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School Garden Projects for Science

This is a guest blog post by blogger, 5th-grade teacher, and teacher-author, Ginny Preist.

In 5th grade, we learn about photosynthesis and what plants need, so planting a garden is a natural fit with the NGSS or Next Generation Science Standards. Gardening also gets kids outside and connects them with nature. It is great to have students experience photosynthesis and food production firsthand. Here are some of the benefits of a school garden.

benefits of a school garden

Real-Life Application of the Standards

I like to plant our classroom garden early enough so kids get the full experience of following a seed or plant to harvest. I have mistakenly planted too late or planted vegetables that ripen in summer.

In Southern California, a winter garden has been most successful. Lettuce, sugar snap peas, and nasturtiums have been successful. The squirrels aren’t bothering our garden this time of year either! When planted early, the students get to see the garden through to harvest. We planted our raised bed in December with different lettuces, kale, and nasturtiums. I love flowers so I always need some in my garden. Nasturtiums are edible too so they are great in a salad.

Getting Outside and Off Devices 

We have been on our devices more and more each year. I love the differentiated learning options different programs provide but I also like activities that let us unplug for a bit. We take books outside and take turns working in the garden because 25 students working in a raised garden bed all at once is not helpful. If you can get a parent helper, do it!

If you have a parent helper, divide the students into a few groups. One group can plop down in an area and study a plant quietly and sketch it. Another group can read in the garden, and the third group can be working in the garden bed. Rotate between these simple groups to maintain safety and classroom management.

Helping Students Understand that Dirt and Bees are Good Things

Know who is allergic to bees etc. and be prepared. Some students aren’t allergic but are just frightened by everything outside. Spider webs, bugs, bees, etc. bring screams. Help students enjoy a bit of dirt. 

Planting a school garden is a great activity when studying photosynthesis. Check out this unit that Ginny made HERE.

photosynthesis 5th grade

You can also check out my resource on Plants and What They Need to Grow

Plants and What They Need to Grow

Thank you for visiting. You can see more on Ginny’s Blog at http://protonpriest.com/

Start Here

I am so impressed with this unit which manages to be distance learning and hands-on at the same time.  Really well thought out and engaging activities that allow students to practice each of the eight Science and Engineering Practices.  Really no prep for me!

 
Science and Engineering Practices Distance Education Unit

Tina S

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:05:39-06:00

Tina S

I am so impressed with this unit which manages to be distance learning and hands-on at the same time.  Really well thought out and engaging activities that allow students to practice each of the eight Science and Engineering Practices.  Really no prep for me!   Science and Engineering Practices Distance Education Unit
The elephant article was excellent but I also thought the lab on dissecting a flower was broken down so easily, even telling me where to get inexpensive flowers!  This resource helped me teach this challenging standard in an engaging way.  Worth every penny!

 
Structure and Function NGSS 4-LS1-1 and 4-LS1-2

Richard S

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:07:52-06:00

Richard S

The elephant article was excellent but I also thought the lab on dissecting a flower was broken down so easily, even telling me where to get inexpensive flowers!  This resource helped me teach this challenging standard in an engaging way.  Worth every penny!   Structure and Function NGSS 4-LS1-1 and 4-LS1-2
As always, Lynda provides perfect alignment with the standards.

 
Age of the Earth and Geologic Time Scale NGSS MS ESS1-4

Sharon M

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:24:44-06:00

Sharon M

As always, Lynda provides perfect alignment with the standards.   Age of the Earth and Geologic Time Scale NGSS MS ESS1-4
Thank you so much for creating this resource! It is such a fun and engaging activity for my students, especially during distance learning.

 
Honey Bee Digital Escape Distance Learning

Expedition Fourth

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
2020-11-03T20:44:55-07:00

Expedition Fourth

Thank you so much for creating this resource! It is such a fun and engaging activity for my students, especially during distance learning.   Honey Bee Digital Escape Distance Learning
My students loved this unit. I was able to present different elements of it throughout the month. It is hard to find interesting non-fictional, age-appropriate text for my students that they will enjoy. This was a great unit that aligned well for my students who have very different goals within the same group.

 
Compare and Contrast Two Texts on Reindeer

Heidi J

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
2020-11-03T20:45:49-07:00

Heidi J

My students loved this unit. I was able to present different elements of it throughout the month. It is hard to find interesting non-fictional, age-appropriate text for my students that they will enjoy. This was a great unit that aligned well for my students who have very different goals within the same group.   Compare and Contrast Two Texts on Reindeer
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Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams