Standards Aligned:
Crop Planning
Place of Learning: 
30-45 minutes
Grade Level: 
In this lesson, students apply what they learned about the soil in their garden in the previous two lessons to identify crops that may grow well in their garden. Students also consider the other abiotic factors that may affect crop growth and make observations of the garden in order to begin to plan which crops they want to grow for their project. Students will continue to revise this plan as they learn more about the garden ecosystem.
Materials & Prep: 
  • Poster paper and markers for group planning (optional)
  • Gardening books that include crops and their ideal soil types (optional)
Download Lesson Plan
  • Abiotic factor: a nonliving condition or thing, such as climate or habitat, that influences an ecosystem or the organisms in it.
Teaching Notes: 
  • For sections that instruct students to READ, you can record yourself reading aloud and send it to students. Invite them to read along with the recording. This is a helpful strategy for differentiating learning that supports all students.
  • This lesson will have students explore the four core values of organic through discussion before diving into an exploration of ecology in the garden. The other values of care, fairness, and health could be further explored through discussion as well.
  • If you are teaching this lesson in the garden, we suggest completing the sections as a whole glass or in small groups. The garden is a great place for discussion-based lessons.
  • This lesson is designed both to help students start to wrap their heads around this project in a more structured way, but also to prompt excitement and enthusiasm about the driving question. Encourage students to really get all their thinking on the table here, especially during the brainstorm section. At this stage in the process, the more possibilities the better! You never know what kind of creative solutions or ideas may arise from something that at first seems completely unrealistic or “out there”.
  • At some point during this lesson, have students return to the garden bed in which they are conducting the plant start investigation (Lesson 3). They should record their observations about the plants and soil on the Plant Start Investigation worksheet from lesson L3: Cultivation.