something out, knowing that another garden method might need to be applied if the other does not work well.

Connections to family and community gardening knowledges and practices

Learners have made a decision around the garden task and are applying that decision to the garden. This decision was based on a variety of sources, including investigations one in learners’ neighborhood with their families and in their communities. Learners have considered what values, evidence, and relations drive their decision-making. These include family and community knowledge and practices, as well as family and community connections to place.

While you are doing the garden task, prompt learners to consider their own family practices:

  • As we are doing this garden task, what does it remind you of?
  • What will you share with your family about the garden task we are doing today?

Learning Goals

Learners will…

  • Learn how to find patterns across different datasets: family data, garden data, community- based research, and garden methods research.
  • Understand how data becomes evidence for answers to the “should-we” question(s).
  • Learn how to visualize their data to foster sensemaking in the garden across data sets.

Learning in Places Frameworks to Consider