Children will begin to understand interdependence of organisms and nature.
Children will observe, draw and describe one thing they notice in nature.
Children will learn and practice rules for nature excursions.
Lesson Plan Procedure
Preparatory Activity Time: 5 minutes
Step 1. During circle discussion, explain the purpose of a nature excursion (“to explore, learn about our environment, our world and living creatures”) and how it is different from outside playtime. 5 minutes.
Discuss rules for nature excursion
Quiet voices (why? other classes are working, can hear the teacher, can focus on nature)
Listen to teacher directions
Use a scientist’s eyes and ears
Respect living creatures and plants
Main Activity Time: 30 minutes
Step 2. Take children outside andgive a brief tour and history of the school garden. 5 minutes.
Each child carries a clipboard with handout attached. (Download Student Handout from Materials Checklist.) Children set clipboards down until it is time to draw (in Step 6). Teacher brings pencils, erasers and colored pencils.
Teacher narrative: Garden was designed by teachers working with a gardener. Garden was created by teachers and parents and students. There are beds for each class K-4. Garden plantings include three sisters, herbs, a butterfly patch and a strawberry patch.
Step 3. Ask children focusing question: Who does the garden belong to? Share ideas out loud. 2 minutes.
Step 5. Discuss the focusing question and give directions for drawing and writing about one creature or thing in the garden. 3 minutes.
Ask children: Whose garden is it? Who do you think this garden belongs to? Pick one creature or thing that you think the garden belongs to. Draw a picture of it on the handout and I’ll come around to write the word.
Step 6. Children sit in assigned spots in garden, observe with eyes and ears, and draw a picture on the handout (from Materials Checklist). 5 minutes.
Step 7. Write children’s word(s) on the handout, or help them write by themselves. 5 minutes. (See sample student finished work at Step 8.)
This may be done individually as children complete their drawings in the garden, or back in the classroom. If possible, bring another adult along to help with writing children’s words.
Conclusion/Follow-Up to Activity Time: 10 minutes
Step 8. Back in the classroom, students share their pictures and words with the class. Some students may use this time to finish their drawings. 10 minutes.
Make a class bookwith children’s drawings and illustrations.
Whose Marsh Is It? See first page and sample student page of a book created by Mary Bates’ students in February after a visit to a nearby marsh:
Other possibilities include: Whose Schoolyard Is It? Whose Vernal Pool Is It? Whose Watershed Is It?
Developer’s Comments on Lesson:
“I was trying to figure out how to get them outside on the second day of school for just a short amount of time and have them write something about it.” –Mary Bates
SCIENCE (Connections to the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks)
Framework: Science and Technology/Engineering Strand: Life Science (preK-2)
Topic: Characteristics of Living Things 1: Recognize that animals (including humans) and plants are living things that grow, reproduce, and need food, air, and water. 3: Recognize that plants and animals have life cycles, and that life cycles vary for different living things.
Topic: Living Things and Their Environment 8: Identify the ways in which an organism’s habitat provides for its basic needs (plants require air, water, nutrients, and light; animals require food, water, air, and shelter).