Some special students are growing a sensory garden, and it is teaching them a lot about practical life skills.
At Crump Elementary School, special education teacher Dawn Ellis’s class is outside a lot. They love to check on their gardens. The radishes and turnips they had planted earlier were ready to be picked, cleaned, cooked, and eaten.
Ellis teaches the Practical Application of Life Skills (PALS). One of the skills is learning how plants grow, from “seed to plate.”
“We have a sensory garden that we started a little over a year ago and that was funded with the community’s help,” Ellis said. “We have a water table, sand table where kids can play and explore, but we also have raised beds where we plant seeds and grow various fruits and vegetables.”
The class is comprised of students ranging from third to fifth grades, and a diversity of special needs. They germinated the seeds under heat lamps, transplanted them outdoors, and of course, harvested and ultimately served them to eat. By doing so they learned about the parts of the plant.