Garden Lessons: Welcome to the Garden! (Grades 1-3)


Grades: 1-3

Lesson Objective(s): Get students used to the garden as a space for learning and help them understand the boundaries and rules we have in the garden.

Supplies Needed

  • Garden Rule Cards (with pictures & description beneath):

    • Harmonica music card: “When we hear the harmonica, we put our hands together, put our eyes on the teacher, and say “Hands like glue, eyes on you”

    • Ear card: “We listen to our garden teacher”

    • Check boxes card: “We follow directions in the garden”

    • Garden Shovel card: “We use tools for gardening- not as toys”

    • Raise hand card: “When we ask or answer questions, we raise our hands”

    • Grapes & flowers card: “We always before we pick something in the garden”

    • Bees & worms & flowers & people card: “ We respect the plants, animals, and people in our garden”

  • 1 Poster board with drawing of a garden (labelled), a big bubble around the garden, and the “outside garden” labeled outside of the bubble

  • post-it notes & 1 Sharpie/Marker

  • Harmonica

Introduction (5 mins):

  • Welcome everyone to garden: introduce self, ask who’s been to the garden before

  • go around circle: say names

  • I bet you have rules in your classroom, don’t you? What kind of rules do you have?

    • Take a few hands

  • Just like how you have rules in your classroom, we have rules in our garden to keep us safe & help our garden grow!

Activity (20 mins)

  • Explain instructions: Today we’re going to play a game where we get to play pretend. Who likes to play pretend?

  • We’ll use these cards (show cards). Each card has a rule that we follow in the garden. In a moment, we’re going to get into groups, and you and your group will think of a way we can follow this rule, and a silly way we wouldn’t follow this rule

  • Do an example with whole class:

    • Take harmonica card & read it. Ask: who knows what this is (take a hand or two)

      • This harmonica isn’t for making music. Sometimes, it’s hard to use my voice to get everyone’s attention all at once

      • Practice: When hear harmonica, class says “Hands like glue, eyes on you!”. Clasps hands together, put eyes on speaker

      • Practice the right way, and the wrong way

  • Group Up & Play Pretend: Pass out cards, one per student. students find those with matching cards

  • Have 2-5 minutes to come up with: one way how to NOT follow the rule, and one way how TO follow the rule

  • After each group is done, each group shows rest of class one way they can show they’re following that rule, one silly way the rule wouldn’t be followed

  • (If time) As go through groups, ask rest of class: does that belong in garden class, or outside garden class. Write or draw on post-it note, put on big poster board.

Transition: Now that we’ve seen such good examples of how we act in the garden, let’s see if we can do it for real!

Garden Activity: Transplanting Broccoli Plants

  • Show example first

  • Everyone gets one broccoli plant to transplant

Wrap up:

  • Gather in group

  • Ask for examples of how they followed the rules while gardening


Garden LessonsTeresa Woodard