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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET garden, watching tiny seedlings develop into beautiful plants, playing under dancing flowers while butterflies float on the breeze and bumblebees zip past their ears. This book tells you everything you need to get started. While we won’t give you all the answers, we will share basic information with you and share activities you can try. You will discover much on your own as you take the children on a journey into the world of gardening. What the Administrator Needs to Know Earlier in this chapter, we discussed the fact that children are spending less time outdoors than ever before. Through our work in higher education, we have discovered that the young adults who are moving into teaching positions may have also grown up without spending much time outside or have dis- tanced themselves from nature since their younger years. Sara’s Story I teach a class at Southeast Missouri State University that includes, for many of my students, their first formal experience with preschool-age children. Each week they work three hours in the classroom at our lab school, and they attend a two- hour lecture class with me. Observing these students has given me insight into the way they see nature and the outdoors. In one class session, the students are asked to compare learning experiences that hold intellectual integrity with experiences that do not. I have the students conduct some of the experiments with earthworms that are included in this book (pages 201–205). As the years have passed, I have noticed that fewer and fewer students will even touch a worm, much less pick one up. Consistently, the students discuss how “gross” and “disgusting” the worms are. In recent semesters, if I can get two students out of thirty to touch a worm, it is a good night. I had pretty much adapted to the fact that most of my students were never going to like worms, when a few years back I was showing a slideshow on environ- ments. My intent was to help the students understand how environments influence how we feel and how we behave. I showed a series of photos and asked them how they would feel and how they would behave in the places in the photos—a formal restaurant, a picnic spot by a lake, a traffic jam. Their responses were predictable. Then I showed a slide of a photo from our garden at Southern Illinois University. A teacher was sitting on a blanket inside a sunflower house, reading a book to some children. The photo made me feel warm and happy. I expected it to make the students feel good too. “How does this make you feel?” I asked. “Yuck,” was the response, not just from one student but a chorus. I was shocked. “Why ‘Yuck’?” I asked. “Bugs, messy, dirty,” they replied. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Why Garden?  •  17