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Sensory Garden Project

8-10 yrs old

11-13 yrs old

Government and Politics

Social and Emotional Health

Students undertake a design process to improve an area within the school, considering the social and environmental factors that influence design.

avatar Submitted By: Zoe Lee

July 13, 2018

Skills

  • Character
  • Project Based Learning

External References

Ian Potter Wild Play Garden

The Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden, is a $4M state-of-the-art nature play space designed to engage the five senses.

Ian Potter Wild Play Garden Behind the Scenes

The Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden provides an outdoor learning experience for children aged 2-12, of all abilities and backgrounds.

Make Your Own Sensory Garden

Jason Hodges explains how to make a sensory garden that stimulates the five senses of seeing, touching, tasting, smelling and hearing.

News clip: School Community Bands Together To Create Nature Playground

A Western Australian school community has banded together to create a huge playground for its children.

Hortiultural Society of NSW Sensory Gardens Fact Sheet

Horticultural Society of NSW Fact Sheet detailing the elements of a Sensory Garden (6 pages)

Flora for Fauna Plant Selection Guide

Interactive website to assist with native plant selection for local areas across all states and territories.

Learning Objectives

  • To describe how social and environmental factors influence the design of built environments. (ST3-14BE)
  • To plan and implement a design process, producing solutions that address the design criteria and identified constraints. (ST3-5WT)
  • To engage responsibly with local, national and global issues relevant to shaping sustainable futures. (ST3-2VA)
  • To explore how structural features and other adaptations of living things help them to survive in their environment. (ST3-11LW)
  • To describe and represents mathematical situations in a variety of ways, selecting and using the appropriate units to measure lengths, perimeters and areas. (MA3-1WM, MA3-9MG, ST3-10MG)

Guiding Ideas

Outdoor learning environments improve the physical, educational and mental well-being of children, allowing them to connect to the natural world and develop a sense of responsibility for the environment. A sensory garden is designed with the purpose of engaging and stimulating the senses of sight, smell, touch, taste and sound.

Students investigate the effectiveness of a built environment in meeting the needs of its users and use digital technologies to plan and implement a design process to redevelop an outdoor space. They generate inquiry questions about the adaptations of living things to their local environment and research conditions needed for particular plants to grow and survive in a particular environment. Students develop their mathematical understanding of number, length, area, and data, making problem-solving decisions as they measure and design the outdoor space, calculate budgets and present their findings.

Guiding questions:

  • What are outdoor learning spaces and how could underutilised spaces within the school environment be redesigned to allow children to experience the benefits of nature play?
  • What are the needs/wants of the users of a sensory garden?
  • What elements do sensory gardens include? What plants should be selected to plant in a sensory garden and what are their requirements?
  • What are the existing features of the project space and how can these be incorporated into the garden design?
  • What tools can we use to design our sensory garden?
  • How do we develop a design criteria for our sensory garden?

 

Student Activities

  1. Students engage with the concept of what an outdoor learning environment is and explore existing sensory and nature play gardens. They visit a local community or sensory garden to gain first hand experiences of the benefits of nature play.
  2. Students are given a design brief of better utilising an outdoor space within the school. They write persuasive letters to their principal / P & C / other funding bodies (e.g. councils) to gain funding / grants for their project.
  3. Students investigate the adaptations of native plants to their environments and research the requirements of plants native to the local area. They brainstorm ideas regarding the other features of a sensory garden.
  4. Students measure the identified project space and map the existing features to scale in Minecraft.
  5. Students develop an agreed design success criteria for their sensory garden.
  6. Students use the agreed success criteria to work in PBL groups to design their ultimate sensory garden in Minecraft.
  7. Students consider how well each group has met the design brief by assessing their peers’ designs against the success criteria.
  8. Students research the costings for their designs, visiting local hardware stores or researching online to develop a budget proposal.
  9. (Optional) Students meet with industry professionals to develop a final design that will meet all safety, budget and departmental requirements. They work with contractors to create their sensory garden.

 

Performance Expectations

Sensory garden design success criteria:

• Planning:  A well thought through, accurately-scaled and low-maintenance garden design.

• Cost: Economical and within budget.

• Needs of users: enjoyable place to play, quiet zones for relaxation, sensory stimulation.

• Safety: Design meets departmental safety requirements.

• Presentation: A creative, interesting and well-presented outdoor learning space.

• Environmental impact: Uses environmentally friendly materials and contains sustainability features .

 

Skills

  • Character
  • Project Based Learning

External References

Ian Potter Wild Play Garden

The Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden, is a $4M state-of-the-art nature play space designed to engage the five senses.

Ian Potter Wild Play Garden Behind the Scenes

The Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden provides an outdoor learning experience for children aged 2-12, of all abilities and backgrounds.

Make Your Own Sensory Garden

Jason Hodges explains how to make a sensory garden that stimulates the five senses of seeing, touching, tasting, smelling and hearing.

News clip: School Community Bands Together To Create Nature Playground

A Western Australian school community has banded together to create a huge playground for its children.

Hortiultural Society of NSW Sensory Gardens Fact Sheet

Horticultural Society of NSW Fact Sheet detailing the elements of a Sensory Garden (6 pages)

Flora for Fauna Plant Selection Guide

Interactive website to assist with native plant selection for local areas across all states and territories.

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