Principles of Organic
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Grade Level: 
In this lesson students will explore the guiding principles that inform and define organic agriculture. Students will identify and discuss the four principles of organic before delving into the ecology of a garden.
Student Learning Goals & Objectives: 
  • Identify and summarize the principles of organic agriculture.
  • Highlight and break down differences between organic and non-organic agriculture.
  • Explore and examine the ecology and biodiversity of a garden or park.
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Teaching Notes: 
  • 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 teaching asynchronously or assigning the lesson plan as homework, for the sections that instruct students to READ, consider recording yourself reading the sections aloud and sending the recording to students. This adaptation offers a helpful strategy for differentiating learning that supports all students, especially English Language Learners.
  • The “READ” sections of this lesson plan can be used as talking points or as a script to introduce activities. Please note, these sections simply provide brief introductions to the topics. We recommend using your experiences to add more information and context to the topics being covered.
  • 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 part of Edible Schoolyard Project’s Understanding Organic curriculum and is the second lesson in the “core lessons” of the curriculum.