Beacon Lesson Plan Library

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Ann Everett
Bay District Schools


This lesson is a fun way to introduce factors that influence the growth of living things. The students read [The Garden] by Arnold Lobel.Then the students plant seeds to discover what makes them grow.


The student reads informational texts for specific purposes (including but not limited to performing a task, learning a new task, sequentially carrying out the steps of a procedure, locating information to answer a question).

The student knows some factors that influence the growth of living things (for example, amount of water, amount of light, amount and type of food, type of soil).


-Lobel,Arnold, - [Frog and Toad Together] - [The Garden
Collections for Young Scholars] ,Volume 1, Book 2, page 34 ,Open Court Publishing
-Small or large lima beans
-Paper towels
-Quart size bags that can be closed
-Large piece of drawing paper
-Permanent marker
-Clear plastic cups
-Potting soil


1.Gather materials for this lesson.
2.Have assistant help children label plastic bags and cups prior to lesson.


1. Read [The Garden] by Arnold Lobel to the students.

2. Have students read [The Garden]. One child should read the words spoken by Toad and another should read Frog’s speeches. The third child should be the narrator. The children can take turns and switch parts.

3. Activate prior knowledge by encouraging students to share their their experiences growing seeds.

4. Discuss the things Frog and Toad did to make seeds grow.

5. Give each student a closable plastic bag and have an assistant to write each child’s name on it with a permanent marker prior to the lesson.

6. Give each child a paper towel and show the children how to fold it into a square.

7. The children will come to the sink one at a time with their paper towel and bag. The children will wet their paper towels and place them in the bag.

8. Give each student several small or large lima beans.

9. The students place the beans on the paper towel in the plastic bag, close the bag and place it on the window sill for observation.

10. The students observe their seeds each day and record their observations in their journals.

11. Point out that the seeds have sprouted (when appropriate) and it is time to plant them in soil.

12. Label clear, plastic cups with the child’s name on the cup.

13. The children will place some potting soil in each cup.

14. The children will carefully plant their sprouting seeds and then cover them with more soil.

15. The students will place their cups in the window sill for observation.

16. The students will try Frog and Toad’s methods to make their seeds grow.

17. The students will talk to their seeds, shout at their seeds, read to their seeds, and sing to their seeds.

18. The students will write in their journals whether or not that they think Frog’s and Toad’s methods work.

19. The children and the teacher will engage in a discussion to determine what really makes seeds grow.

20. Teacher lists on a chart that seeds need the right amount of water, light, and soil to grow.

21. The students will properly care for their seeds and continue to record their observations in their journals.

22. Review with the children all the things Frog and Toad did to make seeds grow.

23. Review the factors that make seeds grow.


The children will use a four-corner assessment with teacher guidance on format. See attached file. Students who have trouble with sentences may indicate their knowledge by using words and pictures. Students should show on their 4-corner assessment the following criteria:
1. Show the stages of the seed as it became a plant.
2. List 3 things that a plant needs to grow.
3. List what things Toad did to try to make his seeds grow.
4. Tell what Toad could have done differently to make his seeds grow.


Children that are below grade level may draw pictures in their journals if they have difficulty writing.The assessment can also be shown in pictures.
You may wish to share one or more of the following books with the children.
[The Carrot Seed] by Ruth Krauss
[Growing Vegetable Soup] by Lois Ehlert
[From Seed to Plant] by Gail Gibbons
[The Magic School Bus Plants Seeds]: A Book About How Living Things Grow by Joanna Cole

Attached Files

This file is an example of a four-corner assesment.     File Extension: pdf

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