Using a School Garden in Speech-Language Therapy

by Tina Wheeler
(Jefferson City, Missouri)

My new principal is conditionally open to creating and using a vegetable and/or herb garden for the resource kids (learning impaired, speech impaired, and/or oral language impaired) if I can show how I would use it in therapy and how it would fit into the standard core curriculm for general education.

Does anyone have resources or references I can use for this purpose?

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Dec 13, 2012
Glad to see you are involved
by: Carey Payne

I presented a poster on using horticulture in speech-language treatment at the 2008 ASHA Convention. The handouts are on the ASHA site and can be downloaded. Hope they help! Best of luck.

Aug 14, 2012
by: Jen Rogers

I think a vegetable or herb garden is a wonderful idea.

I'm curios whether this was her idea, and she is challenging you to come up with ideas, or if it was your proposal and you have ideas but are looking for EBP or other research.

The ideas that I am about to offer may not be helpful if the second is true.

In my district in Michigan, every grade has benchmark standards about life cycles, and many grades also talk about adaptation and eco systems.

We are switching to common core and the standards are changing, but they will continue to study these things.

For speech, you would use the garden to work on comprehension of curriculum concepts, giving the kids hands on experience. You would also work on vocab from these content areas.

Last year I held a weekly curriculum vocab group with my fourth graders. At one time in the year they were studying plant anatomy.

I purchased a dozen flowers and we dissected turn them, matting each part on a poster with labels. They then could take the posters home. One student was so excited about the poster that her teacher let her share it with the class.

Hands on experiences are exactly what kids in our program need. I hope you are able to see this through!


Aug 08, 2012
School Garden
by: Jared Finkelstein

My company, Teich Garden Systems, designed and installed a garden at Eagle Hill School in Greenwich, CT.

Eagle Hill offers a language-based, remedial program committed to educating children with learning disabilities.They may have information on how the garden is used in their program.

Please feel free to contact us as well. We also have links to research on the benefits of school gardens on our site that may be of interest (look at the school garden page).

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