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Home Classroom Resources Lesson Plans

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

Publisher

International Reading Association

 

Materials and Technology

Printouts

Websites

Preparation

 

MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGY

  • Gardening books and encyclopedias

  • Computers with Internet access

  • Decorative and edible plant seeds

  • An indoor or outdoor garden space

  • Sifted compost or organic gardening soil

  • Containers and tools for planting

  • Sign-making materials

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PRINTOUTS

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WEBSITES

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PREPARATION

1. Obtain enough seed packets so that there is at least one for each student in the class. You will want a mix of edible and decorative plants; organic seeds are preferable. You will also need sifted compost or organic gardening soil as well as tools for planting. A local gardening organization or nursery may be willing to donate all of these materials.

2. Create a classroom garden. You will need a sunny space, indoors or out, to plant the seeds in pots, containers, garden boxes, or directly into the ground. For edible plants, make sure there is no risk of heavy metals or lead paint in the soil and pick a place where refuse or animal feces are not deposited. If you will be using containers to hold the plants, set up a table where students can do their planting work.

3. If you need to, reserve time in your school's computer lab for research on the Internet. You will want at least three 45-minute sessions; these do not need to be on consecutive days.

4. Visit the websites listed in the Resources section and familiarize yourself with their contents. Many of these sites have excellent search tools that you can encourage your students to use. Some of them have links to other gardening sites that may or may not be appropriate for your class. Still others have areas that are intended for young gardeners. You may want to bookmark these sites on the classroom or lab computers that your students will use.

5. Assemble gardening books and encyclopedias that students can use for research. You can bring these from home or check them out of the library.

6. Gather materials that students can use to make signs: cardstock or other heavy paper, markers, scissors, glue, sticks, and tape. If you are able, arrange access to a laminating machine.

7. Make a copy of the Organic Gardening Research Project handout for each student in the class.

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