Life Lab

Life Lab cultivates children's love of learning, healthy food, and nature through garden-based education.

Next Generation Science in the Garden:

K-2 NGSS-Aligned Units

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Developed by Teachers

These units were written by trained classroom teachers with high level expertise in NGSS and garden-based education.

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NGSS-ALIGNED ​

These units are designed to engage students in Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Science and Engineering Practices in order to investigate and discover key ideas from grade-level NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas and Crosscutting Concepts.

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Piloted by Garden Educators

Each unit was piloted by in 12 public schools over 2 years, and revised to reflect the feedback from school garden educators.

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Positive Response

The curriculum and Life Lab’s teaching model have received very positive responses from all the pilot schools, with 98% to 100% of teachers reporting that the NGSS in the Garden program improved their students’ enthusiasm for learning, connection to the natural world, scientific knowledge, social and emotional skills, and attitudes towards fresh fruits and vegetables.​

Tried and True

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Schools

Each unit was piloted in 12 public schools, and revised to reflect the feedback from educators.

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Students

The total number of students that participated in this curriculum exceeded 8,250

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Postive Response

The curriculum and Life Lab’s teaching model have received very positive responses from all the pilot schools.

Choose the perfect lesson package

Each grade-level unit includes 8 lessons, which build on one another. These units are designed to engage students in NGSS Science and Engineering Practices in order to investigate and discover key ideas from grade-level NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas and Crosscutting Concepts. Click here for the Unit Overviews. Each unit includes a Welcome to the Garden lesson; 6 science lessons that build upon one another; and a final, formative assessment lesson. Each lesson also includes a 3D learning objective with alignment to the 3 dimensions of NGSS; suggested extensions; relevant connections to Common Core Math and English Language arts; and related handouts to use with students.

Individual Use

$20

Per Unit

$50 for all 3 units​

Program Use

$120

Per Unit

$300 for all 3 units​

District Use

Contact us for custom package

Free Sample lessons

Kindergarten

1st grade

2nd grade

Our team

Whitney Cohen is a teacher, trainer, and author with tremendous commitment to, and expertise in, place-based education; student-led inquiry; strategies for engaging a diverse student population; school gardens; and the intersection between environmental education, Common Core and Next Generation academic content standards, and the public school system.
Whitney Cohen
Lead Author
Sara comes to Life Lab after working as a public school science teacher, science instructional coach and science education researcher for the past 14 years. Sara brings expertise in implementing and facilitating NGSS-aligned lessons for diverse learners in the classroom and other informal spaces and strongly believes in making science accessible to all students.
Sara Severance
Contributor, Reviewer
Aislíng leads our team of Life Lab Educators to bring the Partner Schools Program to life at seven elementary schools in Pajaro Valley Unified School District! Our K-2nd graders are engaged in hands-on NextGen Science in their very own life laboratories on campus; sparking the curiosity of tomorrow’s scientists!
Aislíng Mitchell
Contributor, Reviewer, Piloter
Tamara holds undergraduate degrees in physics and mathematics and graduate degrees in astronomy and astrophysics. After many years as a professional research astronomer, she turned her primary focus to science education in 2006. Since then, she has been developing innovative curriculum for students and teachers.
Dr. Tamara Helfer
Contributor, Reviewer, Piloter
Amy has spent the past 16 years developing and directing garden-based programs and curriculum at the Life Lab Garden Classroom, and has worked with countless interns, summer campers, and field trip participants to foster a love of learning in the garden, a connection with the natural world, and an enthusiasm for growing and eating fresh garden food. She is a particular fan of teaching through music, hands-on experiences, and open-ended play.
Amy Carlson
Reviewer

Endorsements

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