Plant a Garden Project-Based Learning Unit
Hey, y'all! Spring is right around the corner and I am so ready for it! We're getting ready for our insects, life cycles, and plant units in the next few weeks. And, since we are a STEM school, we're planning out our next project-based learning unit.
We already have a large garden on our campus that produce a pretty amazing crop for our farmer's market, but we wanted to get our littlest learners in on the action, too. So this spring, they'll be planning and mapping out their own garden with this project-based learning unit.
First, we have the kids map out the space of their garden. We talk about area and perimeter and taking into account any structures that may be near the garden.
Then, we have the kids calculate the costs of the building materials. We get local flyers from home improvement stores for the kids to reference. If you don't have a store near you, you can always have them go online to Home Depot or Lowes websites as a reference. Or you could print out some options for them to choose from.
Next, students choose the plants they want to include. We again use local ads to choose our plants. After we picked out plants and decided where to put them in the garden, we calculate the costs of the plants and add it to our building materials costs. You could choose to give your students a budget for this or just let them go for it. Whatever works for you.
When all the calculations are done, students map out their final plans. The odds are good that their rough draft has changed a bit and that they need a clean copy to turn in. We'll be having our students use things like popsicle sticks, Wiki sticks, and play dough to create 3D models of their gardens as part of their final presentation.
We'll also be having students write about it all, too. For the "How to Take Care of a Plant" page, students will be choosing one plant to write about. They'll be figuring out how much water, sun, and space it needs in order to grow.
I don't expect my first graders to take into account all the plants' needs they picked out, but they can research one to tell us more about.
They'll also have opportunities to stretch their imaginations and write some narratives about their gardens!
This unit is sure to be a hit in your first or second grade classroom and you can find out more about it here. I'm always adding new resources so be sure to follow me on TPT for all the latest resources, ideas, and freebies.
I hope you found some new ideas for your classroom. Have a wonderful week and I'll talk to you soon.