curriculum

EnrichLA’s interdisciplinary, garden-based education program allows students to learn in a wonderful outdoor classroom- the garden! Lessons are adapted for students in grades K-6 and are approximately 40 minutes in length. Our curriculum includes lessons on the following topics.

Garden Introduction

1) Welcome Gardeners!

2) Let’s Talk Dirt

3) Friends and Foes

4) Climate and Seasons

5) (Edible) Parts of a Plant

6) Harvesting and Culminating Picnic

 

Environmental Stewardship

1) Garden Food Chain

2) Seed Cookies

3) Bee a Friend

4) Compost Relay

5) Decomposable Pots

6) Sustainable Eats

 

Healthy Habits

1) A Balanced Plate

2) Whole vs. Processed Foods

3) Eating Your Fruits & Veggies

4) Food Jobs

5) Food Marketing

6) Reading and Writing Recipes

 

Arts & Crafts in the Garden

1) Garden Haikus

2) Plant-Based Paints

3) Fruit & Vegetable Prints

4) Homemade Tea

5) Papermaking

6) Creating Nature Boards

 

STEM

1) What is STEM?

2) The Fibonacci Sequence

3) Garden Design

4.) Building a Garden

5.) Model Compost Bin

6.) Composting

 

The typical garden class structure has students visit the garden for approximately six consecutive weeks to cover an entire unit. If desirable some classes can visit the garden for multiple units.

The lessons included often have supplementary materials that can be found in their respective folders in EnrichLA’s Google Drive.

 

  1. Garden

Introduction

Level(s): 1, 2, 3, 4

Special Requirements: N/A

Price Estimate: $5.79

GI Lesson 1: Welcome Gardeners!

 

  1. Objectives

Students will be introduced to the garden space.

Students will know the rules while in the garden.

Students will understand the steps involved in transplanting a seedling.

 

  1. Introduction

Organize a permanent seating chart to promote teamwork, identity, and behavior control.

Ask students to participate in the name game to help with introductions. The game will help them learn each other’s names and think about the different things they might find in the garden.

 

Instructions for Name Game:

Have students say their name and then say something that they might find in the garden that starts with the same letter as their name. Note: You can also use the same sound, if the same letter isn’t feasible.

To help students feel more comfortable, share with them these examples and then ask someone if they’d like to start.

 

Examples: Liz Ladybug, Jose Jalapeno, Melissa Mint, Peter Pill bug, Zach Zucchini, Christina Chrysanthemum, Sara Sink

 

Once the entire class has said their name take students on a tour of the garden. Identify important items in the garden including, but not limited to: soil, sprinklers, existing plants, trees, outdoor kitchen, picnic tables, compost pile, mulch, etc.

 

III. Activity

Talk to the students about the various things they see in the garden. Ask them if they can think of any rules we should follow while in the garden. When they have some ideas, ask them to share with their classmates. Write them down as they go through them.

General Rules:

  • Respect all bugs, plants, and things
  • Be kind to your peers
  • Respect pollinators (bees, butterflies, moths, beetles, flies)
  • Eat or harvest only if an adult says okay
  • Always ask questions

 

Planting:

Ask students to raise their hand if they have heard of the word seedling or know what the word means. Ask students to raise their hand if they have ever planted a seedling.

Explain to students that a seedling is a small plant. It is larger than a seed but smaller than a plant that bears fruit.  

Review what a plant needs in order to grow: water, sunlight, soil and air. Explain that the plant will get sunlight from living outside. It will get soil from the garden. It will get air by being planted far enough away from its friends. It will get water from the irrigation in the garden. Depending on the garden, it will either get it from the drip system or the sprinklers. Show students where they can plant their seedling in order for the seedling to get the water it needs to grow.  Demonstrate to students: how deep to dig the hole, how to handle the seedling, how to loosen the roots and how to bury the roots.

 

Taste: Depending on what is growing in the garden, prepare a taste for students to try. It can be as simple as a freshly picked tomato with a touch of salt and a squeeze of lemon.

 

  1. Conclusion

Ask students to share some of the things that they learned during the lesson. Review the rules discussed in the garden.  Explain that they will visit the garden for the next five weeks, and during each visit they will learn something new about the garden, participate in an activity and taste something that grows in the garden.

 

  1. Materials

Rule Poster ($5.79/10 poster boards)

Seedlings, enough seeds/2 students (from EnrichLA)

Hand tools, tool/2 students (from EnrichLA)

Minimal food supplies to accompany what is growing in the garden

 

  1. California State Standards

Next Generation Science:

K-LS1-1. Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.

Common Core ELA:

W.K.7 Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., explore a number of books by a favorite author and express opinions about them).

 

Level(s): 1

Special Requirements: N/A

Price Estimate: $12.54

GI Lesson 2: Let’s Talk Dirt

 

  1. Objectives

Students will know that soil is important for life.

Students will be able to describe the difference between sand, silt and clay.

 

  1. Introduction

Ask students to raise their hand if they know why soil is important.

What grows in soil? Who needs it in order to live?

Soil is important because: (1) plants need it to grow, (2) insects live in or on it,  (3) it helps filter our water and, (4) plants that grow in soil give us oxygen to breathe.

 

All soil is made from a mixture of sand, silt, clay and organic matter.

Sand is the largest particle. When soil has too much sand, there’s lots of space between each grain of sand. Sandy soil doesn’t hold water well and doesn’t stick together. Since the grains of sand are large, more air is in sandy soil than other types.

Silt is finer than sand but still feels gritty. Silt is the particle that makes mud. Plants like silt but silt often blows away by wind or water.

Clay is very fine but makes soil heavy and dense. Since it is the smallest particle there’s little room between each particle of clay. When it is dry it is very hard for plants’ roots to grow. Since there’s little room between each particle, there’s very little oxygen in clay soil. This makes it hard for bacteria and other organisms to live.

Loam is the best combination. Loam is a combination of sand, silt and clay. It has equal parts sand and silt with a little less clay. It allows water and air to move through it but can also retain, or hold on to water, air and humus.

 

III. Activity

Students will work in groups of five to determine the soil type in their garden. In groups of five students will find a handful of soil somewhere in the garden. Encourage them to explore different parts of the garden. It will be more interesting if students have different soil types.

Once they have a handful of soil, be sure that each sample is moist but not wet. On the count of three have students gently squeeze their sample. Ask them to open their hand and share what happened. Talk about what that felt like as a group.

 

Have them choose from the following:

(1) It held its shape, and when they poke it, it crumbles. This means they have loam!

(2) It held its shape, and, when they poke it, it doesn’t crumble. This means they have clay soil.

(3) It held its shape, and, when they poke it, it doesn’t crumble BUT it is a little rough to the touch. This means they have silty soil.

(4) It crumbles when they open their hand. This means they have sandy soil.

 

If time permits: Using water, soda bottles, and soil, students can use “the bigger they are, the faster they fall” principle to find out whether sand, silt, or clay is made of larger particles.

 

Taste: Depending on what is growing in the garden, prepare a taste for students to try. Do your best to have students try something different from what they tried the week prior.  If possible, give them a taste of beans (which give the soil nitrogen) or something else that has an interesting relationship with soil.

 

  1. Conclusion

Ask students to share the three types of soil, ranging from smallest to largest particle size. (Answer, Clay, Silt, Sand)

Ask a few students to share something that they learned today, and to point out something that interested them.

 

Extension Activity: Students create a model of a soil profile using card stock, carpet tape, and soil samples from different horizons.

  1. Materials

Paper and markers to make ($10.59/500 sheets):

Cards with words and definitions

(Sand, silt, clay)

Also include cards that explain the importance of soil.

Supplies needed for tasting (napkins–$1.95)

 

  1. California State Standards

Earth Sciences:

3c. Students know that soil is made partly from weathered rock and partly from organic materials and that soils differ in their color, texture, capacity to retain water, and ability to support the growth of many kinds of plants. 

3e. Students know rock, water, plants, and soil provide many resources, including food, fuel, and building materials, that humans use. 

 

Investigation and Experimentation in Science:

4 a. Make predictions based on observed patterns and not random guessing.

  1. Compare and sort common objects according to two or more physical attributes (e.g., color, shape, texture, size, weight).

 

Common Core ELA:

Literacy.RI.2.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 2 topic or subject area.

Literacy.W.2.8 Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

 

Level(s): 1, 2, 3

Special Requirements: N/A

Price Estimate: $1.95

GI Lesson 3: Friends and Foes

 

  1. Objectives

Students will understand the interconnectedness of species in the garden.

Students will know new species of plants and insects in the garden.

Students will understand new vocabulary words in the context of the garden.

 

  1. Introduction

Explain to students that the garden is home to many species. There are many bugs, insects and critters, as well as plants in the garden. Some of these creepy crawling creatures are friends and some are foes of the plants in the garden. Friends, or our helpers in the garden are species that make the garden flourish. They can be pollinators and predators of the foes in the garden. Foes, or enemies, in the garden are species that make it difficult for the garden to flourish. They eat plants or harm the pollinators.

 

III. Activity

Find a space in or near the garden that is large enough for a game of tag. Print the images provided. Give each student a card with a picture on it. On the back of each card you will need to write the name of the species and either: friend, foe, or plant. Share with students that they will be learning more about the garden friends and foes through a game of freeze tag. Warn students that it is better to keep their identity secret so that their classmates don’t find out who they are.

 

In the game, no one person is it and no one is eliminated from the game. In short, everyone can tag everyone else. When one student tags another, they both share their identity, which is either: friend, foe or plant.
When a plant is tagged by a foe they must freeze and sit down.

When a friend sees a plant frozen on the ground, they can tag them and bring them back to life.

When friends and foes tag each other they resolve the tie with a game of rock, paper, scissors.

If a friend is frozen, another friend can unfreeze them and when a foe is frozen, another foe can unfreeze them. When two students from the same group tag each other they give each other high-5s and continue.

 

If time permits, play the game a few times so students have the chance to be in a different role.

 

Taste: Depending on what is growing in the garden, prepare a taste for students to try. Do your best to have students try something different from what they tried the week prior.  It can be a variation but “tastes” are intended to expose students to a different healthy food. It could even be one parsley leaf each.

 

  1. Conclusion

Ask students what they observed in the game. What are some of our garden friends? What are some foes? Ask students to share what they think we should do when we come across a friend or a foe. If time permits, allow students to explore the garden to see if they can spot a friend or foe.

 

  1. Materials

One card per student (approximately 30)

Marker to write Species and Friend, Foe or Plant

Supplies needed for tasting (napkins–$1.95)

 

  1. California State Standards

Next Generation Science:

5-LS2-1. Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment. A system can be described in terms of its components and interactions.

 

Common Core ELA:

RI.5.7 Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently. (5-LS2- 1)

SL.5.5 Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, sound) and visual displays in presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes. (5- LS2-1)

 

Common Core Mathematics:

MP.2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (5-LS2-1)

 

Level(s): 1, 2

Special Requirements: N/A

Price Estimate: $1.95

GI Lesson 4: Climate and Seasons

 

  1. Objectives

Students will be able to identify the Los Angeles ecosystem.

Students will be able to identify the two planting seasons.

Students will be able to identify which plants are cold-weather and which are warm-weather crops.

 

  1. Introduction

Ask students two introductory questions: “What season are we in now?” “Did you know that we only experience two planting seasons?”

We are lucky because our seasons last a little longer than most.

We have two seasons: a cool season and warm season.

Our planting seasons last several months because of our unique weather.

We live in a Mediterranean climate/ecosystem – we have warm summers and mild-cool, wet winters – easy to grow food all year long.

 

III. Activity

Explain to students some crops go dormant, or does minimal activity during some seasons. Some crops love certain weather and only grow in those months. You can also use the animal hibernation analogy. Review cold weather in Los Angeles and warm weather in Los Angeles.

 

Cold tends to be: cloudy, cool, windy, rainy, under 80 degrees, frosty, shady, wet, less than 6 hours of direct sunlight

Warm tends to be: hot, warm, no clouds, above 80 degrees, clear skies, dry, sunny, bright, more than hours of direct sunlight

 

Tell students that they are going to get play a game. Every student will receive a card with a picture of a cool or warm season plant on it. Half of the class should get a cool season plant and the other half should get a warm season plant. Behind each card should be marked W for Warm, C for Cold. For this game, use plants that students are familiar with.

