IRVINGTON, N.Y. -- Did you know basil and oregano are members of the mint family of plants? Or that tomatoes and potatoes are classified as nightshade plants?
Third-graders at Dows Lane Elementary School learn that and more at a school garden just steps outside their science classroom.
The garden made possible by PTSA member Delina Codey is so students can learn about different botanical families.
The lessons cover identifying similarities and differences between plants in the carrot, mint, nightshade, squash and aster families.
They look at carrots, parsley, fennel and Queen Anne's lace in the carrot family; examine basil, mint, oregano, thyme, lavender and bee balm in the mint family; and learn to spot tomatoes, potatoes and ground cherries in the nightshade family
They also studied the aster family, which includes sunflowers, lettuce and zinnias, by drawing pictures of the flowers.
“It was a great, hands-on way for students to understand the process of scientific classification,” Principal Deborah Mariniello said.