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School Greenhouse, Fairview Garden School, Yonkers, 1912

School Gardens. Class of Boys in Greenhouse, Potted Plants. Fairview Garden School, Yonkers, N.Y.
New York State Archives, NYSA_A3045-78_A3693
 
Document Description
A class of boys in a greenhouse at Fairview Garden School, Yonkers, New York, February 1912.
 
Questions
What are the features of the greenhouse? 
What jobs would need to be done? 
Why were many school gardens in cities built on rooftops?
Were the gardens hard work for children?
What kinds of tools were used for gardening?
Why do you think there aren't any girls in this photograph?
 
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?
 
Resources
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.