Welcome to Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden  
 
 
   
 

DURING YOUR VISIT TO THE GARDEN…

Lesson Ideas for Kindergarten

Activity #3: Exploring a pond

Investigation objective:
Students will observe and describe some of the plants and animals that live in a pond ecosystem.

Materials:
Note cards or notebook (for teacher)

Before:

  1. On the day of the trip, remind students of their pre-visit lesson(s) by asking them how fish are different from people OR what are important parts of a fish. You might refer them to their koi bulletin board if you completed activity #2
  2. Ask students to tell you a little about where fish live. How is that place different from where we live?
  3. Inform students that they will be visiting a garden with a pond, where lots of koi are living. Ask students what else they might see in the pond, other than koi.
  4. (If you completed Activity #2) Explain to students that they are going to help their koi on the bulletin board today by observing what a pond looks like, and what kinds of plants and animals live in a pond, so that they can make a home for the koi.

Exploration—at the Japanese Garden:

  1. Ask students to see if they can pick out the parts of a fish? Can they see the head, mouth, fins, tail, etc.
  2. Draw students’ attention to the plants, insects, and other animals present in or around the pond (as well as the koi). Have students describe them to you and to each other.
  3. Keep track of student responses for use during the post-visit activity.

Another idea:
If you have adequate chaperones, break the class into smaller groups to explore the Garden. Have a camera (digital or disposable) available for each group. Have each chaperone tell their group of students that he/she wants to take pictures of things that live in (or around) a pond. Students can direct the chaperone to take the pictures. These can be used for to the post-visit activity back in the classroom, or can be added to the bulletin board created during Activity #2.