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Third-Graders Learn To Classify Dows Lane Garden

Dows Lane Elementary School third-grade students investigate different botanical families in their school’s garden as part of a study on scientific classification.
Dows Lane Elementary School third-grade students investigate different botanical families in their school’s garden as part of a study on scientific classification. Photo Credit: irvington Union Free School District

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.

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