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Plants in Classrooms Benefit Student Emotions, Behavior, and Health

The classroom environment plays a significant role in student performance, behavior, and social-emotional wellbeing during their time at school. There are so many things to enhance that environment, and plants can be an excellent starting point. Utilizing plants in the classroom has the potential to improve emotions, behavior, and overall health for students. Heck - NASA has conducted research on the impact of plants and their ability to improve air quality in small indoor spaces. So, let’s get you started on adding plants to your own classroom today!

The first things to consider are the best plant options to bring into your classroom. A few things to think about are access to lights/ lack of natural lighting (you can purchase grow bulbs if natural light is unavailable), pot size, drainage holes, maintenance needs (high vs. low), and plant toxicity. The plants listed below require some light, so you’d want a window or grow lamps (snake plant would be the exception).

  • Spider Plant

  • Lucky Bamboo

  • Zebra Plant

  • Air Plants

  • Friendship Plant

  • Mass Cane

  • Various Herbs

  • Snake Plant (Mildly poisonous, keep away from small children)

There are a plethora of other plants to choose from, but this is a quick short list to get you started. However, you want to be mindful of plant toxicity and/or consider safe placement of plants that are toxic/mildly toxic. For more information specific to selecting plants, maintenance needs, and their toxicity, you can reach out to our Garden Center Team Members.

Once you’ve done your research and selected plants for your classroom, there are a variety of ways to incorporate them into your lessons and/or classroom roles. From assigning plant care roles and decorating your pots, to planning engaging plant life cycles, there are so many available options. We’ve listed a few ideas below, but pinterest is full of wonderful ideas, too!

  • Explore plants by watching them grow - take photos over time/ use a time lapse video

  • Identify plant parts

  • Compare and contrast different plants

  • Assign students to water plants/ move them to and from light

  • Send plants home with students over the holidays/ breaks

  • Allow students to plant something of their own and discuss the plant life cycle

  • Discuss propagation and use cuttings to demonstrate the process

The possibilities are endless! If you have ideas of your own, we would love to hear about them on social media or in the comments below!

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