 

Explain to students that you’ll read aloud weather conditions. When a weather condition is read, they have to squat or put their head down if they think it is their turn to be dormant. Dormant plants go down, Non-dormant (or thriving) plants put their arms up and cheer.

 

When students are ready, play the game. Here are some examples: frosty – sunny day above 85 degrees – heavy rain – less than 6 hours of sunlight #2 – more than 8 hours on direct sunlight #1

 

Ask students to switch their card with a classmate who has a card with a plant that thrives in the opposite season.

 

Taste: Have students IDENTIFY something in the garden that is “in season,” or seems to be doing well based on the current weather. For example, in the late-summer or fall students might notice juicy tomatoes. In the winter, they might notice that the chard is big and green. Once they’ve identified a plant, harvest the plant for students to taste.

 

  1. Conclusion

Ask students to name the weather conditions and when we normally experience them. Do we experience frost in the summer? What plants liked the frost? Should we plant them in the summer?

 

Plants need certain weather conditions to grow (and to taste good)! For example, if lettuce is planted in warm weather it will bolt, or go to seed and its leaves will turn bitter before we can enjoy its refreshing taste.  It has to be planted in the cool season.

 

  1. Materials

One card per student (approximately 30)

Marker to write information on the back of the card

Supplies for tasting (napkins–$1.95)

 

  1. California State Standards:

Next Generation Science California State Standards:

K-ESS2-1. Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time.

3-ESS2-1. Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season

3-ESS2-2. Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.

 

Common Core ELA:

RI.3.9 Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic.

 

Common Core Math:

MP.2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively.

 

Level(s): 1

Special Requirements: N/A

Price Estimate: $1.95

GI Lesson 5: Parts of a Plant

 

  1. Objectives

Students will be able to identify the six basic parts of a plant.

Students will be able to describe the importance of each part of a plant.

Students will be able to articulate which part of the plant people consume.

 

  1. Introduction

We eat fruits and vegetables that are roots, leaves, stems, seeds and flowers. Some parts of the plants are good for us but some parts poisonous. It is important to learn which part of the plant we do eat. For example, tomatoes are the tasty fruit of the plant but their leaves will make us sick.

 

III. Activity

Bring a vegetable into class, or harvest one from the garden so students can see some of the parts described. It is hard to find a fruit or vegetable (at the market) that has all parts still on it.

Explain to the students that the plants that we eat are similar to other living things. Each part is important for its survival.

 

Flowera shoot of a plant that is specialized for reproduction and bears modified leaves as petals

Fruitthe ripened ovary of a seed plant when sweet and pulpy    

Leafone of the green, usually flat parts that grow from a stem or twig of a plant and that function mainly in making food by photosynthesis                                  

Rootthe organ of the plant that lies below the soil                                      

Seeda fertilized ripened ovule of a flowering plant that contains an embryo and is capable of producing a new plant; also, a plant structure as a spore or small dry fruit capable of producing a new plant             

Stemthe main stalk of a plant that develops buds and shoots and usually grows above the ground

 

Pictionary: Have class count off into two teams. Give each student a picture of one of the fruits or vegetables listed below. Don’t show the card to anyone else. Have them each come to the whiteboard to draw their plant while the other students try to name the fruit or vegetable. Then have them decide which part of the plant we normally eat: the flower, fruit, leaf, root, seed or stem. Some fruits and vegetables have multiple edible parts. For example, if you give them a picture of a pumpkin it will be a fruit but if you give them the seeds, it will be a seed.

 

Once they’ve placed their card in the category, go over each one with the group. Sometimes it is fun to ask the students what the vegetable is called in Spanish, Korean or their native language.

 

Fruits and Vegetables Classification:

Stems: asparagus, celery, kohlrabi, leeks

Flowers: cauliflower, broccoli, artichoke

Roots: radish, beet, carrot, parsnip, onion, garlic, turnip, sweet potatoes

Seeds: peas or beans in pod, corn on the cob

Fruit: eggplant, squash, tomatoes, cucumber, strawberry, pepper

Leaves: lettuce, cabbage, spinach, mustard greens, beet green, kale, chard, mint, Brussels sprouts (they are a very tight bud of leaves)

 

Taste: Have students explore the garden and identify which part of the plant they eat based on what is growing. Harvest and have students identify which part of the plant they are going to eat.

 

  1. Conclusion

Ask the class if they can name all of the parts of the plant, then call on one student. Ask students to name one interesting thing they learned in the lesson. Then ask them who they can share this new knowledge with when they get home.

 

  1. Materials

White board for signs for the different parts of the plants (from EnrichLA)

White board markers of different colors

Cards with pictures of fruits and vegetables

Markers for writing (ask students to bring their own writing utensils)

Supplies for tasting (napkins–$1.95)

 

  1. California State Standards

Next Generation Science:

1.LS2.e  Students know roots are associated with the intake of water and soil nutrients and green leaves are associated with making food from sunlight.

3-LS1-1. Develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death.

 

Common Core ELA:

RI.3.7 Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).

 

Level(s): 1, 2, 3, 4

Special Requirements: cooking supplies

Price Estimate: $35.83

GI Lesson 6: Harvesting and Culminating Picnic

 

  1. Objectives

Students will be able to identify the term harvest.

Students will be able to understand how to harvest foods and how seasons come into play when harvesting.

Students will be able to recognize when edible plants are ready to be harvested.

Students will learn that unripe foods can be harmful to people.

 

  1. Introduction

Ask students if they have ever tasted a fruit or vegetable that isn’t ripe. Ask them to use adjectives to describe what their senses experienced. When eating it, what did it smell, taste, look, sound and feel like?

Explain to the class that when plants are unripe, they can be harmful. The reason why they taste “bad” is because the plant is telling us it shouldn’t be eaten. When the plant is too bitter, unusually green or displaying something unattractive to our senses, it can be harmful to people. For example, when potatoes are harvested too soon, and they have a green spot it means that the alkaloids haven’t dissolved.

Explain that today they are going to harvest, or pick a crop in the garden. After we harvest, we will use the ingredients to make a snack.

 

III. Activity

Demonstrate to students how to properly harvest fruits and vegetables in the garden. Depending on what you will make with them, make sure students understand how much each person should harvest. (i.e. one leaf, two strawberries)

Example Recipe to Follow: Chard Tacos

10 leaves of chard

3 carrots

2 avocados

2 apples

2 beets or radishes

8 string/bush beans

For dressing:

2 lemons

1 ½ Tablespoon Olive Oil

Rice vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

*serves one class of about 30 students

 

Divide students into small groups of 5-6. Prepare the avocados prior to class by slicing them into thin, long pieces. Also, slice lemons in half.

Group 1: Collect chard, rinse and tear each leaf into three pieces (and set aside).

Group 2: Collect, rinse and peel carrots.

Group 3: Rinse, core and slice apples into straws.

Group 4: Collect, rinse and slice beets/radishes into straws.

Group 5: Collect, rinse and (use scissors to) cut beans into ¼” pieces.

Group 6: Combine and whisk each ingredient to make dressing.

 

Have students in Groups 2-5 put ingredients in large bowl and have Group 6 pour dressing over ingredients. Mix well.

 

Have each student take one piece of chard, let students use tongs to fill theirs’ with the ingredients from the bowl and take a slice of avocado to place on top. Ask students to wait until every student is served before they eat. If possible, sit at picnic tables too.

 

Optional: Ask one group to put the tablecloth on the table and to find flowers from the garden to decorate the table. You can use a recycled can as a vase.

 

Ask students to describe what they taste. Which flavors are stronger?

 

  1. Conclusion

Explain that this is the last class of their garden unit but they are always welcome to visit the garden. Before they go, have each class complete the quick evaluation based on their grade level.

 

  1. Materials

3 Scissors

1 Whisk

3 Knives

2-3 Crinkle cutters

6 Cutting boards

Paper towels (from classroom)

Large mixing bowl

Small mixing bowl

Ingredients for Chard Tacos

  • 30 leaves of chard ($2.79)
  • 9 carrots ($0.21/carrot)
  • 6 avocados ($1.70/avocado)
  • 6 apples ($4.39/3 lbs)
  • 6 beets or radishes ($1.09/radish)
  • 24 string/bush beans ($2.19/lb)

Ingredients for dressing on Chard Tacos:

  • 2 lemons ($1.49/lemon)
  • 4 ½ Tablespoon Olive Oil ($5.99 for 17 oz.)
  • Rice vinegar ($2.79/10 oz.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

  1. California State Standards

Common Core ELA:

RST.6-8.3 Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks. For example, following recipes to create a dish.

 

Next Generation Science:

MS-LS1-8. Gather and synthesize information that sensory receptors respond to stimuli by sending messages to the brain for immediate behavior or storage as memories.

 

  1. Environmental

Stewardship

 

Level(s): 1, 2

Special Requirements: N/A

Price Estimate: $4.44

ES Lesson 1: Garden Food Chain

 

  1. Objectives

Students will know that a food chain starts with a plant (a producer) and that it produces food using sunlight.

Students will know that food chains can be drawn to represent the feeding relationships in a habitat.

Students will know that animals and plants in a local habitat are interdependent.

 

  1. Introduction

Explain to students that in a habitat, animals and plants are interdependent (they need each other). All food chains start with plants that need sunlight to grow. They are called producers. Other living things (consumers) then feed on the plants, and they are eaten by something else. This means that the energy from the sun can be used by all living things in the food chain. A food chain can be depicted graphically using arrows to represent the relationship between two organisms. An arrow that points away from one organism and toward another organism shows that the first is eaten by the second.  

 

Introduce the main vocabulary for this lesson to the students:

Producer–a plant that uses sunlight to produce its own food and serves as a source of food for other organisms

Primary Consumer (Herbivore)–an animal that eats only plants for its food source

Secondary Consumer–an animal that eats the primary consumer

Tertiary Consumer–an animal that eats the secondary consumer

 

III. Activity

Students will work in groups of 2 to determine the correct order of different organisms in a food chain. Give each group a piece of paper and writing utensil. Then identify four different organisms that could make up a food chain and relay them to the class. Ex) lettuce, caterpillar, frog, bird. Have students draw a food chain using the four organisms. Direct them to write the name of each organism in the correct order and draw arrows to represent the relationship between each organism (eaten vs. eaten by). Once all of the pairs are done, go over the food chain with the class. Call on different student pairs to identify the producer, primary consumer, secondary consumer, and tertiary consumer.

 

Taste: Depending on what is growing in the garden, prepare a taste for students to try. Do your best to have students try something different from what they tried the week prior.

 

  1. Conclusion

Ask students to share the importance of the sun in a food chain.

Ask students to recall how animals and plants rely on each other in a habitat.

Ask a few students to share something that they learned today and to point out something that interested them.

 

Remember, what our food is eating, we eat!

 

  1. Materials

Paper ($2.49)

Pencils (ask students to bring their own)

Supplies needed for tasting (napkins–$1.95)

 

  1. California State Standards

Next Generation Science:

K-LS1-1. Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.

2-LS2-1. Plan and conduct an investigation to determine if plants need sunlight and water to grow.

2-LS2-2. Develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.

 

Common Core ELA:

W.K.7 Participate in shared research and writing projects

W.2.8 Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

 

Common Core Math:

K.MD.A.2 Directly compare two objects with a measurable attribute in common, to see which object has “more of”/”less of” the attribute, and describe the difference.

MP.2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively

 

Level(s): 1, 2, 3

Special Requirements: N/A

Price Estimate: $14.72

ES Lesson 2: Seeds

 

  1. Objectives

Students will learn about different types of seeds.

Students will gain an understanding of the process of seed germination.

Students will know the mechanisms of seed dispersal.

 

  1. Introduction

Ask students to raise their hand if they know what plants start growing from.

 

Plants grow from seeds. Seeds come in all different forms; they can be small like sesame seeds or big like the pits of avocados. Seeds can also be different colors; sunflower seeds are usually black with white stripes while sesame seeds can be either black or white.

 

Seeds have coats on the outside that act just like a coat that you would wear! The coat keeps the plant embryo (baby plant) warm and protected until it is the perfect temperature outside for the plant to grow. When the conditions outside are just right, the seed coating splits open and the plant can begin to grow while gaining nutrients from the its surroundings, usually soil.

 

Plants make their own seeds when they are fully grown. However, one of the main problems with having those seeds also grow to become plants is that the seeds need to be dispersed. This means that the seeds have to be released from the plant, spread out and placed in the necessary surroundings, often soil.

