Teaching Kids about Sunlight, Wind & Microclimatic Conditions

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To learn more about sunlight, wind and microclimatic conditions, download our activity handout.

Throughout the year, the use of the space surrounding your home is directly impacted by the regional climate. It includes hot and cold temperatures, direct sunlight, shade, forceful winds and gentle breezes. The immediate area surrounding the home is called the microclimate. 

Taking It To the Bank

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Have you ever considered the importance of saving seeds? A seed represents the promise of life -- a new plant in a ready to grow package. It also contains that species’ genetic code including the traits the plant hopes will ensure its survival over the long haul. 

Researching the Past, to Discover the Future

Grade Level: 8-12


  • Posterboard for six groups of students


1. As a class, list what the students think are the most important plants for their nation. Discuss why each of these plants may be on the list. Ask the students to give a general location of where these plants (regions and climates) are grown.

Planning Pays Off

Elementary science teacher Steve Tomsik feels that it is his primary job to get his students into the garden as much as possible because of the great extensions between knowledge and exploration.

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Nutrition Program Highlights

  • The school now maintains a partnership with Wellness in the Schools, an organization that has facilitated a gradual change in lunch meals, and provides chefs and cooking interns who work with cafeteria staff to prepare healthy lunches. The lunch menu now offers freshly prepared meals (including an occasional special lunch of grass-fed beef) with a daily salad bar. They have also held parent-lunch days to show how the lunches have improved.

  • The school sponsors a Harvest Day each year in October to showcase food harvested from the garden. Students enjoy a special lunch (with available garden produce), tasting tables, visits from local farmers, and Garden to School Café programs. Pictures of the Harvest Day can be seen on the school’s website.

How Sweet It Is

There are many stories explaining the discovery of the sugary-syrup made from the sap of maple trees.  One of the most well-known is the Legend of Chief Woksis whose wife reportedly discovered maple syrup while preparing venison (deer meat) during the “Season of the Melting Snow.” The legend recounts:

Maple Syrup, Step-by-Step

- Maple Syrup
- Sugarbush Spring by Marsha Wilson Chall. A girl and her grandfather tap sugar maple trees and tell the story of making maple syrup. ISBN: 978-0688149079


1. Hold up a bottle of maple syrup and ask the students if they know how syrup is produced?

2. Tell the students that syrup comes from trees, but do not tell them how it is extracted.

Be the Tree

- Tree cookies, for each student (can be cut from tree trimmings or available in bulk from nature suppliers like Nature-Watch)


The tree trunk and its main branches have five key parts, as illustrated by the Arbor Day Foundation.

Learning with Wreaths

Like many other garden-related projects, wreaths represent a simple activity that can be modified for multiple grade levels and can be used to teach many concepts related to environmental science, math, design, and history.

Mountains as Water Sources - Himalayan Expedition Part 2

One of Nepal's largest development projects is taking place just upstream from where you crossed the Arun River. It is called the Arun III Hydroelectric Project. What does hydroelectric mean? Since most of the valleys in Makalu-Barun drain into the Arun, developers are trying to harness the waterpower of this river to generate electricity for the people of Nepal. How will this project affect local people? How will it affect the environment?

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Kids Gardening and the National Gardening Association actively work with schools and communities across the country to provide educational resources and build gardens to promote health, wellness, and sustainability.


Copyright © 1999-2014 National Gardening Association     | &      |     Created on 03/15/99, 

Last updated on 11/25/2014
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