Science Curriculum

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning.”Albert Einstein, Relativity: The Special and the General Theory
When I go into the garden with a spade, and dig a bed, I feel such an exhilaration and health that I discover that I have been defrauding myself all this time in letting others do for me what I should have done with my own hands.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Garden to Table

  • Students will assist with planning, planting, maintaining and harvesting the gardens.
  • Students will understand plant life cycles.
  • Students will understand the benefits of gardens and plants.
  • Students will learn the necessary means to maintaining the gardens by understanding the needs of the plants. ie: water, sunlight, fertile soil etc.
  • Students will make connections between our gardens and real life and understand where food comes from. (Farmers grow the food, we can buy the food at the grocery store etc.)
  • Kindergarten students will operate a farmers market during which they can sell produce to parents and develop a plan for using the funds generated to expand or maintain student gardens.
  • Students will understand and experience a variety of types of gardens and a variety of plants grown within our gardens.
  • Students will have an understanding of what is edible and non-edible.
  • Students will develop an understanding of the roles of various animals in gardening.  ie: butterflies and bees pollinate, birds and squirrels distribute seeds, worms and insects fertilize and till the soil etc.

Students will make connections between our gardens and core content areas:

Vegetable Soup Garden (Literature Garden)

  • Plant vegetables suitable for consumption with school lunches.
  • Plant vegetables for Student Run Farmer’s Market (Kindergarten).

Van Gogh’s Van Grow Garden (Art Garden)

  • Plant flowers that relate to Van Gogh’s paintings.
  • Explore color and patterns in nature.

Hydroponic Indoor Garden (Math and Social Studies Garden)

  • Plant tomatoes and measure growth over time.
  • Use charts and graphs to document growth over time.
  • Use prediction to estimate tomato growth.
  • Sell tomatoes at Student Run Farmer’s Market (Kindergarten).
  • Measure the nutrients needed to grow the plants (with Joseph).

Scent Garden (Science Garden)

  • Plant items that will put off a fragrance such as lavender and thyme.
  • Connect to a unit/lesson on the 5 senses.

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”
Groucho Marx, The Essential Groucho: Writings For By And About Groucho Marx

Study of Animals

  • Students will develop an understanding of the types of animals: mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects and birds and will have an opportunity to observe and classify our animals based on their attributes.
  • Students will make connections between our animals and the animals outside the school based on their observations.
  • Students will be able to make connections between their needs as humans and the needs of animals and will determine how to meet those needs. (providing warmth, clean water, suitable habitat, proper food, shelter etc) Students will provide these items as it is appropriate.
  • Students will learn to respect animals and their need for space and will interact with the animals in a positive manner and with an understanding of this need.
  • Students will understand the life cycle of each of these animals.
  • Students will understand the resources provided by these animals (eggs, waste for composting, worm tea/compost, etc).
  • Students will harvest these resources as appropriate.
  • Students will understand food chains and be able to relate them to our animals. (ie. Chickens eat the meal worms from the earth terrarium, Spike eats the crickets from the terrarium, the cockroaches eat the leftover food, worms eat our left over food and then the chickens eat the worms, and we eat the eggs from the chickens).

Earth Friendly Practices

  • Students will understand composting and the benefits of composted materials.  Students will also be able to identify compostable materials and will maintain a compost bin for discarded items.
  • Students will understand the role of the worms in composting.
  • Students will use compost when developing new garden beds.
  • Students will understand the benefits and process of recycling.
  • Students will be able to identify and sort recyclable materials.
  • Students will maintain recycling bins in each classroom as well as in the science classroom.
  • Kindergarten Students will assist with recycling collection and removal to a recycling facility.
  • Students will understand conservation and the benefits of conservation of energy, water, natural resources and habitats.
  • Students will conduct a conservation audit to develop ways to conserve at school.  (shutting off the lights when leaving the classroom, only running the water in the bathroom for the time needed to wash hands, limiting the use of paper towels to save resources, keeping wildlife habitats on the playground/gardens in tact etc.).
  • Students will be able to apply these concepts globally but at the simplest level.

In nature, a child finds freedom, fantasy, and privacy: a place distant from the adult world, a separate peace.”Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder

Exploration of our Natural World

  • Students will develop an appreciation for nature and a respect for our natural environment.
  • Students will understand our impact on nature and how we can interact with it in an appropriate manner.
  • Students will be given opportunity and guidance for exploring nature in appropriate ways.
  • Students will have a basic understanding of plant life cycles and the resources they provide.
  • Students will have a basic understanding of the earth and the foundation it provides for life.  (layers of the soil, habitats, food sources, etc)
  • Students will learn to use tools to observe nature.  (binoculars, microscope, magnifying glass, observation tanks etc.)
  • Students will make observations and record data based on these observations through graphs, lists, charts, picture journals etc.
  • Students will learn that there is diversity in nature and will apply this to concepts such as size, color, texture, shape etc.
  • Students will have a basic understanding of habitats and natural communities.
  • Students will understand how they can be stewards of nature and how they can impact the environment.  (planting new trees, creating a wildlife habitat/garden, etc)

“We do children an enormous disservice when we assume that they cannot appreciate anything beyond drive through fare and nutritionally marginal, kid-targeted convenience foods. Our children are capable of consuming something that grew in a garden or on a tree and never saw a deep fryer. They are capable of making it through diner at a sit-down restaurant with tablecloths and no climbing equipment. Children deserve quality nourishment.”
Victoria Moran, Lit From Within: Tending Your Soul For Lifelong Beauty

Healthy Living- Food and Nutrition

  • Students will have an understanding of the food groups and will be able to classify the items from the gardens.
  • Students will understand the need for consumption of a diverse diet.
  • Students will understand the benefits of a healthy diet.
  • Students will audit school lunches and snacks to ensure diversity of consumption.
  • Students will understand the importance of trying new foods and how preparation of items affects the taste. (I can bring in guest speakers for this too)