Catholic organization Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament operates a school in Parma Heights, Ohio, at which its hundreds of students are inspired to learn, to love, and to serve. The Learning Garden is one of the most heart-warming aspects of the Academy. The garden provides a serene setting for personal reflection as well as group education. Years before its creation, the kindergarten teachers dreamed of a garden where they could teach children about the cycles of life by watching caterpillars build cocoons and transform into butterflies. The concept evolved into a multi-grade Learning Garden by its completion in 2006.
Organized around “learning beds,” each grade is assigned a subject and garden area. The kindergarteners observe the butterfly garden. First-graders and fifth-graders learn about the bird habitat and undertake plant journaling. Grades two and six are assigned the flower garden, while grades three and seven focus their learning around the pumpkin patch. Finally, grades four and eight spend their year acquiring knowledge about the rock garden.
About the author: Dr. Ben Ramaley donates to the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament. A practicing Catholic, Dr. Ramaley is a member of the St. Clement of Rome Parish in Connecticut.