The Project Method:
Mary Hood, Ph.D.
Part of Your
. . . We learned many things during those hours
spent together working in the dirt.
Immediately after I got married, I moved from Wisconsin to Missis- sippi. With my husband working all day, and no old friends around,
I was a bit lonesome and started hanging around with my new in-laws. My
father-in-law and I wound up bonding
by planting a garden together in a plot
of land near his home. What wonderful
memories we made during those long,
hot, Mississippi days!
As a child, I had always loved nature,
and I remember sitting on the ground
next to my mother’s flower garden, marveling at the bleeding heart bush with
its intricate pink hearts hanging down
among the green leaves. I also spent
hours bothering my neighbor, an elderly
man whose love of flowers and butterflies
drew me to him like a magnet.
Naturally, when my own children
came along, I tried to share my love of
gardening with them. We planted many
vegetable gardens over the years, with
varying results. I’m not sure which of
them caught my love of gardening; it’s
a little too early to tell. However, I do
know that we learned many things during those hours spent together working
in the dirt.
In a previous column, I discussed the
use of “the project method” as a part of
your curriculum. This spring, why don’t
you start by simply designing and plant-
ing a garden? It might help out your food
budget! It might help with your family’s
nutrition and health! It might all die in
the heat of the summer and wind up
costing you more than you reap! No mat-
ter what, though, it will provide many
possibilities for learning experiences.