 

Ask the students if they can think of ways that plants disperse their seeds.

There are five main ways in which a plant can disperse its seeds:

  1. Gravity-some plants simply let their seeds fall to the ground with the help of gravity. However, if the parent plant and newly developing baby plant are growing close to one another, they may have to fight for resources, such as water and nutrients from the soil.
  2. Animals-some plants use various animals to be their very own seed-transporters. For example, nut trees drop their nuts to the ground where squirrels carry the nuts away. Sometimes the squirrels eat the nuts and sometimes the squirrels forget about the nut. If the squirrel forgets about the nut, it can grow into a nut tree.
  3. Air-some plants, like dandelions, have very light seeds. Because the seeds are so light, when the wind blows, the seeds can fly away and then land on the ground far enough from the parent plant so that both can grow without fighting for resources.
  4. Water-plants that live in or near water can drop their seeds into the body of water and let the current carry it as far away as needed.
  5. Mechanical-some very special plants can “launch” their seeds. They do this by building up tension (similar to when you stretch a rubber band) and then release the seeds so that the seeds fly through the air.

 

III. Activity

One example of a seed that travels through the air is the dandelion seed. The dandelion seed is shaped like a parachute. Because it is shaped like this (see picture to the right), the wind can easily carry it far away from its parent plant.

Draw a large picture of a dandelion seed on a whiteboard and explain why it can act like a parachute.

 

In the following  activity, you will be making “dandelion seeds” out of paper to see how far the seed can travel.

  1. Roll a piece of 8.5” x 11” paper into a tube (lengthwise or “hot dog” style).
  2. Using a small amount of tape on the top, bottom and middle of the tube, tape the tube together so that it stays in that shape.
  3. Cut strips on the top of the paper about ⅓ of the way down the length of the paper.
  4. Attach a paperclip to the bottom of the tube.
  5. Launch your “dandelion seed” in a curved path downwards from a high point and see how it far it travels and how long it takes to fall to the ground.

Ask the students why they think it is beneficial for the seed to take a long time to fall to the ground.

Explain that if it is in the air longer, it can travel farther and then find its own part of the soil to grow in without competition from its parent plant.

 

Taste: Give students a taste of something that is in the garden, preferably from a plant with seeds that are visible and can be displayed to the students.

 

  1. Conclusion

Ask students if they notice flower seeds while walking around in gardens.

Ask students if they remember one way in which seeds can travel.

Ask a few students to share something that they learned today, and to point out something that interested them.

 

  1. Materials

Sheets of 8.5” x 11” paper ($8.99/500 sheets)

Clear tape ($1.99)

15 pairs of scissors (borrow from classroom)

Paperclips ($1.79)

Supplies needed for tasting (napkins–$1.95/100 napkins)

 

  1. California State Standards

Next Generation Science:

K-LS1-1. Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.

K-ESS2-2. Construct an argument supported by evidence for how plants and animals (including humans) can change the environment to meet their needs.

2-LS2-2. Develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.

3-LS1-1. Develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death.

MS-LS1-5. Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms

MS-LS1-4. Use argument based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation for how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants respectively.

 

Common Core Math:

MP.2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively.

 

Common Core ELA:

SL.8.5 Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest

 

Level(s): 1

Special Requirements: N/A

Price Estimate: $17.05

ES Lesson 3: Bee a Friend

 

  1. Objectives

Students will know that bees are important for human life and for plants.

Students will be able to describe how bees pollinate flowers.

Students will be able to define the words: pollen, nectar.

 

  1. Introduction

Explain how bees interact with flowers to help the flowers grow and reproduce.

Ask students what their favorite type of fruit or vegetable is. Explain to students the types of foods that would not exist without the work of bees. These include broccoli, asparagus, cantaloupes, cucumbers, pumpkins, blueberries, watermelons, almonds, apples, cranberries, cherries and of course honey.

 

How do bees pollinate flowers?

Pollination is the transfer of pollen from the anther, the male part of a plant, to the stigma, the female part of the flower. Pollen is a yellow powdery substance discharged from the male part of the flower, which contains elements that help plant reproduce. When the pollen is on the stigma, a plant’s fruit, seed, or nut becomes to form from the pollen. Bees enter a plant to collect nectar, which is a sugary fluid secreted by plants and is the food that bees eat and use to make honey. However, when a bee enters a plant to get the nectar, its hairy legs and body attracts and collects pollen as well. When the bee lands on a new plant to get more nectar, the pollen gets deposited, and the two plants can reproduce.

 

III. Activity

In this activity, students will pretend to be bees and “fly” around the garden to collect “nectar” for their “hive.”

First, fill up cups with water and place a few drops of yellow food dye into the water so that the water is yellow in color, resembling nectar. Then, place these cups in slightly hidden away places throughout the garden so that the students will have to look for the “nectar.”

 

Give each student a plastic 3 ml pipette and explain to them the background of the game. The students will be acting as bees and the pipette that they are carrying is their way of collecting nectar, in a similar way to how bees are able to pick up pollen and nectar from the small hairs on their bodies. The goal of the activity is to collect enough nectar to fill up the hive. The “hive” will be plastic egg cartons. Because the pipettes are small, the students will probably have to run back and forth between the “nectar” and the “hive.”

 

When the students have filled up their hive, ask them what it was like to be a bee.

 

Taste: Try to have students taste something that would not grow without a bee’s help. This could include broccoli, asparagus, cantaloupes, cucumbers, pumpkins, blueberries, watermelons, almonds, apples, cranberries or cherries.

 

  1. Conclusion

Ask the students why bees are so important and why we need them in our environment.

 

  1. Materials

6-Egg plastic cartons ($7.99 for 6 cartons)

Yellow food dye ($2.98 for 1 oz.)

3 ml pipettes ($4.13 for 100)

Supplies needed for tasting ($1.95/100 napkins)

 

  1. California State Standards

California Next Generation Science:

K-LS1-1. Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.

K-ESS2-2. Construct an argument supported by evidence for how plants and animals (including humans) can change the environment to meet their needs

K-ESS3-1. Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants or animals (including humans) and the places they live.

2-LS2-2. Develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants

 

Common Core ELA:

W.2.8 Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

SL.2.5 Create audio recordings of stories or poems; add drawings or other visual displays to stories or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.

 

Common Core Math:

MP.2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively.

MP.4 Model with mathematics.

MP.5 Use appropriate tools strategically.

 

Level(s): 1, 2

Special Requirements: water

Price Estimate: $15.75

ES Lesson 4: Compost Relay

 

  1. Objectives

Students will understand the process of decomposition.

Students will practice cooperation and teamwork.

Students will be able to define words such as: decomposition, compost, organic matter.

 

  1. Introduction

Ask students to raise their hand if they know what it means to compost. Explain to them that composting is a great way to recycle nutrients and reduce waste. When an animal, plant or insect dies, decomposers (such as bacteria, fungi and worms) break down the dead materials into smaller and smaller pieces. These small pieces, full of nutrients, become part of the soil and become a great food source for existing plants.

 

The five main ingredients for composting are: greens, browns, decomposers, air and water.

 

Greens are materials that are high in nitrogen, including grass clippings, dead plants and food waste. Greens can also include manure and other animal by-products.

Browns are materials that contain a lot of carbon, including dead leaves, newspapers etc.

Decomposers include all microorganisms and insects that break down the ingredients into smaller and smaller pieces. Without these organisms, the entire process would not be possible.

Air is another important “ingredient” for great compost, since the microorganisms and insects that thrive in compost piles need air to function. It is important that compost piles are turned every so often to allow spaces in the pile for air to flow through.

Water is also highly important to help maintain the life that thrives in compost piles. Either having too much or too little water can reduce the rate of decomposition.

 

On a whiteboard, ask students to name some things that they throw away in the trash. After students have compiled a list, circle the items that could be composted. Explain why these items can be composted while others cannot.

 

III. Activity

Students will work together and with the Garden Ranger to create a compost pile.

 

Start of by reviewing the eight steps for building compost:

  1. Start with sticks (Place a layer of sticks on the ground to maintain airflow underneath the pile).
  2. Scoop some soil (Even a small scoop of soil helps populate the pile with beneficial decomposers).
  3. Break down browns (Chop/shred brown matter, like leaves or paper).
  4. Make a super bowl (Place a layer of brown matter—2x the amount of greens you are going to add—on the pile. Arrange it like a bowl or a nest).
  5. Fill with greens (Fill the bowl created in step 4 with kitchen scraps, etc).
  6. Cover with browns (Cover the greens-filled bowl with more browns).
  7. Keep it damp (Water lightly. It should feel like a wrung-out sponge).
  8. Turn, Turn, Turn (Use a garden fork or claw to turn the pile).

 

The Garden Ranger will be the one to make the pile, while the students will be assisting in bringing the necessary ingredients to the Ranger.

 

  1. Conclusion

Ask students to share to explain what composting means and why it is so beneficial for plants.

Ask students if they remember the main ingredients for compost piles.

Ask a few students to share something that they learned today, and to point out something that interested them.

 

  1. Materials

1-gallon plastic bucket, these will be filled with straw ($2.55/bucket on usbucket.com)

2-gallon red Tubtrug; these will be filled halfway with food scraps–bring food scraps from own compost and ask students to contribute food scraps from their own lunches ($3.84/bucket on usbucket.com)

5-gallon blue Tubtrug, will be used for the composting pile ($4.86/bucket on usbucket.com)

Watering Can (from Garden Kits)

3 Paper cups ($2.50/28 cups)

Garden Claw (from Garden Kits)

Garden gloves (from Garden Kits)

1 Re-closable plastic freezer bag, quart or gallon size ($2.00/15 bags)

Sticks, soil, food scraps, straw (recycling from classroom)

Handouts listing the eight steps of building compost (see folder in Drive)

 

Extension Activity

Have students check up on the compost bag in weeks to come and see how they are doing.

  1. California State Standards

Next Generation Science:

ETS1-1 (K-2): Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.

ETS1-1 (3-5): Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.

ETS1-2 (K-2): Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.

LS1-1: Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.

ESS2-2: Construct an argument supported by evidence for how plants and animals (including humans) can change the environment to meet their

ESS3-1: Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants and animals (including humans) and the places they live

ESS3-3: Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment.

 

Common Core ELA:

Foundational Skills: Phonics and Word Recognition:

  1. Know and apply grade level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words

Writing California State Standards: Research to Build and Present Knowledge:

  1. Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic
  2. Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question

 

Common Core Math:

  1. Understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve problems. Use ratio language to describe a ratio relationship between two quantities.

 

Level(s): 1, 2, 3

Special Requirements: empty garden beds (preferable)

Price Estimate: $26.36

ES Lesson 5: Decomposable Pots

 

  1. Objectives

Students will gain an understanding of how compost relates to the plant and animal life cycle.

Students will gain practical skills and knowledge that they can apply at home.

Students will be able to define the words: recycling, organic matter, decomposable, biodegradable.

 

  1. Introduction

Ask your students if anyone knows what “recycling” means. Then ask if they knew that food can be recycled too. Lay out or pass out visual examples of materials that can be composted. Ask your students if they eat, use, see these materials on a daily basis. Explain to them that these materials can be composted, which is nature’s way of recycling vegetable, fruit, and plant scraps. All of this things that nature can recycle is called “organic matter.” During the composting process, the organic matter decomposes or breaks down into simpler chemical elements. When the process is over, fresh and nutritious compost is made, and can now be used as natural fertilizer to grow plants.

 

III. Activity

Composting is a cycle. What is a cycle (ie. Recycling, water cycle, etc.)?

A cycle is a bunch of different things that happen over again in the same order. Composting works in a simple cycle too and it helps our garden grow. This happens all the time in nature and probably in your backyard. Bring out a whiteboard and draw the following cycle:

Explain how composting works with the board:

banana tree → person eating a banana → banana peel → compost method (tumbler, pile, worm bin, etc.) → finished compost → banana tree.

 

When planting things, people usually either plant things in pots or directly in the soil. However, if you have a plant that you eventually want to move to the soil so that it can grow more, you are going to want to use a pot that can also go directly in the soil. Ideally, this pot would be compostable so that it would decompose in the soil through the help of tiny bacteria. These tiny bacteria will break it down in a way similar to how they help break down all the ingredients in a compost pile. It’s actually pretty easy to make this type of pot, so we’re going to make our own today!

 

Follow the attached instructions below to make decomposable pots (see Google Drive folder for this lesson).

