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Lesson Plan

Let It Grow: An Inquiry-Based Organic Gardening Research Project

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Let It Grow: An Inquiry-Based Organic Gardening Research Project

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Unit
Estimated Time Nine 45-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Loraine Woodard

Loraine Woodard

Berkeley, California


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



Struggling readers at the middle school level often become frustrated with research projects because of their low literacy skills. However, they are often very creative, kinesthetic learners, and when a research project is scaffolded properly, they are able to work independently, think critically, and accomplish a finished product they can feel proud of. This project motivates students to learn about organic gardening by developing their own research questions, conducting research, and gardening at their school. They then create signs about their plants and present their research to the class so that other students can learn about each plant.

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Organic Gardening Research Project: Have your students use this helpful handout to track their research and observations and to prepare their oral presentations.

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Owens, R.F., Hester, J.L., & Teale, W.H. (2002). Where do you want to go today? Inquiry-based learning and technology integration. The Reading Teacher, 55(7), 616625.

  • Inquiry-based projects differ from traditional research projects in that they encourage students to formulate more expansive questions that explore meaning and different ways the information gathered could be used.

  • The focus on inquiry increases student involvement in the topic and encourages reading and writing.

  • Teachers can select themes and topics for students to work with but it is important that they be broad and interest students.

  • Underachieving students are especially well served by student-centered research projects when teachers take the time to encourage student interest, provide resources when they are needed, and give students time to share their findings with other students.

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