Standards Aligned:
Respect in the Garden
Classroom Culture
Student Engagement
Tool Safety
Animal Care
Place of Learning: 
20 minutes
Grade Level: 

ESY Berkeley Teaching Staff
Edible Schoolyard Project
Berkeley, CA

In this sixth grade orientation, the Edible Schoolyard's garden staff brings visual aids and props into students' indoor classroom to introduce the behavioral expectations for their upcoming garden classes. We use the district-wide language of the 4B’s (Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible and Be an Ally) adapted to the garden setting. It is important that students receive this orientation before they come out for their first hands-on garden class so they know what is expected of them upon arrival. 
Student Learning Goals & Objectives: 

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Explain the behavioral expectations in the garden using information on the 4B’s poster as a guide
  • Demonstrate an emerging understanding of the Edible Schoolyard's garden rituals and routines 

During this lesson, students will:

  • Review the 4B’s poster and share real-life examples
  • Discuss how teamwork, collaboration, and open-mindedness can be demonstrated in the garden
Materials & Prep: 
  • Live chicken
  • Assorted garden tools
  • Respect in the Garden Visual Aid
Before you begin
  • Create the visual aid 
  • Collect and prepare all the materials
    Procedure Steps: 

    Introduce yourself as one of the garden teachers and ask students if they know the school’s 4B’s. Point out the visual aid, and explain that this is what the 4B’s looks like in the garden.

    BE SAFE 

    Ask if there is a volunteer that is willing to read the "Be Safe" section of the visual aid to the group.

    1. Ask if anyone has an example of why we ask students to ask before picking. Explain that asking before eating garden crops is critical to students' safety. ​​​​​​"Just because it’s called the ‘Edible’ Schoolyard does that mean everything out there is edible?"
    2. Explain that the kitchen classroom needs to have enough food for planned lessons.
    3. All crops taste best when they are ripe and ready to eat.
    4. Point out that seasonal forage crops like raspberries, ground cherries or cherry tomatoes are exceptions to this rule: these are things that students are allowed to pick and eat without asking.

      Ask if there is a volunteer that is willing to read the “Be Respectful” section of the visual aid to the group.  

      1. Ask students to volunteer ideas of how they can show respect to insects, chickens, and each other.
      2. Demonstrate the safest way to catch, hold, and pet a chicken.

      Ask if there is a volunteer that is willing to read the "Be Responsible" section of the visual aid to the group.

      1. Demonstrate how to use the tools responsibly and safely. Ask students what some of the possible consequences of using tools incorrectly or irresponsibly could be. It’s also fun to demonstrate what NOT to do in your demonstration and ask students to give you feedback. "What’s wrong with the way I’m holding this tool?"
      BE AN ALLY 

      Ask if there is a volunteer that is willing to read the “Be an Ally” section of the visual aid to the group.

      1. Ask students for suggestions on how they can be an ally in the garden and clarify as needed.
      2. Introduce the Edible Schoolyard values that are especially applicable in the garden: teamwork, collaboration, and open-mindedness. Ask students how they can demonstrate these in the garden.

      Ask students to contribute other ideas that could be included on the "Respect in the Garden" poster.

      1. Encourage students to look for ways to demonstrate the 4B’s in the garden.
      2. Explain that this is our contract together and ask students to sign their name (in the air) saying we all agree these 4B’s in the garden setting.
      Download Lesson Materials
      • Teamwork
      • Open-mindedness
      • Collaboration
        Teaching Notes: 
        • We have found that a team of two staff members works best to deliver this brief presentation (approximately 20 minutes). One teacher goes over the poster and the other handles the chicken and tool demonstrations.
        • It’s really exciting for students to meet you, their garden teacher, in their indoor classroom and, of course, the chicken demonstration is a favorite.
        • After we present our behavioral expectations in the classroom, students are ready for the hands-on experience of their first garden class.

        Academic Standards

        Common Core State Standards

        English Language Arts and Literacy, Grade 6


        Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.

        Edible Schoolyard Standards

        The Edible Schoolyard Program

        Teamwork and Collaboration


        Students fully engage in structured groups to complete teacher-determined tasks.



        Students make a positive contribution to their small group.



        Students practice a willingness to suspend disbelief.


        Students begin to take risks and try something new.


        Students practice being open to sharing in fun.


        All lessons at the Edible Schoolyard Berkeley are a collaboration between the teachers and staff of the Edible Schoolyard and Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School.