Each lesson within this curriculum unit can be taught independently or in succession with the others. Download the lessons below:
This curriculum unit, developed by the education staff at the National Gardening Association addresses the core specific elements of the water cycle for K-12 students. There are four grade specific lesson plans, but the lessons can easily be adapted to meet the needs of any age classroom. Content in the lessons covers different aspects of the water cycle and applying the principles to activities and inquiry that can be discussed in and out of the school garden.
The unit begins with the K-2 lesson, Exploring Terrariums. This activity is an introduction to the water cycle and the importance of water for all living things. The 3-5 lesson, Exploring Transpiration, broadens on this topic by identifying how plants contribute to the water cycle through transpiration. The 6-8th grade lesson, Exploring the Role of Stomata for Transpiration, drills deeper into the topic of transpiration by focusing on how stomata enable transpiration to occur and the factors that affect stomata. Finally, the 9-12th grade lesson, Exploring Rain Gardens, brings all of this content together through an exercise to understand and design a rain garden. Upon completion of the entire unit, students will be more aware of the importance of water and will have a tool to use to protect this valuable resource.