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        3-5, 13+

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        Developing Supporting Ideas - A Garden Grows in Brooklyn

        Students design and draw a garden and give reasons to support why their garden is important to the neighborhood.

        Lesson Summary


        Students plan a community garden. They give reasons to support their ideas for the garden and why the garden is important to the neighborhood. Students complete the activity by drawing their planned gardens.

        Why is this an important concept?

        As students develop research and writing skills, they will be expected to present a point of view that requires ideas that are supported by reasoning. It is valuable for students to be able to identify and state the reasons for a plan, a point of view or an idea in their own work and conversely be able to discern reasoning or supporting ideas when evaluating or appreciating the works of others.

        Grade Level:


        Suggested Time

        60 minutes

        Media Resources


        The Lesson

        Part I: Learning Activity

        1. Provide the purpose for the activity: to create a plan for a community garden. Explain to the class that they're going to watch a video about a community garden in a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York called "Bed Stuy" which is an abbreviation for Bedford-Stuyvesant.

        2. Before watching the video, discuss why it's important to support an idea with reasons.

        Note: You may also want to pre-teach the following vocabulary and discuss it's use in the context of the clip: sanctuary, oasis, sanity, purify, cohesiveness, replicated. You may also choose to play this video clip without any sound, allowing the students to come to conclusions about how to plan their gardens from the visuals alone.

        3. As they watch the video, ask students to think about why the neighborhood garden is important to the people who live there. Students should look for at least three reasons why the garden is important and how it is supported by people in the neighborhood.

        4. After viewing, discuss the reasons presented in the video. List the supporting reasons on the board for students to refer to later in the activity. Replay the video as necessary, pausing at intervals to discuss and note reasons presented in the segment.

        Part II: Assessment

        1. Divide students into groups.

        2. Distribute the Garden Planning handout and the Garden Drawing handout. Ask students to plan a community garden. In order to do this, they should think about what kinds of plants they will include in their garden, who will visit their garden, and what their garden will look like. Students should plan by writing a description of the garden, and provide a drawing of the garden.

        3. Students will share their descriptions and drawings with the class. Focus students on the reasons for their choices.

        4. Use Garden rubric to assess student work.

        For students who need additional teacher guidance:

        1. Work with students who need assistance in small groups.

        2. Encourage them to brainstorm answers creatively as a group for column two of the Garden Planning handout.

        3. Ask students guiding questions for column three answers, such as 'Why would you plant roses in your garden?' Is it important for you to have beautiful flowers to look at in the garden? What difference does this make? Encourage students to think about their responses and support their choices.

        4. Once the table is completed, assist students with composing a short paragraph using the information they have already compiled.

        5. Drawing the garden is both a creative and logistical task that will require thought. Ask students to reflect on answers from each column on the table and find a way to incorporate the elements into the garden. How you can put the squash in the garden and also make sure there is room for children to play?


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