 

Have students put soil in their new pots and then add seeds. Ask the students to write their name on a popsicle stick and stick it in their respective pots. Leave the pots in the garden and then transport them to empty beds at a later time, keeping the popsicle stick in the plant so that students can see where their respective pots ended up in the garden.

 

  1. Conclusion

Ask students why they think toilet paper rolls are decomposable (i.e. what are toilet paper rolls made of?).

Ask students to think about the food that they had/will have for lunch and what the compost cycle would look like for that food.

Ask students to share something new that they learned today.

 

  1. Materials

Whiteboard (from previous supplies)

Marker (from previous supplies)

45 Toilet paper rolls (gather from recycling or buy on Ebay for ~$10.00)

Scissors (from classroom)

Seeds ($1.59/packet, 2 packets per class)

Soil ($2.00)

Popsicle Sticks ($4.82/100 sticks)

 

  1. California State Standards

Next Generation Science:

3-LS1-1 Develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death

5-LS2-1 Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment

MS-LS2-1 Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem

 

Level(s): 1

Special Requirements: N/A

Price Estimate: $1.95

ES Lesson 6: Sustainable Eats

 

  1. Objectives

Students will know how to define sustainable and nutrition.

Students will know what makes food healthy and how to eat sustainable food.

 

  1. Introduction

We all know that all living things need four things in order to stay alive- what are these things?

Air, water, food, and shelter.

 

Today, we’re going to talk about food–how we get our food, what we need to eat to ensure that we stay healthy, and how to eat food that helps both the Earth and everyone on it stay healthy

 

First things first: What does it mean to have a nutritious diet?

In order to have a nutritious diet- one that gives us the energy, vitamins, and minerals that we need-it needs to be varied and include healthy foods.

 

What makes up a nutritious diet?

A nutritious diet typically consists of whole grains, healthy fats and oils (olive, canola, soy, other vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, fatty fish such as salmon), fruits and vegetables, beans, fish, poultry, dairy, and eggs

 

What healthy foods have you eaten today?

Answers can vary, focus on wholesome fruits and vegetables

 

In the last few years, there’s been a large movement to help our environment by eating sustainably. What does it mean to eat sustainably?

If you can sustain something, you can keep it going. Eating sustainably means eating food that is healthy for consumers and animals, and that does not harm the environment or workers and farmers during the process of growing/raising it. It also means treating animals humanely and supporting farm communities

 

III. Activity

We’re talking about food, but I’m going to ask you to look at your clothes. Everyone pair up with someone else.

 

Where do your clothes come from? (stores, companies, other states/countries)

Our clothes come from lots of different places, all over the world, and we sometimes don’t realize that when we buy them from down the street from where we live. So let’s find out where our clothes came from. Most shirts have a tag in the back of the collar that tells us where the shirt was made. If it’s not in the back of the collar, it might be on the side. Working with your partner, find the tag and have the other person read where your shirt is from.

 

Go around the room and have each pair of students tell the class where their shirts were made. Write the name of the countries on the board. Be sure to tell the class where your own shirt was made.

 

We are wearing shirts from all over the world. How did these clothes get from all of these places to us? Answers can include planes, trains, boats, trucks. Similarly to how our clothes get to us from all around the world, so does our food. When we go to grocery stores, we see food that was grown and processed all over the world and then shipped to us.

One of the good things about having food grown in different parts of the country and the world is that we get to eat new and interesting things. It also means that if a region needs food, we can get it to them. Someone in another region might also be able to grow the food better than we can here because of the climate in his or her area.

 

However, moving the food (and the shirts) around the world uses a lot of resources. We get used to eating things that don’t naturally grow in our region and we want them.

In the last few years, there’s been a large movement to help our environment by eating locally. What does it mean to eat locally? Why would eating locally help the environment?

 

As a class, create one or two recipes using only ingredients that could be found in the garden. Write the recipe on the whiteboard as you are creating it. Tell the students that creating such a meal would be an example of eating locally. The ingredients would not even have to be transported at all if we ate the meal here at school!

 

Taste: Depending on the plants in garden, prepare a sample of 1-2 items for students to taste. Try to have them sample something that they did not have last week.

 

  1. Conclusion

Ask students where the food that they usually buy comes from.

Ask students to summarize what it means to eat sustainably and/or locally.

Ask students to share something that they learned today.

 

  1. Materials

Supplies needed for tasting (napkins–$1.95)

 

  1. California State Standards

Next Generation Science:

K-ESS3-3 Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment.

2-LS4-1 Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.

MS-LS2-1 Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem

Common Core ELA:

W.2.8 Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question

 

III. Healthy

Habits

 

Level(s): 1, 2, 3

Special Requirements: N/A

Price Estimate: $1.95

HH Lesson 1: A Balanced Plate

 

  1. Objectives

Students will know what to eat and how much to eat in order to have a balanced diet.

Students will understand how important healthy food is in fueling our bodies.

Students will be know all of the food groups and the importance of each.

 

  1. Introduction

Ask students if they can name all of the different food groups. These include 1) fruits, 2) vegetables, 3) grains, 4) proteins like meat, fish, beans and nuts, 5) dairy and 6) fats and sugars.

Ask students what they had for breakfast and if they know which food group it goes under.

Explain to the students why each food group is important and the amount of each food group they should eat each day.

 

Fruits and vegetables: Have a lot of vitamins and minerals that are necessary for us to be healthy. We should have about 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. (2 ½ cups) Have fruit with each meal to reach recommended serving.

Grains: Include bread, rice, pasta and cereal. These are important in giving us energy and certain nutrients. Grains should make up about ⅓ of everything we eat, so we should base most of our meals around grains. We should try to make half of our grains whole, or all if possible. 6 servings per day.

Proteins: Are important for growth and repair of our bodies. They are also a great source of vitamins and minerals. We should have about 6 oz of fish and meat each day and 4-5 serving of nuts and beans each week.

Dairy items: Are also a great source of protein and they contain calcium which helps keep our bones strong and healthy. We should have about 2-3 servings of dairy per day.

Fats and sugars: Are an important source of energy for our bodies. But, if we consume to many of these, we might end up eating more calories than we burn off. This can cause us to feel sluggish and unhealthy. We should have no more than 5 servings of fats and sugars per week.

 

III. Activity

Divide the students into pairs and give each pair of students one of the blank food charts provided. Give each pair the images of food provided with the food chart. See if the students can put the foods in the correct part of the chart, and see if they can remember the number of servings they should have of each food group.

 

Taste: Depending on what is growing in the garden, prepare a taste for student to try. Do your best to    have students try something different from what they tried the week prior.

 

  1. Conclusion

Have the students try to guess which food group the food that they tasted belongs to.

Ask a few students to share what they learned and some things that they found interesting.

 

  1. Materials

Blank food chart and images provided, print as many copies as necessary for class (see folder in Drive)

Supplies for tasting (napkins–$1.95)

 

  1. California State Standards

Next Generation Science:

K-LS1-1 Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.

Common Core Mathematics:

K.MD.3 Classify objects into given categories; count the number of objects in each category and sort the categories by count.

 

Level(s): 1, 2

Special Requirements: N/A

Price Estimate: $1.95

HH Lesson 2: Whole vs. Processed Food

 

  1. Objectives

Students will know the difference between whole and processed food and the definition of each.

Students will be able to give examples of whole foods and processed foods.

Students will understand that whole foods are a better option than processed foods.

 

  1. Introduction

Ask students why they think healthy food is important.

Some good answers include that it gives us energy to do our daily activities or that it contains vitamins and nutrients to help our bodies grow and be strong.

 

Explain to the students what constitutes a food being whole or processed.

A whole food: is a food that essentially has only 1 ingredient and nothing extra or fake added to it. Anything that comes straight from the garden and is in the same form that it’s in in nature is whole.

A processed food: is a food that contains many ingredients or has been changed in some way to make it last longer. Anything that is in a different form than it was in nature is processed.

 

Example: Refined flour is hardly different than sugar when it gets into the body.

 

Explain to the students that whole foods give us more of the nutrients that our bodies need and we don’t get as many of these great nutrients from processed food. We might even be some ingredients that are bad for our bodies and cancel out the good nutrients we get from whole foods.

 

Ask the students to give you some examples of whole foods and processed foods.

Some examples of whole foods: are any fresh, not frozen, fruits and vegetables, free range eggs, or unsalted nuts.

Some examples of processed foods: include granola bars, energy drinks, potato chips, or anything that comes in a bag or a box.

 

III. Activity

Divide up the students into pairs and give each pair the list of food provided and a pencil. Tell them to work together and circle either Earth or Factory next to each food, to answer the question, where did this food come from?

 

Ask them if they know what circling Earth or Factory means for the food. (Earth means that the food is whole and Factory means that the food is processed).

 

Taste: Depending on what is growing in the garden, prepare a taste for students to try. Do your best to have students try something different from what they tried the week prior.

 

  1. Conclusion

Ask students if they can think of some examples of whole foods that they could eat for dinner later that night.

 

  1. Materials

“Earth or Factory” worksheet provided, print one worksheet per 2 students (see folder in Drive)

Pen or Pencil to write on the worksheet (have students bring their own pencils)

Supplies needed for tasting (napkins–$1.95)

 

  1. California State Standards

Next Generation Science:

K-ESS2-2 Construct an argument by evidence for how plants and animals (including humans) can change their environment to meet their needs.

2-PS1-1  Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties.

2-LS4-1 Make Observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.

 

Common Core ELA:

W.2.8 Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

 

Common Core Mathematics:

MP.2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively.

 

Level(s): 1, 2, 3, 4

Special Requirements: cooking supplies

Price Estimate: $26.79

HH Lesson 3: Eating Your Fruits & Veggies*

 

  1. Objectives

Students will find new ways to add fruits and vegetables into their daily diet.

Students will learn that fruit and vegetables can be delicious and fun to eat.

Students will continue to understand and reference the USDA’s food pyramid.

 

  1. Introduction

Introduce the activity by reviewing what students learned in the “Balanced Plate” lesson. Review the USDA Food Guide Pyramid by drawing a picture of it on the whiteboard and asking students to explain the different parts of it. Remind students that one should try to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

 

“One serving” is defined as 1 medium sized fruit, ¾ 100% fruit/vegetable juice, ½ cup of fresh, frozen, canned fruit/vegetables, or 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables.

 

Fruit and vegetables can help improve your well-being in a number of ways. Different colored fruits and vegetables provide different vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function well. Fruits and vegetables can also help protect us against the negative effects of aging and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and high blood pressure.

 

III. Activity

Ask students what their favorite fruits and vegetables are and which they eat the most often. Write these on the whiteboard and then have students think of meals that make use of these fruits/vegetables.

 

Explain to the students that we are going to learn how to add fruits and vegetables to common meals that might not already have your necessary servings of fruits and vegetables.

 

Hand out the meal images to the students. Have each student draw fruits/vegetables that could be added to the food to make it into a healthy meal.

 

Below are some ideas:

Pizza: green or red bell peppers, pineapple, broccoli, jalapeños, mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, onions

Burrito: beans, spinach, red or green bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, avocado, tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeños

Oatmeal: dried fruit, raisins, blueberries, strawberries, bananas

Sandwich: lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, sprouts, avocado, cucumber

Spaghetti: green or red bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, peas, green beans

Another way to make the meals healthier is to decrease the amount of meat and dairy products in the meal.

Follow the recipe below to make Crunchy Burrito Banditos, a recipe that makes use of lots of vegetables:

  • 1⁄2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped cauliflower
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 4 ounces shredded low fat cheddar cheese
  • 3 small whole-wheat tortillas
  • 1 cup torn lettuce, bite-size pieces
  • 1⁄2 cup of your favorite salsa

 

Preparation (10-15 minutes): In a mixing bowl, combine carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and onions with cheese. Add the salsa and toss lightly. Place mixture and 1⁄4 cup lettuce down the center of the tortilla. Wrap each tortilla around the vegetable mixture. Cut in half. Provide extra salsa to use as a dip.

  1. Conclusion

Ask students how they plan on incorporating vegetables and fruit into their meals (e.g. dinner tonight, breakfast tomorrow).

Ask students for suggestions for creative recipes using fruits and vegetables.

