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Children with Plants for Memorial Day, 1903

Education. School Children with Plants Raised in the Classroom
New York State Archives, NYSA_A3045-78_A3687
Document Description
Schoolchildren with plants raised in the classroom for decorating soldiers' graves on Memorial Day, Fairview Garden School, Yonkers, New York, May 1903.
Why were many school gardens in cities built on rooftops?
What jobs would need to be done?
Were the gardens hard work for boys and girls?
What kinds of tools were used for gardening?
Historical Challenges
Research what the students did with their produce and flowers.
Interdisciplinary Connections
Science: Research the types of plants that were grown in rooftop gardens. How could plants be grown on the rooftops of buildings? Are rooftops still being used for that purpose today?
Jennings, Peter, Jennifer Armstrong, Todd Brewster, and Katherine Bourbeau. The Century for Young People. Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers, September 1999. ISBN: 0385327080
DK Publishing. Children's History of the 20th Century. DK Publishing, Inc., August 1999. ISBN: 0789447223
McGovern, Ann. If You Lived 100 Years Ago. Scholastic, Inc., August 1999. ISBN: 0590960016

Historical Context
School gardens became popular during the beginning of the twentieth century.  By 1910, there were approximately 80,000 school gardens in the United States in twenty-one states, including New York.  Some school gardens were built on rooftops, which offered additional and needed space.  The school gardens were part of “hands-on” learning and could be connected to real-life experience and learning.  Students were able to study and interact with nature and increase their respect for it.
Essential Question
How does culture influence a society's education system?
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and identify key characteristics of the American education system during this time period.