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Post #3. Design a Garden - with KIDS!

My First Dive into Ontario's Elementary Curriculum...

Come along with me on my journey to write a book (working title: "Growing Gardeners") that will inspire and encourage children to design their own gardens and outdoor spaces.

There are many resources out there about designing a child-friendly garden, gardens for children and experiential gardens for young students. This is NOT that.

This blog tracks my journey of finding ways to inspire and encourage children to design their own gardens (real or imagined) while also learning about Landscape Design and Landscape Architecture.


My First Dive into Ontario's Elementary Curriculum...

It's a good thing I can swim!

It is important to me that if I am going to be delivering educational guidance on elements of garden and landscape design to children - I better tie it into the curriculum.

This will make it easier for teachers, schools and adults who are homeschooling to connect the content I'm sharing - to what they are already teaching.

Here's the challenge: I will be structuring the material by grade...and I'm planning on creating a program for each grade from JK-8!

The curriculum is structured by grade AND subject which means - if I want to include aspects of STEM (Science, Technology, English & Math), Art, Geography, Social Studies, History, Health, Environmental Sciences, etc. - I will need to pull information for each grade by subject.

Wish me luck!

I foresee lengthy blog posts detailing elements of the curriculum for each grade and my plan to connect it with my system. Stay tuned!

Photo Credit (Below):

It is interesting to me that SO MANY different subjects can be incorporated into Garden and Landscape Design. Challenge accepted.

The ones I will be focusing on for each grade are as follows:

  • ARTS (Visual, Dance, Drama & Music)

  • LANGUAGE (Oral Communication, Reading, Writing & Media Literacy)

  • MATH (Number Sense, Patterns and Relations, Geometric and Spatial Reasoning, Measurements, Money & Finances)

  • SOCIAL STUDIES (Heritage & Identity & People & Environments)

  • HISTORY (New France & British North America 1713-1800 & CANADA 1800-1850)

  • GEOGRAPHY (Physical Patterns in a Changing World & Natural Resources Around the World - Use and Sustainability)

  • SCIENCE + TECHNOLOGY (Life Systems, Matter & Energy, Structures & Mechanisms, Earth & Space Systems)

  • NATIVE LANGUAGES (Algonquian, Oji-Cree, Iroquoian & Cree)

  • HEALTH & PHYSICAL EDUCATION (Social-Emotional Learning Skills, Active Living & Healthy Living strands)

In my early research, I've discovered that JK & SK have their own, separate curriculum (Kindergarten). The four "frames" or structures of the Kindergarten program focus on:

  1. Belonging & Contributing

  2. Self-Regulation & Well-Being

  3. Demonstrating Literacy & Mathematics Behaviours

  4. Problem Solving & Innovating

THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING of my research into curriculum. There are other concepts and subjects which will also play in important role in my book such as:

  • The Creative Process

  • The Critical Analysis Process

  • Environmental Education

  • Education & Career-Life Planning

  • STEM

  • Play-Based Learning

  • Curiosity & Wonder

  • Skilled Trades

  • Climate Change

  • Food Literacy

  • Transferable Skills

  • Disciplinary Thinking

  • Politics, Law & Economics

  • Map & Globe Skills

  • and SO MUCH MORE!

This research has me asking MORE questions:

  • WHICH TOPICS AND SUBJECTS SHOULD I FOCUS ON FIRST IN THE ONTARIO K-8 CURRICULUM? WHERE DO I START?! (I think it makes sense for me to go through the research, topics and subjects in order of grade. I'm sure I will be learning along the way so best start from the beginning)

  • WHAT COOL "TAKE-AWAYS" CAN I PREPARE FOR CHILDREN TO TAKE HOME AND KEEP? (some of my early ideas include: Vision Boards, Materials Boards, Plant Palettes, Bubble Diagrams, physical models, planting plans, collages and who knows what else!? This is so exciting!)

  • WHERE COULD I DELIVER THIS MATERIAL TO GAIN FEEDBACK FROM CHILDREN IN EACH GRADE/AGE GROUP? (classes/schools, after school programs, churches?, community gardens, summer camps, etc.)


Below are RESOURCES that I come across - as I come across them

(see previous blog posts for other resources):


Are you teaching garden design to your students?

Are you a parent teaching the concepts to your child(ren)?

Do you WANT to?

I want to hear from YOU! Get in touch!

I'd love to hear your stories, struggles, lessons and explorations in this area.

Shoot me an email at and be sure to subscribe and follow this Blog here:

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