 

  1. Materials

Ingredients for Crunchy Burrito Banditos:

  • 1 ½ cups shredded carrots ($2.19 for 10 Oz.)
  • 1 ½ cups chopped broccoli and 1 ½ cups chopped cauliflower ($5.60 for 32 Oz.)
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced ($1.09)
  • 12 ounces shredded low fat cheddar cheese ($6.28 for 16 Oz.)
  • 10 whole wheat tortillas ($5.09 for pack of 10)
  • 3 cups torn lettuce ($2.09)
  • 1 ½ cups of your favorite salsa ($2.50)

Printed images of meals

Markers (borrow from classroom)

(above is 3x the amount of ingredients listed in the recipe so that there is enough for three classes of students)

Napkins for tasting ($1.95)

 

  1. California State Standards

Next Generation Science:

2-LS4-1 Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.

2-PS1-2 Analyze data obtained from testing different materials to determine which materials have the properties that are best suited for an intended purpose.

3-LS3-2 Use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment.

 

Common Core ELA:

SL.3.4 Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

 

*Lesson adapted from Denver Urban Gardens School Garden and Nutrition Curriculum “Easy Ways to 5-A-Day”

 

Level(s): 1

Special Requirements: N/A
Price Estimate: $1.95

HH Lesson 4: Food Jobs

 

  1. Objectives

Students will learn more about different and previously unknown jobs related to the food industry.

Students will be able to understand more about how food gets to our table through different individuals’ work.

Students will be able to make connections between the food jobs that exist in their own community.

 

  1. Introduction

Ask students if they can think of any jobs related to food.

 

What does a farmer do? Can you think of any other food jobs besides farming?

 

There are a number of jobs that revolve around the different aspects of getting food from its source to its endpoint (your table!). Because this is a long and complicated process, the people who work in this industry have many different responsibilities, depending on the niche that they fill.

 

Agricultural farmer often are experts in crops, but they also oversee the entire operation of a farm. This includes selecting seeds, knowing the planting and harvesting seasons, maintaining farm equipment and hiring workers. One of the most difficult parts of being a farmer is making sure that the land is well tended to. Invasive plants and pests may enter the fields and make it difficult or even impossible for crops to grow. To combat these unwanted plants and insects, farmers use herbicide and insecticide.

 

Chefs are at the core of the food service industry. Chefs can work in different types of food service places, such as restaurants, hotels, or cafes. As a chef, it is important to have a deep understanding of food and strong senses of taste and smell. Chefs have to be able to make things taste good! Also, chefs often have strong mathematical skills because cooking requires precise amounts of ingredients; chefs have to plan the exact ingredients they will need well in advance.

 

Farmers’ markets are small street markets where local farmers and vendors have the opportunity to sell their products (often vegetables, fruit, cheese, bread, etc.) directly to consumers, like you and your family. Farmers’ markets are great places to shop for your weekly produce while also supporting smaller, local farmers. To start a farmers’ market in your own town, there are a lot of different parts involved. One must not only find farmers who are interested in selling their products, but one must also work with the local government to determine a location and time for the market. Once the plans for the market have been finalized, the director must then spread the word about the market to all the people in the town so that the people come to buy farmers’ products.

 

A job that is becoming more common in the food industry is Director of Sustainability. As we continue to use resources on Earth, such as water and energy sources, it is important to think about what resources will still be left in 20 or even 100 years. Sustainability refers to practices that allow for continued existence of resources. Food especially uses up a lot of resources. For example, to drink a glass of milk, a cow on a farm must be fed grass and that grass requires water to grow. Then, for the milk to be transported to a grocery store, a truck requires gasoline. Gasoline requires a lot of energy to form from fossil fuels. That’s a lot of resources for one glass of milk! Therefore, at restaurants or grocery stores where there is a lot of food, it is important to think about the resources that the total amount of food requires. A director of sustainability works to make sure that the food that is being sold is produced in a sustainable way, so that we do not use up all of the resource that we have on Earth.

 

III. Activity

During this activity, students will focus on farmers and chefs as two main food jobs, since these are the simplest to understand. Split the class into two groups and assign one group the role of “farmer” and the other group the role of “chef.” Have the “chefs” and “farmers” pair up with one another. In these pairs, have the students walk around the garden. The “farmers” will choose certain plants and the “chef” will think of a food that he/she could make with the food selected by the “farmer.” If there are few or no plants in the garden, print out the Fruit and Vegetable flashcards and pass those out to the students for the “farmers” to choose from. Have students come back together as a class and discuss what ideas they came up with.

 

Taste: Depending on what is growing in the garden, prepare a taste for students to try. Do your best to have students try something different from what they tried the week prior. If possible, give them a taste of something that could also be found at a local farmers’ market.

 

  1. Conclusion

Ask students to share which of the four jobs described sound the most interesting to them and why.

Ask students if they are now more interested in a food job.

Ask students if they can think of any other food jobs that were not mentioned today.

Ask a few students to share something that they learned today.

 

  1. Materials

Fruit and Vegetable flashcards (1 set of cards per 4 students)

Supplies needed for tasting (napkins–$1.95)

 

  1. California State Standards

Next Generation Science:

3-LS2-1 Construct an argument that some animals form groups that help members survive.

K-ESS3-3 Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air and/or other living things in the local environment.

 

Common Core ELA:

SL.3.4 Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

 

Level: 1, 2

Special Requirements: N/A

Price Estimate: $1.95

HH Lesson 5: Food Marketing

 

  1. Objectives

Students will learn what the term “food marketing” refers to.

Students will know how advertising plays a role in why people buy certain food.

Students will be able to understand how food marketing plays a role in their own lives.

 

  1. Introduction

What brand or company have you seen an advertisement for? Can anyone tell us what the slogan is for McDonald’s? What other brands or companies have memorable slogans?

 

III. Activity

Have students divide up into groups of 4-5. Pass out the attachment to each group. Ask students to identify which brand should be paired with which slogan.

Answers are as follows:

  1. Skittles
  2. Subway
  3. McDonald’s
  4. Taco Bell
  5. Burger King
  6. M&Ms
  7. Snickers
  8. Frosted Flakes
  9. Monster Energy
  10. Pepsi
  11. Goldfish
  12. Lucky Charms
  13. Sour Patch Kids
  14. Oreos
  15. Cheetos
  16. Red Bull

 

Once students have completed the sheet, reveal the correct answers. Are these foods healthy? How many would be consider “junk food.” Then ask students to think about why they remember these slogans. Are they clever? Where do they see them?

 

In the same groups have students create a slogan or advertisement for something in the garden. Encourage them to think of reasons why people should eat or buy the food. Is it healthy? How does it taste? What does it look like? They can use the back of the hand-out to draw or write on, if they want.

 

Taste: Give students a taste of something in the garden that they have not tried before, if possible.

 

  1. Conclusion

Ask students:

What did you learn or what did you think was interesting about the activity.

How does marketing affect what we eat?

Would we eat healthier food if that is what was on TV, radio and social media?

What can we do at school to encourage our peers to eat better food?

 

  1. Materials

Copies of slogans

Supplies needed for tasting (napkins–$1.95)

 

  1. California State Standards: N/A

 

Level(s): 1

Special Requirements: cooking supplies

Price Estimate: $20.94

HH Lesson 6: Reading and Writing Recipes

 

  1. Objectives

Students will learn the key components of a recipe .

Students will be able to follow instructions in a recipe to get a final product.

Students will be able to construct their own recipes.

 

  1. Introduction

Ask students to raise their hand if they have ever cooked something by themselves or with an adult.

 

What is your favorite meal or food to cook? When you cooked something, did you follow a recipe? What information does  a recipe give you?

 

Reading a recipe is different from reading a book because it is a set of instructions for how to prepare a food or drink.

 

In following a recipe, it is important to look out for the following pieces:

The number of servings tells you how many people will be able to eat the food.  Using this information, you can know how many people to invite over for dinner!

 

The time tells you how long it will take to prepare the meal. For example, it takes longer to make cookies (25 minutes) than to make a sandwich (5 minutes).

 

One of the most important things to look for in a recipe is the list of ingredients. The ingredients are the individual items that you will need in order to make the final meal. Before you start cooking, you should check in your kitchen or garden to make sure that you have all of the ingredients that you will need.

 

The directions will give you a step-by-step description of what you need to do with all of the ingredients. It is important to follow the directions exactly so that you get the food that you want in the end.

 

Sometimes, recipes include a nutritional analysis. The nutritional analysis tells you about the fat, carbohydrates, fiber, protein, minerals and vitamins in a meal. This information is important because you can decide how much of the food you should eat based on your nutritional needs for the day. For example, if you had exercised a lot during the day and you want to build muscle, you can cook a meal that has a lot of protein.

 

III. Activity

Recipes often use a lot of vocabulary words that are not common in other situations. Review the definitions of the following words with students while referring to the image depicting the action:

  • carve-to cut into slices or pieces from a larger piece, usually used with meat
  • chop-using a knife to quickly cut food into bite-sized pieces, usually used with vegetables like carrots
  • drain-pouring off excess liquid from food, often refers to the process of removing water from pasta
  • grate-to rub cheese, vegetables, etc. on a rough/sharp surface to break it down into smaller pieces
  • knead-to mix or shape by folding, pressing, and stretching with one’s hands, usually refers to the process of mixing dough

 

Ask students if there any other words on the sheet that they are confused about.

 

To gain a grasp on these words, students will play a game of charades. Separate the class into two groups. In these groups, have individual students choose words off of the vocabulary/picture sheet and act out the word while other students guess. Once students seem to have a grasp on these vocabulary words, move on to the next section of the activity.

 

Bring the students together and make one large serving of pico de gallo salsa (enough for everybody to try  a small amount), according to the attached recipe.

 

Taste: Place a small amount of the pico de gallo salsa on tortilla chips and portion them out so that everyone can try the salsa. Ideally, the majority of the ingredients come from the garden.

 

  1. Conclusion

Ask students to guess the nutritional contents of the salsa .

Ask students what they plan on cooking when they get home with their parents.

Ask a few students to share something that they learned today about recipes and cooking.

 

  1. Materials

Ingredients for Pico de Gallo Salsa (as listed in recipe)

  • 12 plum tomatoes ($6.00)
  • 3 small white onion ($3.36)
  • 1 ½ cup cilantro leaf ($1.80)
  • 6-8 jalapeno peppers ($1.36)
  • salt ($0.89)

(above is 3x the amount of ingredients listed in the recipe so that there is enough salsa for three classes of students)

Tortilla chips ($5.58)

Printed recipe templates

Printed sheets with cooking vocabulary/pictures

Pencils (have students bring their own pencils)

Napkins for tasting ($1.95)

 

  1. California State Standards

Common Core ELA:

Language Standard 6, Grade 3–Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate conversational, general academic, and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal spatial and temporal relationships.

Foundational Skills: Phonics and Word Recognition–Know and apply grade level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words

 

Common Core Mathematics:

1.MD.4 Organize, represent and interpret data with up to three categories; ask and answer questions about the total number of data points, how many in each category, and how many more or less are in one category than in another

 

  1. Arts & Crafts in the Garden

Level(s): 1

Special Requirements: N/A

Price Estimate: $8.46

AC Lesson 1: Garden Haikus

 

  1. Objectives

Students will practice using descriptive and sensory language.

Students will be able to identify plants and foods to use in metaphors.

Students will be able to artistically depict the information that they receive from their five senses.

 

  1. Introduction

Ask students, “When you are exploring the garden, what makes you turn to a friend and say ‘Look at that!’?” Ex: bugs, budding flowers, dying leaves, shapes

 

Today, we are going to focus on using our five senses to interact with the garden.

Can anyone name one of the five senses? The five senses are touching, seeing, smelling, hearing and tasting.

 

III. Activity

  1. Touching

In groups of three, have students walk around the garden and gently touch different plants and leaves in the garden. Have students describe what these plants feel like as a class.

Give examples of “touch” words such as soft, spiky, warm, cold, rough, hard, bumpy, furry, feathery, sticky, prickly, etc.

 

  1. Seeing

In groups of three, have students walk around and notice what different plants in the garden look like. This can include shape and color of plants or any other aspect of the plants that the students find visually interesting. Have students describe what these plants look like as a class.

 

  1. Smelling

In groups of three, have students walk around and smell different plants in the garden. Direct students towards herbs, flowers, or any other plants that you know have a strong smell. Have students describe the smells as a class. Give examples of “smell” words such as sweet, spicy, strong, faint, earthy, etc.

