The TeachNet Project sponsored with major funding by the AT&T Learning Network

seeks to improve student achievement by providing training, grants, networking and resource sharing to teachers at four of the Teachers Network affiliates nationwide.


Garden Business.Integrating Science, 
Gardening and Technology

Garden Business

How it works:

This project integrates science, gardening, technology, art, design, and language arts. Students learn to use the digital camera for the collection of visual data. The student collected data is used throughout the unit. Students are responsible for labeling, cataloguing and archiving their own data using file management techniques. Cataloguing or indexing this data helps the students organize their material/information for project use. Projects such as designing a plant trading card, and/or designing a seed packet using student created computer graphics hold student interest with little teacher direction. Researching skills are developed in the lesson on plant identification.  Students need to research not only in books, and with realia, such as commercial seed packets, but also on the Internet.  The Internet can easily be used for accessing plant databases and encyclopedias.


Most lessons in this unit are assessed using the following rubric:


4 points   Completed independently
3 points   Completed with the help of a peer expert
2 points   Completed with the help of the teacher
1 point     Completed partially
0 points    Did not participate


Language Arts Standards:

Understand the structure, organization, and use of various resources such as the encyclopedia, card catalog, almanacs, newspapers, and periodicals.

Write with a purpose.

Science Standards:
Life Science:

Adaptations in Physical structure or behavior may improve an organism's chance for survival:

a: Students know plants and animals have structures that  serve different functions in growth, survival, and reproduction.

b Students know examples of diverse life forms in different environments, such as oceans, deserts, tundra, forests, grasslands, and wetlands.

What you need:

Estimated number of class periods: Ten

Software or materials used: The technology use for this project includes a digital camera, an Internet connection, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Photo Editor, Broderbund Print Shop Ensemble III, Kid Pix, and Paint.


Gardening, gardening with kids, seed packets, plants, plant trading cards, science, gardening and technology, photography, photo index, cataloguing photos, plant identification, plant research, research

The Students: 

To be able to handle the work involved in these lessons it is helpful for the students to be somewhat familiar with keyboarding skills and the use of the computer. Since searching the Internet is a part of this project it will go more smoothly if this in not the first time the students use the Internet. Familiarity with following (or comparable) programs is helpful as well: Microsoft word, Microsoft Paint, Microsoft Photo Editor and Print Shop Ensemble III.

Overall Value:

Through the powerful integration of multiple curricular areas this unit helps students become more independent and responsible for their work and learning.

Students' engagement first occurs when they become responsible for the use and care of the technology in their hands. They are held accountable for the care and proper use of technology tools they all feel privileged to use.

The sense of independence and responsibility urges their learning of new technology while expressing their ideas in curricular areas. The overall effect is empowerment with deep satisfaction and pride.


Subject Area:

Second Subject Area (if interdisciplinary):                   

Language Arts
Starting Grade Level: 2

Ending Grade Level: 8

 URL (http://...) of project or unit: if this project is on the web put the address here.

Tips for the Teacher:

This project works best by teaching a small group of students to be experts. The experts can then take on the responsibility of teaching/helping their peers. A short overview with the entire class helps with the management issue. It will definitely go smoother if the students are familiar with computers, their use, function and related vocabulary.





Jessica Rivera has been a teacher in The Santa Maria-Bonita School District for thirteen years. Her experience includes teaching kindergarten through third grade. She recently completed her master's degree in Educational technology at Pepperdine University.