AFTER YOU VISIT THE GARDEN…
Lesson Ideas for Kindergarten
Students will identify and describe some of the plants and animals
that live in a pond ecosystem.
- Pond ecosystem cards (see Activity 4- Ecosystem Cards A & B)
- Things that do not belong in a pond cards (see Activity 4- Not in
- chart paper or chalkboard
- tape (or other material use to attach pictures to the board)
- art materials for students (paper, crayons, etc.)
As part of this less, you will discuss the koi's home or habitat
(the space where a particular animal lives). Students will describe
the other plants and animals that live (and interact) in the same
pond area as the koi—this is considered an ecological community.
The community, along with the different habitats in that community
makes up an ecosystem.
Before you start:
Create the graphic organizer shown below on chart paper or on
- Begin by have students share what they observed at the Japanese
Gardens. Then guide the discussion to what they saw in and around
the koi pond.
- Show students the paper bags with the animal
& plant cards inside (you may wish to double the cards). Tell
students that this is a “mystery bag,” and that there
are pictures of many different plants and animals inside. Some cards
have pictures of plants and animals that they saw at the Japanese
gardens, and that belong in a pond ecosystem.
- Demonstrate to students how they will come
up, one at a time, to draw a card from the bag and show it to the
group. The students are to observe the plant or animal on the card,
and give a “thumbs up” if it is a plant or animal that
belongs in a pond ecosystem, or a “thumbs down” if it
isn’t. Then the student who drew the card will place it on
the correct side of the graphic organizer (demonstrate the process
by modeling one time).
- Ask students why they think some of the
animals live in a pond while others do not. Ask them to think about
why koi prefer to live in a pond? (e.g. fins and tail, can't breathe
in air, etc.)
- Ask students to draw a picture of the koi
home or habitat. Remind them to include the other plants and animals
that share the koi's home.
- Decorate the bulletin board created in the pre-activity with
the pond ecosystem cards or pictures from the visit to the garden.
- Play a game of “feed me” (“steal the bacon")
with students pretending to be koi fish in a pond racing to capture
the pellet (bean bag) that a visiting human has dropped in the water.