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Keywords: Science in the Garden, Math in the Garden, Group Activity in the Garden, Outdoor Classroom Activities
Subject(s): Biology, Photography, Video, Technology, Science, Earth Science, Math
Grades P-K through 8
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: St Luke School, Barrington, RI
Planned By: Candace Clavin Rein
Original Author: Candace Clavin Rein, Barrington
Students record initial observations in the garden through journals, video and still photography. First recordings include: soil conditions rainfall, temperature, daylight and darkness, any other aspects and sightings in the garden. (Pests, animals, debris, compost, insects, etc)

During the week, groups of students make observations and recordings.

Once every 7 days on a rotating schedule, students record the garden growth and changes. For instance, in Autumn, garden life begins to shut down, change color and appearance, produce seed, fruit and root growth.
There is always change in the garden, even under the soil throughout the winter. Each season new animals come to visit the garden beds and leftovers.

Discuss how even leaving the seed heads and stalks and grasses in the fall allows many other forms of life to thrive aside from what we originally planted.

Develop a graph showing the curve and relationship between moisture and growth, temperature and growth. Sunlight and growth or fruit production.

Add commercially bought nutrients to one part of garden. Photograph and record difference in test group.
Add compost to one part of garden. Record difference.
Add worm castings to one part of garden. Record differences.

Compare all three types of outdoor classroom additions to soil. Test, weigh, examine the soil up close using students' suggestions.

Older students may even use soil testing kits for acidity and mineral tests.

Any of the items could be used.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Journaling for writing skills.
Scientific calculations and test groups.
Math graphing, weighing, counting of amounts.
Social Studies discussion of mining of nutrients, water and soil needs for agriculture, marketing of goods produced in different climates. trade routes of food,
Grow vegetables and make salad to share. Weigh produce. Meaure garden output and enjoy student's hard work with a picnic in th garden while watching results.
Links: Link to Outdoor Classroom and Garden Education Site
Materials: Video Tools, Flash/USB Drives, Middle, Cause and Effect
Other Items: 1 Video Tool
4 Calculator Elementary
2 Calculator Graphing
1 Microphone
1 Flip Video Camera
1 Microscope
1 Tripod
1 Flash Drive