Thoughts of Gardens Can Warm Cold Winter Days

As the temperature dips low and snow piles up across large areas of the country, I find myself thinking about the spring weather to come and working in my garden. So I was delighted to have the chance to read author Steve Rich’s latest NSTA Kids books, My School Yard Garden and Mrs. Carter’s Butterfly Garden.

The exquisite photography and clearly told stories in both books made me feel as if I were actually in a garden, a particularly terrific activity when the weather outside is frightful.

schoolyardgardenIn My School Yard Garden, Rich tells of the many ways that a school yard garden can help the students, the animals who live nearby, and the people living in the community. By planting herbs and vegetables that people can eat, students learn how human activity can affect the food chain. The glossary provided in the book gives an idea of the important concepts covered in this simple story for early elementary students. Reading this story with your students can familiarize them with terms such as compost bin, food web, habitat, nature journal, pollinator, predator, and water cycle.

In Mrs. Carter’s Butterfly Garden, Rich tells the story of how former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, a lifelong lover of gardens, wanted to be involved in what type of garden would be planted at the home they granted to the National Park Service.

Mrs. Carter did her research and learned about a special kind of garden that has everything a butterfly needs. She learned that human activity has destroyed many habitats for butterflies, so she wanted to plant a garden to attract pollinators to the area. Reading this book with your students will impart useful information and may inspire young naturalists to learn what they can do to help attract beautiful butterflies.

Both books are available as e-books: My School Yard Garden and Mrs. Carter’s Butterfly Garden

NSTA Kids book are trade books dedicated to nurturing the wonder and curiosity inherent in young minds. Learn more.

Please follow and like us:
This entry was posted in NSTA Press Books and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Thoughts of Gardens Can Warm Cold Winter Days

  1. Steve Rich says:

    Thank you for this thoughtful commentary on my childrens’ books. I am looking forward to sharing these books with teachers at the upcoming conferences of NSTA and several other organizations. Classroom activities that complement these books are in Outdoor Science: A Practical Guide and Bringing Outdoor Science In.

  2. Sarah B. Feitlinger says:

    These are wonderful! I truly appreciate NSTA’s quality books for the classroom and use them frequently. I look forward to checking these out.
    I, too, have spring fever and have been thinking about how to engage children by growing edibles indoors during this season:
    The National Gardening Association’s Kids Gardening blog recently had an excellent garden calendar activity that would be a great classroom precursor to planting a school garden- incorporates some math and calendar skills too!
    Between these NSTA books and other resources we can turn winter into a warmer season!

  3. Carole Hayward says:

    Steve, I have enjoyed the Outdoor Science books too–great activities.
    Sarah, thanks for the gardening links–Is it Spring yet?

  4. Peggy Ashbrook says:

    Students in one program are observing the life cycle of the Tenebrio beetle, from larva (‘mealworm’) to adult as preparation for observing the life cycle of a butterfly when we can get outside to find caterpillars, and use Steve’s book, “Mrs. Carter’s Butterfly Garden”, to ‘visit’ other gardens.
    Yes, it’s Spring! We saw leaves of daffodils poking up above the snow in our mid-Atlantic school yard. Thanks for the seed starting link, the children have been asking to plant pumpkin seeds from an October pumpkin that survived indoors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *