Garden becomes teaching tool for elementary students

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Smart boards and the Internet are great teaching tools but teachers such as Elizabeth Noell at Kernersville's Sedge Garden Elementary School believe a garden can be just as effective.

"If you bring a child to a tactile experience, they will remember the lesson a lot better than from a book or writing or even a video," she said. "They need, at this age, real world experiences."

The garden is filled with plants that are safe to touch and eat. For the younger students, learning about the five senses is a part of their education. For the older students, the garden is a living lab.

With the help of a weather station, the older students collect weather data and learn how the environment affects the plants. Some fourth- and fifth-graders use the garden as a news studio. Each morning eight students become writers, producers and anchors and deliver morning announcements from the garden.

Sedge Garden Media Coordinator Melissa Fulton said the morning news reinforces another part of their curriculum, responsibility and team work.

"They are each a piece of the puzzle -- they learn to work together to build the morning show together," she said.

Cortlyn Edwards is a fifth-grader and morning news anchor at Sedge Garden. She said the outdoor studio is a great place.

"I think it's really fun and I get to help people so it's fun."