 

  1. Hearing

While the garden itself is probably not making any noises, there are most likely noises around from the school, the nearby streets, birds, and maybe even some insects in the garden. Have students sit down and close their eyes for a few moments. While their eyes are closed, ask students to pay attention to the various noises in their surroundings. Have students describe what they heard as a class. Give examples of “sound” words such as beeping, chirping, ringing, roaring, scratching, slamming, shouting, etc.

 

The taste section will occur at the end of the lesson.

 

Pass out paper and colored pencils to students. Ask them to draw the plant that they described in the “Seeing” section, and to draw all aspects of the plant that they saw. Additionally, ask students to draw other aspects of the plant. For example, if the student heard birds chirping while looking at the plant, have the students draw birds in the picture. The goal is to make the drawings as descriptive and informative as possible.

 

  1. Tasting

Give students a taste of something in the garden that they have not tried yet, if possible. Ask students to describe what they are tasting with a partner as they eat the sample. Give examples of “taste” words such as bitter, sweet, fruity, fresh, sour, salty, rich, cold, tasteless, etc.

 

  1. Conclusion

Ask students if they can name the five senses.

Ask students if they learned something new about the garden by paying attention to their senses.

Ask a few students to share their drawings with the class.

 

  1. Materials

Paper  ($3.99)

3 Packs of Colored Pencils ($1.49 per pack of 12 pencils)

Pencils (have students bring their own pencils)

 

  1. California State Standards

Common Core ELA:

Text Types and Purposes 3d, Grade 4–Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely

 

Level(s): 1, 2

Special Requirements: heat, cooking supplies

Price Estimate: $17.23

AC Lesson 2: Plant-Based Paints

 

  1. Objectives

Students will know about different pigments in plants.

Students will know which pigments produce which colors, and why the pigments are important.

Students will know how to make their own plant-based paint.

 

  1. Introduction

Ask students all of the different colors they see in plants and flowers.

There are lots of different colors in plants and each color can be used to give some information about the plant.

  • The green color in plants indicates that there is a part of the plant that helps plants produce oxygen during a process called, “photosynthesis,” during which plants capture energy from the sun.
  • Yellow and orange colors indicate plants that have lots of nutrients that humans need.
  • Yellow colors that are in of fruits allow certain animals see the plants so they can be pollinated.
  • Purple and red colors help attract animals to the plants.

As you are describing these colors, point to plants in the garden that have the colors you are talking about.

 

III. Activity

Students will create their own plant-based paints.

  1. Boil 2 cups of water in a saucepan and add 1 cup of plant material to the water.
    1. Green: use oak bark, or crab apple leaves and bark
    2. Red: use cranberries or beets
    3. Yellow: use apple tree bark, white onion skins or turmeric
  2. After adding 1 cup of plant material to the water, allow to simmer at medium heat for 7-10 minutes while stirring with a spoon.
  3. Boil the concoction for 5 more minutes.
  4. Remove from the stovetop and allow to cool.
  5. Mix 4 tablespoons of baking soda and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar in a bowl with a fork.
  6. Mix 3 tablespoons of  cornstarch and ½ teaspoon of light corn syrup in the pigment solution.
  7. Stir until completely dissolved, if solution is lumpy, put over low heat until completely dissolved.
  8. Use a funnel to channel equal amount of the base into small containers.
  9. Cover the base with a layer of pigment extract (more for a darker color) and mix gently.

Allow students to create a picture with the paint.

 

Taste: Have students taste a plant of their choosing that has been used to create one of the paints.

 

  1. Conclusion

The colors we see in plants have a lot of very important uses other than just looking pretty. The plants need these colors for very important functions and humans can also use the pigments of plants for their everyday lives.

 

  1. Materials

Solar powered stove (in garden already)

Sauce pan (bring your own)

Corn syrup ($3.99)

White vinegar ($4.99 for 128 Fl. Oz.)

Corn starch ($2.19 for 16 Oz.)

Baking Soda ($1.69)

Funnel ($4.37 for 3)

 

  1. California State Standards

Visual and Performing Arts:

1.0 Artistic Perception–Processing, Analyzing, and Responding to Sensory Information Through the Language and Skills Unique to the Visual Arts–Students perceive and respond to works of art, objects in nature, events, and the environment. They also use the vocabulary of the visual arts to express their observations

 

Level(s): 1

Special Requirements: N/A

Price Estimate: $21.93

AC Lesson 3: Fruit and Vegetable Print

 

  1. Objectives

Students will be able to explore the intricate shapes and colors of fruits and vegetables.

Students will be able to practice craft skills in order to cut and shape fruits and vegetables.

Students will be able to understand the role that color plays in fruits and vegetables.

 

  1. Introduction

Ask students to raise their hand to share what fruit or vegetable they think is prettiest?

What are some bright colored fruits and vegetables? What are some dark colored fruits and vegetables? Do more vibrant colors taste better?

 

Color is important because: 1) Different colors of fruits and vegetables indicate the different nutrients that they contain. 2) Eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables helps you get enough of the different nutrients you need to have a strong immune system. 3) Your immune system defends your body from invaders and fights bacteria so that you do not get sick.

 

Red: Can you name some red fruits and vegetables? (bell peppers, cherries, beets, apples) Red fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants that are good for your heart.

Example: red apples have quercetin, which helps fight the cold and flu.

 

Orange: Can you name some orange fruits and vegetables? (sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots, peaches) Orange foods are loaded with vitamin A, which helps with eyesight.

 

Yellow: Can you name some yellow fruits and vegetables (bananas, summer squash, bell pepper, spaghetti squash)? Yellow fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of fiber that help with digestion.

Example: bananas contain potassium that helps with muscle cramps.

 

Green: Can you name some green fruits and vegetables? (asparagus, broccoli, spinach) Green fruits and vegetables are excellent for digestion, immune system strength, and clear skin. Green is a color found in the largest variety of foods and is your immune system’s best friend.

 

Blue: Can you name some blue fruits and vegetables? (plums, grapes, blueberries) Blue fruits and vegetables help with blood flow, concentration and memory.

 

Purple: Can you name some purple fruits and vegetables? (purple carrot, blackberry, grape, eggplant) Purple fruits and vegetables help create strong and glowing skin as well as maintain a healthy circulation.

 

III. Activity

Students will receive a piece of blank paper. Show students how to cut the fruits in half or into desired shapes. Cut a long piece of plastic wrap and run it across the table. Squeeze the different colored paints onto the plastic wrap slightly far apart from each other so that they do not mix and students can dip the sliced fruit onto it. Use the back of a plastic spoon to spread the paint across the fruit evenly and print it onto the placemat.

 

Students may need to wipe the fruit onto a paper towel before printing it onto the paper in order to remove excess paint.

 

  1. Conclusion

Ask students what their favorite fruits and vegetables are now that they know the different benefits associated with their color.

Ask students if they remember which color has the largest variety of foods.

Ask a few students to share something that they learned today, and to point out something that interested them.

 

  1. Materials

Paint ($7.69)

Apples ($1.10 each)

Oranges ($1.39)

Lemons ($1.49)

Limes ($0.69)

Knife ($3.89)

Chopping board ($3.99)

Plastic spoons ($1.99)

Plastic wrap ($3.29)

 

  1. California State Standards

Visual and Performing Arts:

Artistic Perception 1.1–Perceive and describe repetition and balance in nature, in the environment and in works of art.

Creative Expression 2.3–Depict the illusion of depth (space) in a work of art, using overlapping shapes, relative size, and placement within the picture.

Artistic Perception 1.4–Compare and contrast two works of art made by the use of different art tools and media.

 

Level(s): 1, 2, 3, 4

Special Requirements: heat

Price Estimate: $67.12

AC Lesson 4: Homemade Tea

 

  1. Objectives

Students will learn how to use ingredients from the garden in their own creative recipes.

Students will learn about the tradition of tea drinking in Chinese culture.

Students will learn about how the process of how tea leaves turns into the tea that we drink.

 

  1. Introduction

Ask students if and when they drink tea. If a student responds “yes” to this, ask them what their favorite type of tea is and what time of the day they usually drink it.

 

There is one legend that states that tea was first discovered by the Emperor of China 4,000 years ago. For a long time, people drank tea because of its “medicinal” qualities. This means that the herbs used in teas are good for you in different ways, depending on the herb or leaves used.

 

To make tea, there are a number of steps. First, tea leaves are harvested from tea gardens. The leaves are then laid outside to “wilt” and dry out. After the leaves are dry, they are rolled up, allowing for the leaves to give off a variety of flavors through different types of rolls. The leaves are left out in the air more and then heated so that they become almost completely dry.

 

There are 6 different types of Chinese tea, but we are only going to talk about two types that are very common here: black tea and green tea. The difference between black and green teas is that black tea is fully “fermented” or dried out while green tea is only lightly fermented. Because of this, black tea usually has a stronger taste than green tea does.

 

Pass around green and black tea leaves for the students to observe. Ask students if they notice any differences between the two types of leaves.

 

Once ships became common, European traders were able to get tea from China to Europe. After tea spread to England, the British brought tea over to America.

 

III. Activity

Follow the instructions below so that each student can make their own tea bag.

 

Cut the coffee filters earlier so that it is less complicated for the students to make their tea bags.

 

Prepare small bowls of the following ingredients so that students can design their own tea bag flavor:

  • Loose green tea leaves (all students should use this as their base)
  • Grated lemon/orange (from garden if possible)
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Cinnamon
  • Ground clove

 

Let students choose their ingredients and then ask them to come to you to seal their tea bag (and attach the string) as follows:

 

Taste: Boil water and let each student try their own tea that they created from green tea and citrus found in the garden.

 

  1. Conclusion

Ask students to share something new that they learned today.

Ask students if they prefer black or green tea.

Ask students to share more about the types of tea that they drink.

 

  1. Materials

Green tea leaves (for students’ observation) – World Market ($4.99)

Black tea leaves (for students’ observation) – World Market ($4.99)

Loose green tea leaves (for preparing tea)- World Market ($4.99)

Cone coffee filters (pre-cut for students) ($1.55)

Staplers (4.79)

Grater ($5.18)

Lemons/oranges ($1.49 each)

Cinnamon ($2.48)

Clove ($4.99)

Fresh mint leaves- mvseeds.com ($4.00)

Cups that can hold hot liquid – Target($2.59)

Bunsen burner ($6.15)

Tea kettle (or pot of water)  ($8.99)

Spoons ($1.99)

Bowls ($3.59)

String ($4.36)

 

  1. California State Standards

Visual and Performing Arts:

Artistic Perception 1.1–Describe and replicate repeated patterns in nature, in the environment, and in works of art.

Creative Expression 2.1–Use texture in two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of art.

Aesthetic Valuing 4.3–Describe how and why they made a selected work of art, focusing on the media and technique.

Connections, Relationships, Applications 5.4–Discuss artists in the community who create different kinds of art.

 

Level(s): 1, 2, 3, 4

Special Requirements: extended period of time (complex activity)

Price estimate: $66.56

AC Lesson 5: Papermaking

 

  1. Objectives

Students will understand how paper is made.

Students will know about the history of papermaking.

Students will understand the impact that paper has on the environment.

 

  1. Introduction

Ask student if they know where the paper that they use for school comes from.

Papermaking was discovered in China, when someone mashed pieces of bark, cloth and hemp in water until they became a pulp. He then drained the water and pressed and drained the fibers. In America, people used pulp from wood fibers to make paper. This may sound confusing, but it just means that paper comes from different parts of trees!

 

Disposable paper is now common, however this leads to plenty of waste and pollution if it is not recycled. Paper pollution is commonly caused by discarded paper as well as pulp mills that pollute the air, water and land. Paper is the third largest pollutant in the United States, amounting to 40% of the waste produced in the U.S. By 2020 it is estimated that 500,000,000 tons of paper will be produced! Great efforts should be made to protect the environment and recycle during this process.

 

III. Activity

Students will observe the Garden Ranger as he/she makes paper.

Follow these steps to make the paper:

  1. Fill the blender with ⅔ water and ⅓ ripped paper that is 1” thick. Ensure that you have not overfilled the blender. Blend until it is a mushy pulp.
  2. Fill the kitty litter tray with water until half full. Add blender after blender-full of pulp until you can scoop it.
  3. Place the screen into the kitty litter tup in a nearly vertical position. Dip the screen into the pulp in a smooth motion and quickly change into horizontal position.
  4. Lift the screen out of the pulp and let the water drain.
  5. Put a dry towel down on a wood surface and fold in two. Squeeze as much water as you can out of the scooped up pulp and place onto the towel to let drain.
  6. Cover pulp with towel and using a rolling pin, try to get as much water as possible out of it.
  7. Carefully remove the top part of the towel from the pulp. Flip the screen very carefully.
  8. Let it dry for as long as possible while students are tasting some food from the garden.
  9. If the paper is still not dry, tell the students that you will bring back the final paper product the following week to show them at the beginning of next week’s lesson. Find a safe place to store the paper until the next week.

