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Berkeley Unified School District Garden-Based Learning Curriculum Kindergarten - Third Grade
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The Berkeley Unified School District has pioneered garden education since the first school garden was planted at LeConte Elementary in 1983. This single garden inspired many others, and over the next twelve years it evolved into a multi-school Gardening and Cooking Program with annual support from a federal grant of $1.9 million from the California Nutrition Network. We lost this funding in 2013, along with many other nutrition and garden education programs, at which point we refocused from a nutrition-based program to one that supports teachers and students in the academic classroom.
This change encouraged us to develop a pilot curriculum in 2013–1014, with support from teachers, garden educators, and consultants from the Edible Schoolyard, Berkeley. Our team of experts gleaned from existing lessons and research to synthesize drafts to best fit our own school gardens. We rewrote the pilot lessons with input from our school communities and with incredible support from P. Rachel Levin, an English Language Coach, to develop academic and health targets accessible to all of our students.
The curriculum builds upon many years of educating our students in the garden and scales up content across grades and lessons for instructional scaffolding. It is designed as an interactive teaching tool to be co-taught with classroom teachers and garden instructors as leads. Each lesson connects directly to standards: Next Generation Science, Common Core State, Physical Education, and Environmental and Health Education. Our concise and easy-to-follow lessons are a packed 45 minutes for preschool through fifth grade. Flexibility is important to us, so some lessons include several activities that teachers can choose from to accommodate their lesson plans. Consistency is also important, so we follow themes and lesson structure found in the Curriculum Map.

Subject:
Education
Mathematics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
OER Commons
Author:
Jezra Thompson
Date Added:
02/21/2018
Garden Humanities: Respect in the Garden
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In this 6th grade science lesson, ESY staff bring visual aids and props to the classroom to teach guidelines for applying the school’s 4BEs (Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible and Be an Ally) in the garden. It is important that each student receive this lesson before they come to the garden for their first hands-on class.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
OER Commons
Author:
Kyle Cornforth
Date Added:
02/21/2018
Garden Science: Asexual Propagation
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In this 7th grade science lesson, students identify desirable traits in plants and take cuttings from parent plants to facilitate asexual propagation and produce offspring with identical DNA.

Subject:
Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
OER Commons
Author:
Kyle Cornforth
Date Added:
02/21/2018
Garden Science: Biology of a Flower
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In this 7th grade science lesson, students review the structures and processes that allow flowering plants to reproduce, and then pick a flower from the garden to dissect and diagram.

Subject:
Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
OER Commons
Author:
Kyle Cornforth
Date Added:
02/21/2018
Garden Science: CHNOPS
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In this 8th grade science lesson, students review the six essential elements of life and discuss how they function in the garden.

Subject:
Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
OER Commons
Author:
Kyle Cornforth
Date Added:
02/21/2018
Garden Science: Compost Lab
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In this 6th grade Science class, students learn how to build a compost pile, learn about organisms needed for decomposition, and begin to understand the purpose of compost in the garden.

Subject:
Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
OER Commons
Author:
Kyle Cornforth
Date Added:
02/21/2018
Garden Science: Drop in the Bucket
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In this 6th grade science class, students consider how they use water in their daily lives and learn that water is a nonrenewable resource in a closed system.

Subject:
Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
OER Commons
Author:
Kyle Cornforth
Date Added:
02/21/2018
Garden Science: Food System
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In this 7th grade science lesson, students are introduced to the food system and play an interactive game called The Wind Blows.

Subject:
Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
OER Commons
Author:
Kyle Cornforth
Date Added:
02/21/2018
Garden Science: Garden Orientation - The Card Hike
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In this 6th grade science lesson, students are introduced to the garden as a classroom. They meet the garden staff, tour the garden, learn the basic systems and routines of the garden classroom and are introduced to the Edible Schoolyard life skills and values.

Subject:
Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
OER Commons
Author:
Kyle Cornforth
Date Added:
02/21/2018
Garden Science: Microscope Lab
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In this 7th grade science lesson, students deepen their understanding of pollen and pollinators by practicing the use of microscopes to observe pollen and bee species from the garden.

Subject:
Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
OER Commons
Author:
Kyle Cornforth
Date Added:
02/21/2018
Garden Science: Mushrooms
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In this 6th grade science class, students observe mushrooms growing wild in the garden, handle examples of common edible mushrooms and learn about the lifecycle of fungi.

Subject:
Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
OER Commons
Author:
Kyle Cornforth
Date Added:
02/21/2018
Garden Science: Papas Fritas
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In this 6th grade science lesson, students learn about the prevalence of potatoes while also preparing, roasting, and eating garden potatoes from the wood-burning oven.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
OER Commons
Author:
Kyle Cornforth
Date Added:
02/21/2018
Garden Science: Soil and Erosion
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In this sixth grade science lesson, students will learn the main components of soil and discuss how soil is created in nature as well as how we can conserve it in the garden.

Subject:
Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
OER Commons
Author:
Kyle Cornforth
Date Added:
02/21/2018
Garden Science: Soil pH Lab
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In this 8th grade science lesson, students test the pH levels of soil from three different sites in the garden to determine the level of acidity in the garden soil.

Subject:
Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
OER Commons
Author:
Kyle Cornforth
Date Added:
02/21/2018
Garden Science: Wood-Fired Beets
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In this 7th grade science lesson, students harvest, prepare and eat beets cooked in the wood-fired oven while reflecting on their second rotation in the garden.

Subject:
Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
OER Commons
Author:
Kyle Cornforth
Date Added:
02/21/2018