Standards Aligned:
Project Introduction
Place of Learning: 
45 minutes
Grade Level: 
In this lesson, students are introduced to the central project for the unit: developing a planting proposal for the garden. They will take an inventory of what they already know that might help them with this project, define the criteria and constraints for the project, and develop a list of questions they need to answer in order to be successful. This lesson frames all of their learning for the rest of the unit. This is the first of a 12-lesson series in which students will explore the basic ecological principle of interdependence through the lens of common organic farming practices.
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  • Crop: a plant that is intentionally grown as food.
  • Prior knowledge: something you already know or understand.
Teaching Notes: 
  • The “READ” and “DISCUSS” sections of this lesson plan can be used as talking points or a script to introduce activities.
  • 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”.
  • In a number of questions in this lesson we use the word “crop”. It can be helpful to review the word “crop” with students by asking them if they know what the word means.