 

Taste: Allow students to taste something in the garden. Ideally, have them taste something that they did not try last week.

 

Since the students have spent a lot of this week’s lesson sitting and listening, allow them to have some time to explore the garden in groups and think about what looks different in the garden from when they first started visiting it. Have the students share what they noticed to the class as a whole.

 

  1. Conclusion

Ask students if they recycle paper at home or at school.

Ask students why they think recycling paper is so important.

Ask students to share something new that they learned today.

  1. Materials

Recycled junk mail or newspaper (in garden)

Small buckets ($7.99)

Kitchen blender ($14.96)

Small kitty litter tray ($5.79)

Papermaking mold (easiest solution: plastic embroidery hoop with plastic window screening on it or an old wooden picture frame with window screening tightly stapled across it.)–Amazon ($29.99)

Several old towels (in garden)

Craft felt ($2.25)

Rolling pin- Amazon ($5.58)

Drying countertop (in garden)

Supplies needed for tasting (in garden)

 

  1. California State Standards

Visual and Performing Arts:

Historical and Cultural Context 3.1–Compare and describe various works of art that have a similar theme and were created at different time periods.

Historical and Cultural Context 3.5–Write about a work of art that reflects a student’s own cultural background.

Aesthetic Valuing 4.4–Identify and describe how various cultures define and value art differently.

 

Level(s): 1, 2, 3, 4

Special Requirements: N/A

Price Estimate: $9.90

AC Lesson 6: Nature Boards

 

  1. Objectives

Students will help create a nature board specifically for their garden

Students will be able to name and identify common animals and insects found in their garden.

Students will be able to name and identify the vegetables and fruits found in their garden.

 

  1. Introduction

Nature boards can be found in parks, national parks, museums etc. They are boards that contain varying types of information, such as a map, historical information on the place (i.e. date of establishment/foundation), size, common animals and/or plants found in the area and other tidbits of interesting information.  Students will now have the opportunity to create their own nature board for their own garden. These boards will serve as informational pieces for current and future students, as well as parents, teachers, administrators and visitors.

 

Some important aspects that the board can include:

 

  • Name of the garden and school

 

    • Map of the garden–the map should highlight all the different beds as well as other important aspects, such as learning tables, compost areas, kitchens etc.
    • History–when was the garden created or renovated?

 

  • Common animals found in the garden
  • Common fruits and vegetables
  • Other interesting facts and details about the garden

 

 

III. Activity

Students will first decide what type of information they want to include in the nature board. Have the students walk around the garden, writing down their ideas for what they want to include in the board. It might be more time-efficient if the ranger already has an idea of the layout for the board that the students can help put together.

 

At the top of the board, leave a small section for the title of the garden. For the map, have students color in a map of the garden that will go in the center of the board. Around the perimeter, fill in information on the common animals and insects found in the garden. Students can either draw their own picture, color in print outs or use pictures. This can also be a great opportunity to talk about these animals and insects and talk about their importance to the garden.

 

Information on the most common fruits and vegetables can also be added around the perimeter. Again, students can draw their own pictures, color in printouts or use pictures.

 

Ask students what other facts and pieces of information they want to add to the board. Let students get creative with this.

 

  1. Conclusion

Ask students what other things they would’ve like to see in their nature boards. Do they think future students will benefit from having this nature board?

 

  1. Materials

Markers and color pencils ($5.48)

Scissors ($.79)

Glue/Tape ($3.63)

Pictures or printouts of common animal/insects found in the garden (in garden)

Pictures or printouts of common fruits and vegetables found in the garden

Large board (in garden)

 

  1. California State Standards

Visual and Performing Arts:

Historical and Cultural Context 3.3–Distinguish and describe representational, abstract, and nonrepresentational works of art.

Artistic Perception 1.5–Describe and analyze the elements of art (e.g., color, shape/form, line, texture, space, value), emphasizing form, as they used in works of art and found in the environment.

 

  1. STEM

 

STEM Lesson 1

 

  1. Objectives

What is STEM? What are jobs that require STEM? What is science? What is math? What is engineering? What is technology? What is a scientist? What is an engineer? What is technologist? What is mathematician? How do you do science? How do you do math? How do you do engineering? How do you use technology?

 

  1. Introduction

Engage

TE: Ask students if they know what an acronym is and give some examples, asking for them to share their own examples in return (i.e. NFL, LOL, ASAP). Next give them the acronym STEM.

 

  1. Write STEM on whiteboard vertically:

– Science

– Technology

– Engineering

– Math

Have students raise their hand if they have heard of that word before.

 

  1. Ask students to share with neighbor what the words mean.

*Model with puppets for young children.

**Remind older students about listening and turn taking.

 

  1. Ask students to share what they discussed with neighbor. Get each pair to share from at least one category of STEM. Write their definitions on the whiteboard.

Students share out thoughts with whole group.

 

III. Activity

Explore

  1. Separate students into four groups.

*Younger students have prop box for each category.

**Older students have mixed materials.

Go over how to be respectful and handle materials with care. (Puppets for younger students)

 

  1. Encourage students to explore materials in bag with classmates. Teacher will rotate amongst groups reminding students of questions to ask themselves:

 

 * What is this material called?

 * How do I use it?

 * Why do I use this?

 * When do I use this?

 * In what types of jobs do people use these tools?

 

Questions might be written on the whiteboard or chart paper. Also, leave definitions of STEM visible for students to refer to help identify objects.

 

Younger students will engage in exploratory play and be guided in small group conversations with open-ended questions to identify with topic of STEM their bag belongs in. If time allows, younger students might explore more than one bag. Older students will be asked to sort materials into each topic of STEM with a notecard for each category to separate their piles (allow room for flexible placement of materials).

 

  1. Encourage children to find ways to test these tools in the garden. Rotate asking questions such as: Are they useful? How does this help the garden?

Students can freely use materials to investigate the garden.

 

Explain

  1. With younger students, the teacher invites a speaker from each group to share identification of the material bag. With older students, the teacher creates a space/table for each subject and asks for 4 people from each group to put the items from each area in the identified subject. The teacher asks the child why they identified that subject area and to give an example of how the object is used in real life. Peers can help as needed.

 

Younger students select one representative (or teacher chooses) to come up and share what their group explored. Older students select four representatives (or teacher chooses) to come up and put materials in appropriate section. Students explain why they identified the materials under that specific STEM area. They can call on peers for support.

 

Elaborate

  1. Offers supportive explanations and makes personal connections to real-world experiences (TE component). Teacher exclaims, “You are real scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and technologists!” Teacher asks students to share their experiences with these materials at home.

 

Students share with their neighbor a time they experienced these materials or activities at home or outside of school.

 

  1. Conclusion

Evaluate

  1. Reviews four career categories:

* What is a scientist?

* What is an engineer?

* What is technologist?

* What is mathematician?

Students reflect on understandings of these fields after the experiences with the prop bags to describe each career. They act out each career from their seat.

 

  1. Ask: How are these jobs important in the garden? What would a scientist/engineer/technologist/mathematician do in the garden?

Students share with a peer about each topic for one minute on each career area in relation to the garden.

 

  1. Materials

Whiteboard/Markers/Eraser

Materials bag for each subject:

-Science: pieces of garden plant, bug, and animal life, soil, water, rocks, magnifying glasses, nutrition cards, test tubes/beakers/petri dishes

-Technology: PH measurer, Sunlight measurer, clock, machines, simple robots, cameras

-Engineering: pieces of wood, parts of tools, hard hat, cars, trains, airplanes,legos, building materials, blueprints

-Math: rulers, compass, scale, measuring cups, thermometer, unifix cubes,

Signs/Cards that say each subject: science, technology, engineering, and math

 

STEM Lesson 2

 

  1. Objectives

What are some designs naturally found in nature? What is the Fibonacci sequence? How do we recognize the Fibonacci sequence? What are some examples in the garden of the Fibonacci sequence? What other designs are there in nature? What is the difference between nature’s design and human-made design?

 

  1. Introduction

Engage

TE: I love finding living creatures in the garden, especially the snails with the spiral shell. I noticed that there are spiral patterns in other parts of nature, like the way branches grow on trees.

 

  1. Read Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature, by Joyce Sidman. Allow for student comments and participation, even encourage some movement.

Students listen and participate with comments (possibly movements for younger students) while the teacher reads the story.

 

III. Activity

Explore

  1. Invite students to search the garden for spiral shapes and give the name, Fibonacci sequence, attached to the spiral shape. Encourage conversation with peers and independent seeking for the shapes. Give students the chance to find items organically in the garden.

*Point out tree branches, fingerprints, and other spirals if they are stuck.

Students explore the garden and surrounding area to find Fibonacci’s sequence/spiral.

 

Explain

  1. Invite students to bring their item to the circle/table and hold onto it. Draw golden rectangle and Golden spiral. Students observe how to draw Fibonacci’s sequence.

 

  1. Students are invited to examine their object to notice the spiral shape. Show their neighbor, is it Fibonacci? Why or why not?

 

  1. Students are invited to draws the squares and create their own spirals with a compass.

Students practice making their own Fibbonaci sequence.

 

  1. Write the number pattern (Fibonacci sequence: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, etc.) on the board and ask students to figure it out for a challenge.

*This link shows connection to golden proportion (1:1.61803398 –) when the previous number is divided by the following number in the sequence (skipping 1 obviously). Link here for more information:

http://scientificman.com/2013/04/14/the-golden-ratio-fibonacci-series-and-their-applications/

Students work to figure out the pattern to Fibonacci sequence. They observe several examples of Fibonacci sequence in real life scenarios (rabbits, ratio of fingers, etc.)

 

Elaborate

  1. Ask students to think about other edible food or garden objects that show Fibonacci sequence.

Students pause to recall food and garden items they have seen that show Fibonacci sequence, share with partner.

 

  1. Break students into three groups, put one item with each group: i.e. sunflower, broccoli, and pineapple . Ask them to find Fibonacci sequence.

Students will share their observations of patterns in nature with their peers and teacher. They will help to cut broccoli and pineapple. The 3rd group will simply do observations of the sunflowers and seashells.

 

  1. Help children prepare food to taste Fibonacci fruits and vegetables

Children enjoy helping to prepare a Fibonacci tasting

Students bring food scraps to compost pile (important role to connect to later in the STEM compost lessons).

 

  1. Conclusion

Evaluate

TE: Whenever I look closely at something in nature I’ll be looking for Fibonacci! When I watched “Life of Pi” there were several scenes about Fibonacci!

 

  1. Give students a sunflower to take back to their classroom, as well as the pineapple top to attempt to grow if their classroom teacher desires.

Share any home experiences with spirals in nature.

 

  1. Materials

Whiteboard/Markers/Eraser or Chart Paper/Markers

Clipboards

Paper

Pencils/Erasers

Journals

Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature, by Joyce Sidman

Snail shells, flowers, cauliflower, broccoli, pineapple, and other examples of Fibonacchi’ s sequence (make sure to have at least one vegetable, one fruit, and one set of flowers for each class, i.e. if you are teaching 3 classes you will need 3 heads of broccoli, 3 pineapples, and at least 3 sunflowers)

Ranch dip or hummus for broccoli/spiral vegetable

Bag of seashells (on same table as sunflowers)

Bell or Chime

Visual Timer

 

STEM Lesson 3

 

  1. Objectives

How are gardens designed? What subject areas of STEM do we incorporate in garden design? What do we call a person who designs space?

 

  1. Introduction

Engage

TE: Sometimes when I visit a friend’s house or notice gardens on a walk through my neighborhood, I see walkways made of stone, wooden boxes for garden beds, and ceramic pots for plants. I wonder how they were designed…

 

  1. Ask students to stand and stay standing if: Who has a garden at their house? Who have a plant at their house?

Ask students to sit down. Students will look around to notice how many of them “live” with plants.

 

  1. Ask students: Where they do you live and sleep? How was that space built? Where do plants live and sleep at your school? Who built that space and how?

