The Living Classroom
Lessons learned in The Living Classroom help the children connect with nature, and help them understand why that connection is important. Children experience nature first hand in The Living Garden, getting real world lessons on plants, animals, soil, ecosystems, biodiversity, sustainability and more.
Plant the seeds of learning, exploration, and discovery with The Living Classroom Learning Lab.
“Learn from nature. See how everything gets accomplished and how the miracle of life unfolds without dissatisfaction or unhappiness.”
There is magic and mystery abiding before us in a place called the Natural World. It is here where we witness the circle of life continuing season after season. There is a need for all the plants and animals of the natural world to survive. In order for all plants and animals to continue to exist, we need to understand why their relationship to us is so important. It is here in the natural world that we see the interconnectedness and interdependence of plants and animals. These relationships benefit us all, and it is realized in the food we eat.
Come along as we explore what the natural world is all about. Investigate the topics of how ecosystems work, of how plants and animals adapt to climate and protect themselves from predators, of how our animal pollinators have a symbiotic relationship with the plants they pollinate, and how we must help it continue to exist.
It is up to all of us to be the Keepers of the Earth.
A Series of Ecosystems
Four separate ecosystems, a Butterfly Garden, Prairie, Pond, and Vegetable Garden comprises this outdoor learning lab.
Our Beautiful Butterfly Garden
The Butterfly Garden displays a variety of blooming plants that naturally attract pollinators and is designed as an official Monarch Butterfly Way Station.
Our Peaceful Prairie
The dry ecosystem of the Prairie contains especially adapted plants that have developed defense mechanisms in their leaves. The roots of these plants reach as deep as their height.
Our Tranquil Pond
The pond is home to unique and comical animals that abound in the water. The movements and fascinating shapes of these water animals viewed under a microscope have inspired captivating student poetry.
Our Bountiful Vegetable Garden
The Vegetable Garden is designed after George Washington’s Kitchen garden at Mount Vernon. Each year the harvest is shared with a local food shelter.
The Living Classroom Learning Lab Curriculum
The Living Classroom Learning Lab is a curriculum whose purpose is to connect children with nature.
“Every individual matters, every individual has a role to play, every individual can make a difference.”
The Living Classroom Learning Lab is a curriculum whose purpose is to connect children with nature. Now, with the greater emphasis in our world and in education on our environment, it is extremely important for children to understand why their relationship to nature is necessary. A significant portion of the K-12 Disciplinary Core Ideas that are listed in the Next Generation Science Standards is ecology based.
There are four major themes which run through the scope and sequence of this curriculum: Nature Detective, Ecosystems, Seed to Seed, and Private Eye. The lessons are connected within each theme in an ascending, spiraling dependence upon one another. For a fifth grader to achieve in a Sustainability lesson, he/she must also have the prior knowledge of the basic needs of plants, animals, and
humans learned in Kindergarten and First grade.