Grade 4 Lesson Ideas Introduction

Visiting the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden

In order to reinforce your students' learning experiences at the Garden, we have created several lessons that you might consider completing before your visit. By connecting the Garden field trip to your curriculum, you can use the excitement and interest of the students' experiences to make concepts more relevant and provide strong support for your classroom instruction. These activities are closely aligned with the Science Content Standards for California Public Schools, as noted below.

Science Content Standards:

Life Sciences
All organisms need energy and matter to live and grow. As a basis for understanding this concept:

  • Students know plants are the primary source of matter and energy entering most food chains.
  • Students know producers and consumers (herbivores, carnivores, omnivores and decomposers) are related in food chains and food webs and may compete with each other for resources in an ecosystem.

Living organisms depend on one another and on their environment for survival. As a basis for understanding this concept:

  • Students know ecosystems can be characterized by their living and nonliving components.
  • Students know that in any particular environment, some kinds of plants and animals survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.

Possible Open Court Connection:

Level 4, Unit 4: Survival

When planning your field trip, we recommend that you think carefully about what you will do before, during and after your visit. Ask yourself:

  • What can I do to prepare students for the experience before we go?
  • What will we do while we are there? What do I want students to discover?
  • What can I do after the visit to reinforce student learning?

The activities described here provide ideas for each of these parts.