Students will connect that gardens are a built space for plants to live in.

 

III. Activity

Explore

  1. Invite students to grab a clipboard and a pencil to walk around the garden, choosing a particular section or garden bed to draw.

*Young children are shown how to notice simple shapes and directed to one garden bed.

**Older children are directed towards a large section or the entire garden.

Students find a space in the garden to draw. They do their best attempt at observational and representational gardening with paper and pencil.

 

Explain

  1. Ask students to break out into small groups and they share a blueprint. Teachers direct children to the blueprint and have an Expert Architect lead them through understanding the basic components (i.e. perimeter, drawn to scale, spacing, labeling, etc.).  The expert explains a blueprint as a set of instructions, comparing that to putting together legos or some other type of toy.

*Younger students are drawn to 3-5 components.

**Older students are drawn to 5-8 components.

 

Children follow along with the Expert Architect to learn about blueprints. They help each other find the parts and engage in quiet conversation between the directions and explanations given by the expert (most likely a parent). Children make connections between sets of instructions they have seen for toys/legos with a blueprint as a set of instructions for a building.

 

Elaborate

  1. Expert introduces special paper and tools that the children will use for drawing.  Expert goes into more detail about how to make a scale with older students (4th grade and up). Children listen to instructions on using specific materials and tools.

 

  1. Expert and teacher guide children through using tools to redesign their original garden drawing. Adults encourage children to use more precise lines, measurements, and representation in the drawings.

*Younger students practice making clear shapes with lines and circles.

**Older students are asked to use scales in their garden drawings.

 

Teacher reminds students of the components of the blueprint discussed in their group work and to add these to their drawings. Students elaborate on their understanding of blueprints while using real tools and paper for redesigning the original garden drawing. They incorporate components such as scales, keys, labels, perspective, etc.

 

  1. Conclusion

Evaluate

  1. Teacher regroups students to compare drawing with and without architect tools. A Venn Diagram is used to show the differences and similarities. Students share their experiences with the handwritten and architectural tools for creating a garden design/blueprint. Using a Venn Diagram as a visual, the students are able to see the differences and connections between various design methods.

 

  1. Materials

Whiteboard/Markers/Eraser

Clipboards

Paper

Pencils/Erasers

Chart Paper

Markers

Journals

Garden Design or Building Design blueprint

Tracing Paper

Compasses

Various rulers

Bell or Chime

Visual Timer

 

STEM Lesson 4

 

  1. Objectives

Applying previous knowledge about design to use materials to design something from the garden with hands-on materials.

 

  1. Introduction

Engage

TE: I was so impressed with your garden sketches last week. When I got home I was checking out my patio and figuring out how I might design a small garden bed to grow some winter vegetables, like carrots and beets.

 

  1. Invite students to think about how materials are put together to build a garden bed. What might the builder need? Students share materials and tools that a builder would need to create a garden bed.
  2. Ask students: What are items that were built in our garden? Instruct them that they will be finding something to stand by, and then talking with the others around them about how this item was built. Tell them to go stand by something that was built in the garden (tomato trellis, garden bed, table, shelf, shed, fence, etc.). Encourage students to spread out. Focus on foundations and structural support.

**Make sure to point out concrete in foundations!

 

Students move around the garden to stand by something that was build in the garden. They examine closely the parts and pieces, looking at how it was put together. They talk with their group about how it was built.

 

III. Activity

Explore

  1. Explain to the students that they will have the opportunity to use popsicle sticks and clay to design and build something from the garden. Guide them to connecting the similarities of clay and concrete. Encourage them to reflect on the blueprints from the week before and what they have discussed about how things are built.

 

Students discuss components of structure and foundation in the objects they found. They identify concrete and compare it to clay. Students engage freely in creating a design from popsicle sticks and clay using concepts about design and building from previous lessons. They are invited to use a combination of knowledge and information with creativity.

 

Explain

  1. Invite students to slowly walk around and look at each other’s designs. Encourage students to examine each other’s designs carefully.

Students walk around and check out each other’s designs. They engage in open conversation.

 

Children follow along with the Expert Architect to learn about blueprints. They help each other find the parts and engage in quiet conversation between the directions and explanations given by the expert (most likely a parent). Children make connections between sets of instructions they have seen for toys/legos with a blueprint as a set of instructions for a building.

 

Elaborate

  1. With a clipboard, paper, and pencil, teacher assigns students with another person. Teacher instructs students to write down 2-3 things their partner did well (like a real engineer), and 2-3 things their partner could do better (constructive criticism). Teacher encourages quiet for contemplation.

*Younger students sit with whole group and discuss a few selected examples of design.

Students draw on previous knowledge to give each other written positive reinforcement and constructive criticism.

 

  1. Conclusion

Evaluate

  1. Teacher instructs students to share with their partner the feedback. If necessary, the teacher models how to politely give feedback, both positive and constructive.

*Younger students continue with whole group conversation, perhaps sorting designs by type and saying something positive to each person about their design.

Students take turns sharing their notes and thoughts on each other’s design.

 

  1. Materials

Popsicle sticks

Clay

Journals

Whiteboard

Markers

Pencils

Clipboards

Camera

 

STEM Lesson 5

 

  1. Objectives

Apply principles of design and structure to building a model of a compost bin in small group work.

 

  1. Introduction

Engage

  1. (TE) Last week after looking at photographs of your designs and how you used the clay and popsicle sticks, I starting thinking more about how engineers design and put together materials for a specific purpose. Often times engineers design and build something new to solve a problem. I began to think about problems we have in the garden. What kinds of problems do you notice in the garden? (Lead to observations of compost in the open for rodents, and lack of darkness and moisture needed to harness decomposition)

 

Students identify problems in the garden and share out with the whole group. Students make observations of the open compost in the garden and recognize problems this might cause.

 

III. Activity

Explore

  1. Tell students that to solve the problem of compost being open in the garden, they will be designing models for compost bins. Ask the students to identify various 3D shapes.

 

  1. Give students the challenge:

To work with a small group of peers to design a compost bin that can hold the most weight of compost.

Question: What 3D shape and design holds the most compost?

Teacher answers any of the students’ questions about the challenge.

 

Students paraphrase the challenge and ask questions for understanding.

 

  1. Teacher instructs students to communicate and work together in a small group of 4 (or 3 if uneven number) to build a model compost together. When the students have completed their model, they are asked to fill it with compost from the garden. Part of the challenge is to build a structure that will be able to be moved and hold compost. Teacher reiterates that ALL members of the group must participate and are held accountable. Projects will not be allowed in the challenge if group members are left out or choose not to participate. Teacher asks for thumbs up that they understand the challenge Requirements. Teachers rotate to make sure students are following guidelines during group work.

 

Students actively listen to the challenge guidelines. Following, students engage in conversation to agree on a 3D shape that they predict will hold the most compost. They work on the design together. When completed, students fill their model with compost. Compost must fit inside the container and not overflow.

 

Explain

  1. Teacher brings compost model designs to center of group’s attention and asks them to hypothesize which one will hold the most weight of compost.

 

  1. Teacher weighs each design and records the weight, removing any compost that is overflowing the container. Students from each small group stand as the teacher weighs the compost.

 

Elaborate

  1. Teacher instructs students to talk with group about why they think the shape that held the most did indeed. Teacher asks: Was it the shape? Was it the design? What other factors may have played into this model holding the most compost in weight?

 

Students analyze the results of the compost bin. Why did that design hold the most compost?

 

  1. Teacher invites students to share their thoughts on why a certain shape held the most compost in weight. Students share their thoughts from their small group discussions.

 

  1. Conclusion

Evaluate

  1. Teacher writes the scientific process on the whiteboard:
  2. Ask a question
  3. State a hypothesis
  4. Conduct an experiment
  5. Analyze the results
  6. Make a conclusion

Teacher asks student to identify what part of the lesson was connected to each step of the process as part of their reflection.

 

  1. Materials

Whiteboard

Markers

Popsicle Sticks

Masking Tape

Scales

 

STEM Lesson 6

 

  1. Objectives

Apply principles of design and structure to building a model of a compost bin in small group work.

 

  1. Introduction

Engage

  1. Teacher engages students in recalling their task to build a model compost bin the prior week. Teacher also asks students the role of an earthworm in the garden:

*What was the purpose of building a compost bin for the garden? What purpose did it serve?

*What is the role of an earthworm in the garden? What does it do?

 

Students recall previous experiences with building a compost and it’s purpose, as well as recalling in the Friend vs Foe lesson that worms are a foe and the value of their role in creating soil.

 

III. Activity

Explore

  1. Teacher passes around samples of clay, silt, sand, and soil and asks students to identify the samples. The teacher encourages students to speak with each other and explain how or why they know.

*What properties or characteristics does this have that tells you it is silt/sand/soil/clay?

**Younger students work in larger groups with a teacher guiding

**Older students work in smaller groups more independently to identify the samples first and are given vocabulary as needed

 

Students match the sample with the correct index card. Students engage in conversation about the differences between the samples and use teacher’s probing questions to deepen their thinking.

 

  1. Teacher explains the differences between the sand, silt, clay, and soil.

*Sand – is the largest particle with the most space between each grain of sand. Doesn’t hold water well and doesn’t stick together. Sand has the most air and crumbles in your hand.

*Silt – has fine particles, but feels similar to sand. Silt is light and dry, making it blow away in the wind easily. When mixed with water it makes mud.

*Clay – has the finest particles, but it is heavy and dense. The particles are close together so there is less air (oxygen) and it makes it hard for plants to grow in clay. When is it dry it is very hard.

*Soil – has a combination of sand, silt, clay, and compost matter. There are particles of different sizes, making it allow for space for plants to grow.

 **Soil is able to hold onto water and stick   together, but not too sticky like clay.

 **Soil is heavier than silt, so it doesn’t blow away.

 **Soil has air so plants can grow, but not too much dryness and air like sand.

 

Students make connections to their experiences with different types of soil. They ask questions they don’t understand and observe the differences between sand, silt, clay, and soil.

 

Explain

  1. Teacher explains that students will be working in small groups to help create compost or organic matter. Teacher introduces centers to groups, reinforcing that there will be a lead teacher at each group as follows:
  2. Fruit Salad Making with intern or classroom teacher
  3. Making Compost Bottles with garden ranger
  4. Building a Compost Worm Bin with intern

Students listen and paraphrase instructions back to the teacher.

 

Elaborate

  1. Students break into small groups and work with teacher on various projects for 15 minute rotations:
  2. Cutting up fruit and putting scraps aside to be used with group B. Explaining how compost needs food scraps to make soil. Students cut up fruit and make a fruit salad. They work to make food scraps to go to group B.
  3. Teacher guides students through the following steps:

If using two bottles: make holes in both bottles in the top half. Students cut the bottom off of bottle A to be recycled. Students cut bottle B in half. Student turn bottle A upside down into the bottom half of bottle B.

If only using ONE bottle: make holes in the top half of the bottle.

Students fill bottle with the layers in the following order from bottom to top:

1st – leaves and sticks, 2nd – soil, 3rd – food scraps, 4th – leaves or shredded paper, 5th – moisture, 6th – leaves and sticks , 7th – soil , 8th – food scraps , 9th – leaves or shredded paper, 10th – moisture

Students put the top of bottle B to close the compost bottle and tap the top on as needed.

Teacher discusses the role of bacteria in making compost.

  1. Students work following teacher’s guidance to assemble a compost worm bin. Teacher guides students through drilling holes, layering soil and newspaper and worms, as well as adding food scraps at the end. Teacher discusses the role of worms in breaking down food.

 

  1. Conclusion

Evaluate

  1. Teacher asks students what primary organism helps break down food and materials to make soil in a compost bottle (bacteria), and what primary organism helps break down the food and materials in the large compost bin (worms).

Teacher helps student recognize that bacteria is a micro-organism and you need a microscope to identify, and that worms are large enough to see with the naked eye.

 

Students recall conversations with teachers during group rotations to identify the organisms that break down food and materials into soil. Students recognize the relative size of these organisms.

 

  1. Materials

Worm bin

Drill

Newspaper

1 pound worms

Water

Watering Can

Bowls

Spray bottle

Funnel

Food scraps

Water bottles (1-2 per student)

Fruit with peels and skins (bananas, strawberries, apples, pineapple, kiwis)

Peelers

Knives

Cutting Boards

Samples of Silt, Sand, Soil, and Clay (3 sets)

 

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