Predicting Weather

warm pink cloud over mountains

Students will make a wind vane, anemometer, barometer, and thermometer to measure wind direction, wind strength, air pressure, and temperature. They will collect data from these instruments and use this information to make predictions about the weather that will help inform decisions they make for their 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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

Air Pollution Detecting Gardens

Students will learn about biomonitoring – what it means, how it is used, and how we can use it to learn more about our schoolyard garden.

Worm Your Way Out of This

worms in the dirt

Students will explore waste diversion techniques like composting and discover how worms can be an integral part of the process. As an extension, the class can make a worm bin.