SMS Gardening Life Skills


Our school community views teaching life skills as an important part of middle school learning. Three times a year, students are engaged in different life skills learning opportunities. For our spring term (April 11 to late June 23), the SMS Gardening Club (vegetable, flower and tree) was one of the chosen activities for our Grade 7 students.

Our goal in offering the program was to encourage and promote interest in learning the basics of starting and maintaining your own garden. In essence, we wanted to plant a seed for our students and hopefully encourage the development of some green thumbs!


Our SMS Gardening Club met multiple times over the 11 week period. Given our harsh and cool climate, we devoted the first few classes to lessons on soil science, local natural fertilizers (harvesting kelp from our local beaches), the role of plants/bushes/trees in nourishing bees, birds and other animals and how growing gardens and eating locally helps in the fight against climate change. We had family members come in and speak to our group about garden preparation, how to prepare seeds for next year’s crop from your garden produce, and how planting and eating your own produce can help reduce costs and promote sustainability.

The month of May was spent in constructing our outdoor planters with the assistance of the Grades 7/8 Wood Working classes as well as determining where best to place them (afternoon or morning sun, shade needs). We also walked the school property to determine where to plant our white spruce tree seedlings. With the help of three local Rotarians, we gave our students lessons in how to plant, space and care for the seedlings. Stakes to mark the seedlings were again made by our Wood Working students. Planting day was June 8. A whopping 90 tree seedlings were placed in the soil.

In mid May we also planted vegetable seeds in small containers and placed them in a warm room with a skylight. Various students took care of their watering needs and monitored the progress.

In June, we also planted three bushes in our outdoor planters. Finally, on June 23 our students helped re-pot their vegetable seedlings to take home and transplant to their own gardens.

Reflection & Celebration

We were amazed by how much we covered over the 11 week project and the different experiences we had. The students seemed to realize that gardening can be hard work but that effort does produce results. A couple of students had obvious previous experience in gardening and were a great help to their teachers.

As well, we had wonderful support from community and family members. And a big shout out to our Wood Working classes and their teacher for all their support in constructing the outdoor planters and stakes.

3. Good Health and Well-Being
4. Quality Education
5. Gender Equality
13. Climate Action
15. Life on Land
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