Register with GEF for FREE to enjoy these great benefits! 

    • member only contests and raffles

    • sustainability program news and updates

    • significant discounts at GEF Institute

Note: If you have problems registering, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

JOIN GEF NOW!

Taking a GEF Institute Course? Login by clicking here.

 

 

 

 

 

Join Us

Sign Up for GEF's National Green Week 2015!
Please note: Your privacy is very important to GEF. We do not share or sell any of your data.  It is with the sole purpose of providing you with relevant information that GEF will contact you.
Login/SignUp

Welcome to the Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Here, you can find free sustainability lessons to use in your class and upload your own lessons to share. Be sure to rate the lessons you use and leave comments for your colleagues!

All of GEF's lessons and programs are offered at no cost.  Become a member to support GEF and enjoy member only benefits! 
Join button_03

Professional Development

GEFinstitute LOGO_WEB GEF Institute offers affordable, online sustainability courses eligible for professional development or academic credit.
Give your resume a boost!

Sponsor a Teacher

Support educators in your community by helping them earn a Certificate in Sustainability or take an online course. Find out more about sponsorship!
Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Adopt-a-Plant

Lesson Description:
AdoptAPlantIcon Each child will choose a plant in the garden and draw what they see. This will be done once a week throughout the unit so that changes can be seen in the illustrations.

Eco-fact: some types of bamboo can grow nearly a meter a day.

Procedure:
1. before heading out to the garden, the students should gather together and talk about what might be seen there. For example, what do they expect the plant to look like? Also, if this isn’t the first visit, they should look back at the picture from the last visit and talk about what might be different this time.

2. Children will take their garden journal, pencil, and coloring tools out to the garden. Each kid will choose a plant to watch over the weeks to come. Students should record the date of each observation. Students can work individually, in pairs or small teams.

3. Once they choose a plant, each child should sit by it and draw what they observe. Things to bring attention to that could be included in drawings are:
  • shape of leaves
  • number of leaves
  • size of stem, buds, leaves, etc
  • what parts of the plant can or can’t be seen
  • colors

4. At the end of the visits, students can talk about the changes they saw throughout the observations, share their drawings, and compare plants observed by group members.

Adaptations:
- before planting, students can prepare for this by choosing a vegetable seed to plant and marking it as “theirs” with a popsicle stick labeled with his or her name.
- older students can then sit next to their plants, and draw/write what they observe. plants should be measured and heights recorded in garden journal. Pictures should be labeled and sentences or captions added to include detailed information about what is observed. Information such as how tall the plant is should be recorded as well so that the observation is as complete as possible. Students should record the date of each observation. Students can predict how tall their plant will be in the next observation and record it in their garden journal.

Extensions:
- at each visit to the plant, the students can take a ruler and measure its height. This can be recorded in their garden journal and later used to graph the growth of the plant.
- have students draw the life cycle stages of their adopted plant. Draw each stage (seed, sprout, mature plant, flowering plant, fruiting plant, new seeds) on a separate piece of paper. Mix up the drawings and have other students arrange the stages in sequential order. Drawings can be bound together to form a flip book.
- students can act out the stages of the plant life cycle (seed, sprout, mature plant, flowering plant, fruiting plant, new seeds).
Lesson Type:
  • Discussion
  • Experiment

Sustainability Topic:
  • Ecosystems
  • Gardening

GEF Program Category:
  • Green Thumb Challenge

Materials Needed:
  •  garden journals
  • pencils
  • coloring tools such as crayons and colored pencils
  • garden

School or Group:
GEF
Contact Email:
service@greeneducationfoundation.org
Located in: Science

The Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse is brought to you in partnership with

Center for Green Schools