Kinesthetic Learning in Chesnut Garden

In an article, Gloria Moskowitz-Sweet, licensed clinical social worker, explains that most children start out as kinesthetic learners and — even after second or third grade when their true learning style comes into focus (auditory, visual or kinesthetic) — “half of all students remain kinesthetic at some level.” According to Moskowitz-Sweet ,a kinesthetic learner “needs to be engaged to get it.” For example, physical learners generally need to touch, feel and handle things.IMG_2537

Thankfully, Chesnut Garden Leader Carissa Malone is in her 3rd year helping our students meet that need. At the end of last school year, she welcomed all four 2nd grade classes, and the fourth grade science class to tour the garden. This was perfectly timed with the second graders’ plant life cycle science unit. Now they could see, taste and touch examples of roots, leaves, stems, flowers and seeds that we eat.

Students passed around the perennial herb lemon balm, each taking a couple leaves to rub between their fingers or on their wrists to smell its lemony fragrance. Peering into the strawberry bed to see if they could find any ripening, they exclaimed at the active bug life they saw beneath the leaves, as well as in the compost pile. They guessed at what hid beneath the soil, and smiled as Ms. Malone unearthed multi-colored carrots, and pungent garlic. They gathered around their teachers for a tasting of snow peas they had watched Ms. Malone harvest.

All the while, we asked, “which plant part is this?” “Why is this plant flowering, what is it trying to do?”

Finally, they recorded their food reviews on our “How Did It Taste?” board. And for their parting favor, they helped themselves to a stevia and spearmint leaf each, to make all-natural gum, which one student deemed, “fresher than the packaged [gum].”

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