Applied Philosophy
Snapshot: KinderGARDEN project

The Ideal School Garden
The Ideal School Garden is a place where children can interact with and learn about nature. As a physical embodiment of the Ideal School’s philosophy, the Garden helps create a sense of community and an awareness of our environment, while promoting cooperative learning through discovery and social interactions between children of differing ages. By incorporating science curriculum standards and interdisciplinary studies, the Garden acts as an extension of the classroom, a living laboratory for students to explore and observe.

The focus in Kindergarten is using the Garden to explore, observe, and describe nature with our five senses (Science 4ab). Throughout the year, students will engage in several interdisciplinary investigations that will contribute to their understanding of the natural world and its inhabitants.

Kindergartners will learn about how seasons and weather affect the plants and animals living in our garden (Science 3b). Over the course of the year they will create calendars to chart the different plants and animals that are living in our Garden during the different seasons (Measurement and Geometry 1.2, History and Social Science K.5). They will also make schedules detailing at what time various garden tasks need to be performed (Measurement and Geometry 1.3, 1.4).

They will explore the properties of water, including how water affects both living and nonliving things (Science 1bc). By watering our plants and creating a birdbath, students will learn that all living things need water to live and grow.

They will also discover that all things in nature are made up of smaller parts, which we can observe and identify with tools and through drawing (Science 2c, 4e). Kindergartners will also be able to compare the different parts by length and weight, for instance which stem of the flower is the longest, or which bird is the heaviest (Measurement and Geometry 1.1)

Kindergartners will also read stories about plants and animals with attributes that they do not really have in nature to help understand the different types of plants and animals in the natural world and to learn to distinguish between fantasy and realistic texts (Science 2b, Reading 3.1).

Overall, our curriculum in Kindergarten is designed to give all students a familiarity with our school garden so that they can engage in more in-depth investigations in the subsequent years. We also hope that they learn to respect nature and to feel responsible for protecting it and caring for it, which will help them to become global citizens, empowered to solve the problems our world faces.

Life Lab Science, Scope & Sequence
Content Standards