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In Enghien Castle’s gardens :historical reading
vendredi 28 novembre 2008
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To learn how to decypher the signs of the past in a garden, which enables to build one’s historical knowledge.


To appropriate the garden as a meaningful historical phenomenon.


- To use tools which may help to understand the situation
- To characterize historical landmarks in relation to conventional periods.
- To represent spaces
- To identify man/space interactions
- To read and exploit a trace of the past
- To react to written, sound, visual… documents by expressing a personal opinion and justifying it consistently.


Notebooks, pencils, tracing paper, “cardamine ? to be sown


Enghien Park

Work in partnership with the Environment Initiation Centre, a service set in the park of Enghien Château, in order to implement a two-way partnership between the teacher and the specialized guide. Each partner uses their specific skills to bring into class life the skills and notions tackled by the pupils during the activities.


Move about freely in the garden in groups of four. Spot some places, take a picture. Note a few key-words conveying the impressions and a brief description.

The pupils’ reactions : first impressions, questions about the place of man in this garden, about the sensation of opening, closing. Some characteristics of this both medieval- and Renaissance- inspired garden are thus brought out. Some elements linked to the historical context are brought.

Then each group of children is split. Each group transfers both sides of the flowerbeds’ design on tracing paper. The symmetry can be brought out by several observations : the two drawings can be superposed. By folding the maps, several symmetry axes can be noticed.

In class, the teacher collects the traces linked to the impressions felt by the children in the garden.

Then they search for gardens’ photographic documents presenting similar aesthetic features (in a library or internet). The children try to pick out constants : fence, symmetry, central water-occupied point.

Links are established with the historical and social context of the period by the teacher.

The teacher suggests the children should make a cardamine garden : the flowerbeds’ drawing and the garden structure enable the child to integrate the elements observed in history, mathematics, as well as in French.


To tackle various types of European gardens throughout time ; to make connections with the social context, the conception of the relation between man and nature.

TRANSPOSITION The activity can be carried out by parts. For example, the cardamine garden is particularly adapted to younger children.

Aline Bruier-Desmeth. Hélène Devriendt. Sandrine Grisard. Vannerom Christelle Angélique Charmant Haute Ecole roi Baudouin, Braine-le-Comte, Belgique.

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