GrowTeachKnox Spring 2019



Open to professional and informal educators alike,
GrowTeachKnox is dedicated to engaging students with the outdoors.

Local environmental, gardening, and education professionals will provide hands-on learning for educators to better integrate lessons in the classroom with nature. With topics from observing wildlife habitats to no-plan outdoor lessons, educators will leave the day with the confidence to take their students outside, allowing students to more tangibly connect what they are learning to what they see in the wider world.

Tickets are limited, so get yours today!


Saturday, March 30, 2019
Just $10!

@ Beardsley Community Farm
1741 Reynolds Street, Knoxville, TN 37919

Register at:

Optional lunch provided by Tootsie Truck food truck.



Opening Remarks
Caleb Carlton, Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont

Group Activity
Knox Forest School

Breakout Session 1
Outdoor Education Improvisation
Finding and Studying Wildlife

Breakout Session 2
Nature Art with Found Collections
Gardening Through the Calendar

Local Expert Q&A
Optional Lunch by Tootsie Truck food truck

8:30 - 9:00

9:00 - 9:50

10:00 - 10:50

11:00 - 11:50




Outdoor Education Improvisation
Amanda Spangler, Knoxville Botanical Garden & Arboretum
Kalil White, Inskip Elementary School
Outdoor education doesn’t have to involve tons of planning time and resources. This session will teach the basic skills needed to turn nature into a classroom quickly and easily. Session leaders will demonstrate techniques for observing changes and conditions outdoors that can be tailored to a variety of subjects and lesson topics. Participants will learn ground rules and lesson frameworks that keep students engaged and on task in an outdoor setting.

Finding and Studying Wildlife
Jennifer Roder, Ijams Nature Center
Whether it’s pollinators, salamanders, birds, or other creatures, wildlife offers rich learning opportunities for students and is an important part of our environment. This session will outline the needs of wildlife to survive and how to mimic or identify wildlife habitats in a vast array of settings. Participants will learn strategies for encouraging wildlife and skills needed to find and identify wildlife and signs of activity.


Nature Art with Found Collections
Elli McNall and Corey Pope, Corelli Art Studio
We will explore teaching children of a variety of ages how to create art with the abundance of supplies found in nature. If you collect enough natural objects you can create amazing projects at no cost to you but time and effort. In our session we will talk about seasonal projects, material collecting, and ephemeral art. We will share our philosophy of teaching engaging hands-on projects that inspire children to follow their own interests. We will talk about leading child-made/adult-assisted versus adult-made/child-assisted projects. The level of ability each child has to direct their own creativity is surprising when projects are not pigeon-holed with expectations. Teaching nature art helps student and teacher to slow down and embrace mindfulness while engaging with their surroundings.

Gardening Through the Calendar
Khann Chov and Matthew Gabb, CAC Beardsley Community Farm
Gardening isn’t just for summer months. Discover how to turn a school garden into a year-round classroom. From seed-starting to harvest there are plenty of indoor and outdoor activities that provide valuable learning opportunities for students. Participants will learn how to work their way through the seasons to create a fun and engaging school garden program.


Ask an Expert
This is your chance to get answers to your gardening- and outdoor-related questions. Whether it’s how to find the best spot for a container garden or dealing with pests, all questions are welcome.

Sustaining a School Garden or Outdoor Program
Hear from educators and others in the field on strategies and solutions they have found both effective and ineffective to create and sustain outdoor youth education programming.