Scientific observations in the garden
One of the hallmarks of the FRESHFARM FoodPrints program is how we align our lessons with what teachers and students are doing in their classrooms. Our lessons support Common Core Standards in Math and Literacy as well as the Next Generation Science Standards. With this alignment, our program is an extension of classroom instruction, which allows students opportunities to apply concepts in hands-on experiences in school gardens and teaching kitchens.
As an example, in our lesson, "Making scientific observations in the garden," students learn to compare artistic drawing and scientific drawing, document the ways plants and animals interact in the garden, and work on their own scientific observational drawing skills.
This lesson aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards "Biodiversity and Humans" Disciplinary Core Idea and 2nd Grade Performance Expectation 2-LS4-1, "Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats."
This lesson is also an example of how FoodPrints instruction is aligned with the Environmental Literacy Framework from the DC Office of State Superintendent of Education, which recently awarded FRESHFARM a significant grant to provide environmental literacy instruction to students in Prek-4 through 1st grade through FoodPrints in-school field trips.
Students experience this lesson as an opportunity to spend time in the garden and dedicate time and energy to really looking at the plants and drawing what they see. After spending time really examining the parts of a plant, they notice the lines and shapes of the leaves and stems and are able to draw very realistic representations of many kinds of plants. Students come away with a greater appreciation of the plants that grow the food we eat, and a stronger ability to examine closely the natural world around them.