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This lesson involves Planting a Native American Garden


Social Studies  


1, 2, 3, 4  

Title – Planting a Garden
By – Clinton Burch
Primary Subject – Social Studies
Grade Level – 1-4
Approach: Thematic

Cognate Areas:
Social Studies, Math, Science, Motor Skills

1. Per dug garden plot
2. 4 gardening shovels
3. 1 hoe
4. 1 rake
5. 2 stakes
6. 2 tape measures
7. 10 feet of string
8. 1 watering can
9. 1 package of corn seeds
10. 1 package of green bean seeds
11. 1 package of lettuce seeds
12. 1 package of squash seeds
13. Diagram of garden (attached)
14. 4 ¼ inch dial rods cut 12 inches in length

1. To be in awe and wonder of the process of photosynthesis.
2. To use appropriate units to determine length and width.
3. To group and count concrete items by ones.
4. To identify and comply with safety rules and procedures.
5. To participate in an activity that facilitates communication and cooperation in groups.
6. To develop mastery level fine and gross motor skills.

1. Begin the lesson by explaining that the class will be creating an Indian type garden.
2. Give a brief Native American history about gardening. (History is below)
          a. Indian families in the Woodlands, the East, the Southwest, and the northern Plains planted gardens long before settlers came. In fact, they showed the settlers how to plant foods such as corn, beans, and squash that saved many of them from starvation.
3. Divide the class into teams by having them draw letters from a bowl. Each card will have letters A-E on them. The letter the student draws, is their team placement.
          a. Team A- 4 students: will be digging the holes (tools: shovels)
          b. Team B- 2 students: will be covering the holes (tools: rake & hoe)
          c. Team C- 8 students: will be planting seeds (material: packages of seeds). Divide this team into 4 smaller teams: Team C1- plant corn, Team C2- plant squash, Team C3- plant lettuce, Team C4- plant beans.
          d. Team D- 4 students: will measure row distance and string it out (tools: tape measure, string, and stakes)
          e. Team E- 2 students: will be watering seeds (tool: watering can)
Note: If you have more or less students, you can make adaptations to the teams.
4. Take students outside with gardening materials. (Garden area is already been designated and per dug.) Note: Remember to fill watering can.
5. Explain tool safety and team cooperation.
6. Have Team D measure in 12 inches from the corner of one 60″ & 48″ side of the garden. Place one stake into the ground. Go to the other end of the garden and have Team D measure in 12 inches from the other corner and place a stake. Tie string to one stake and stretch it across the garden and tie to the other stake.
7. Have Team A dig ten holes under the string, about every six inches. If you want a precise six inches, have Team D measure out each hole.
8. Have Team C count out ten seeds from each package.
9. Have Team C1 plant one corn seed into each hole.
10. Have Team B use the rake and hoe to fill dirt into each hole.
11. Have Team E water each seed. Ensure the students don’t wash the seeds out of the ground.
12. Now move onto the next row. Have Team D measure 12 inches from the corn row this time. Repeat steps 6-10, except allow Team C2 to plant their seeds.
13. Now move onto the next row. Have Team D measure 12 inches from the squash row. Repeat steps 6-10, except allow Team C3 to plant their seeds.
14. Now move onto the final row. Have Team D measure 12 inches from the lettuce row. Repeat steps 6-10, except allow Team C4 to plant their seeds.
15. Once all the seeds are planted, take the ¼ dial rods and place at the beginning of each row. Then use the package of each type of seed and place it on the ¼ dial rod. This will help the students remember which types of seeds have been planted into the rows.
16. Once the garden is complete, have the students gather around and explain how the seeds will grow with the aid of photosynthesis.
17. Close the activity with a question/ answer period about the types of seeds the class plant, and the process of creating an Indian type garden.

Informal: question/ answer period. Note the classes knowledge about planting an
Indian type garden and the process of photosynthesis.

Sample questions:
1. Who planted gardens before the settlers?
2. How will the sun help our seeds grow?
3. How does the roots gather food and water for the plant?
4. What do the leaves absorb?
5. How do we know when the plants are ready to be eaten?

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