Plant Parts Salad

vegetable salad

Students will harvest vegetables from the garden, taste a variety of plants andlearn about their nutritional value. Students will learn parts of a plant bymaking a ‘plant parts salad.’

Square Foot Garden

square foot garden with plant in it

Students will review how plants grow and what plants need to grow through kinesthetic modeling. An optional experiment is included to view the effect of plant spacing. Finally, students create square foot gardens, reviewing math concepts of fractions and measuring length.

Shadow Sticks

old stone compass

Students will explore how to use the movement of the sun to tell time and direction without a clock or a compass and extend this understanding by making a shadow stick / sun dial. Students can further create a sun map of the schoolyard garden to determine how the sun’s movement across the sky could … Read more

Sorting Out Soils

red oxidized soil

Students will build an understanding of the idea that all of our food relies on healthy soil (beyond fruits and vegetables, to bread, eggs, milk, honey, meat, etc). Students will compare soil samples and explore the different ingredients in soil by dissecting soil samples and doing a “soil shakedown.”

The Dust Bowl


Students will explore the causes and effects of the Dust Bowl along with what life was like during the Dust Bowl. They will then model how dust moves and investigate solutions for soil conservation that are good farming practices for today.

No Monkeys, No Chocolate

Cacao tree

Students will play a game pretending to be birds hunting for worms to understand how camouflage is an effective adaptation for survival over many generations. Students will play another game hiding different color “insects” made of pipe cleaners in the garden to understand camouflage further. Students will also explore plant adaptations and co-adaptations or co-evolution.

Garden Safari

worm in hand

Students will use their senses to explore objects from the schoolyard and then classify them as living or non-living, developing descriptors for each of the two classifications. Further explorations demonstrate plant movement (as a qualifier for being “living”) and provide an opportunity for students to sort plants based on observable traits.

George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver

Students will compare and contrast George Washington Carver’s life and times and explore his contributions to science. Then, students will use methods that he developed for growing and cooking sweet potatoes.

Solar Cooking

clouds in the sky

Students will investigate the movement of heat energy (convection, conduction, insulation) and use their understanding of heat energy to design a solar oven and to design a method for extending the growing season in the schoolyard garden.

Rotting Away

algae in a pond

Students will review the tree life cycle and then extend their understanding to the rotting of the logs. Students will learn about the different decomposers (fungus, bacteria, invertebrates) then search for evidence of them in the garden.