The Community Garden Plot Project

The Community Garden Plot 

We have been using manipulatives to explore measurement. We have been measuring the Perimeter and Area of different shapes. 

Mr. Danny, the Activities Director needed some help. He asked the students if they could create a map of the ‘Community Garden Plots‘.

We began by brainstorming what we already know about maps. We documented our thinking and ideas on chart paper. 

Next, we thought about the map of the ‘Community Garden’.

  • What should it include? 
  • What would we NEED to create the map?

The students wrote down their ideas. They shared their ideas with each other.  

A plan was beginning to unfold. 

Then, we went to the garden to take a closer look at the garden plots.

  • What else do we need to think about?
  • What steps do we need to take to complete the task?

The students continued to document their ideas on paper. They discussed their ideas with each other. 

What skills would we need to complete the task? The students shared their thinking. 

(Developing the Approaches to Learning​)

  • Kavel “You have to manage yourself. I think we should use thinking skills because we need to think how we need to measure the right proper way. We need to put the tool on the ‘0’ or it will be the wrong measurement.” 
  • Carlotta “You use thinking skills, to think about how you are going to measure things. You also need to use your social skills because you are already measuring one thing then you got to tell other people that they should not measure again.”
  • Chanwoong “We use communication skills because we all have different ideas so we have to communicate ourselves. We also need research skills because we have to ask questions about it and we have to gather and research the information on the garden.”
  • Reg: “You have to use your communication skills when you have already done a task you have tell others you have already done it. We also have to use Math skills because when we make the plot when we make the area around the garden plots, the perimeter, so we know the area of the plots. It will help us when we make the map. Like 1 meter of it can be like 30 or 20 cms.”
  • Hannah “You will need to use your mathematical skills, to write down the things like ideas and then count because we need to count how many plots.”
  • Sky “We need to count, because we need to know how many of the trees, pots and plots we need to draw on the paper. We need thinking skills because if we don’t think and we just say its like 2 cms (estimate) then we will get the wrong answer. If you measure it correctly then you will get the right answer. We need to be mathematicians because we need to add all the meters and cms. together. If you don’t you will have the wrong answer. ” 
  • Stella “We need Math skills, because you need to make a map you still need to think of math. 
  • Changhyeong “We need thinking skills because we need many ways to measure the ground.”

We wonder what our next steps would be….


The Project Plan

The students were working in groups to create a project plan to help them design a map of the Community Garden Plots. They went out to the garden plots to document their thinking and inquiry. 

They discussed their ideas, deciding how they want to work as a group to create the map. Some initial wonderings:

  • What will we include?
  • How will we measure around the pots?
  • When were the garden plots created?
  • How will we measure the plots inside the greenhouse?
  • What should we include in a map key?
  • What might the scale be?
  • How long is the whole community garden plot area?
  • How is the recycle bin used?

We used flags to demarcate the different areas each group will measure. 

The teams decided on the different materials and tools they will need to complete this task. 

The Project Plans 

Through this project the students have opportunities to develop a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts. They will explore how:

  • objects and events have attributes that can be measured using appropriate tools
  • estimation allows us to predict and check our measurements

  • position can be represented by coordinates on a grid

The students captured their reflections on paper.

Approaches to Learning:

Communication Skills/ Research Skills:

  • Ask relevant questions that can be researched
  • Make a plan for finding information
  • Gather information
  • Use senses to find and notice details
  • Record observations by drawing, note taking, charting, tallying, writing
  • Sort and categorize information
  • Present information in different ways

Social/ Self-management Skills:

  • Plan tasks and set goals
  • Use time effectively
  • Be organized
  • Cooperate

Thinking Skills:

  • Observe carefully in order to recognize problems
  • Make “thinking visible”
  • Make connections
  • Reflect on learning by asking questions

Over the last few weeks, the students have been collaborating in their groups to plan how they will create the map of the ‘Community Garden’ at NIS.

We created a table to list the materials we will need to complete the task. Students populated the table based on the needs of their individual group.

Next, we sourced the materials from the resource room.

Then, we went out with our tools and resources to begin measuring. The students had to decide how they will manage their task and document their learning. Through this experience, the students have many opportunities to use the skills and knowledge, for an authentic purpose.

We wonder what our next steps would be….

Creating a Floor Plan

The students have been drawing, recording measurements and talking to each other about the different ways they might complete their final map of the Community Garden Plots‘. To help us visualise other ways of documenting measurements, we created a floor plan of the classroom. This time, instead of drawing directly on paper, we wrote our measurements on post-it notes. 

First, we measured the length and width of the classroom. The students decided that the meter stick would be the most appropriate tool for this purpose.

Next, we thought about the measurements 790 cms X 947 cms. We used what we know about rounding to make the task easier. Our new measurement was 800 cms X 950 cms. The students realised that we cannot draw this on paper. We needed to think about a scale. They suggested we use the scale 1cm=10 cms. We used this information to draw the classroom floor plan.   

Then, each student measured different pieces of furniture that were in the classroom. Again, they rounded to the nearest 10 and wrote down their new measurements.

Finally, they drew a picture of their object to include on the floor plan. We used blu tak to position the objects as they could be moved around easily.

We wonder how this experience might influence the way the students create the map of the garden plots. How might rounding, scale and shape, influence the layout of the final map?


The Scale

Why do we need a scale?

The students concluded that a scale is needed as it is not possible to use actual measurements to draw objects on the chart paper map. All measurements would be rounded to the nearest 10 to make it easier to work out the measurement of the different objects. 

Why should all the groups use the same scale?

The students have been discussing and deciding on the scale that should be used in the final map. They agreed that everyone should use one scale as then the objects drawn would be measured using the same scale. To demonstrate this idea, we used two different scales to draw the height of ‘HANNAH’. The students could see that using two different scales resulted in two different heights of the same object. 

Next, we decided on the different colours we would all use for the different objects in the garden. We reviewed what we had done so far and what our next steps would be. 

The students finally agreed on the scale 5cms = 100cms. They worked out the different measurements using the scale. 

The students then began to round all their measurements to the nearest 10. Then they worked in their teams to draw and create all the objects needed for the final map. 

The teams have been working hard to complete their section of the map. We were ready to assemble the map. 

Next, we created the Map Key and included the Map Scale. Our map for Mr. Danny has been completed!