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8525 Garland Road, Dallas, Texas 75218

Garden on the Go

Garden on the Go

Support your students STAAR readiness with our newest standards-aligned program series, which is backed by statistically-significant student success data.


Looking to engage your students in hands-on labs throughout the school year?

Our Garden on the Go program offers 6 classroom labs each for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students – each taught at your campus. These inquiry-based programs are designed to support specific grade level TEKS in all four reporting categories, and, after our first year pilot, results show significant growth in student STAAR success over their district peers!
(Read the report here.)

  • $200 per session (with up to 30 students)
  • Minimum of three sessions per lesson
  • *Required: One teacher in attendance per session

Travel Fees Outside of Dallas County:

  • Collin, Rockwall, Tarrant = $30
  • Cook, Denton, Ellis, Grayson, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Navarro, Parker, Van Zandt, Wise = $60
  • Anderson, Bosque, Delta, Fannin, Freestone, Henderson, Hill, Hood, Hopkins, Jack, Montague, Palo Pinto, Rains, Smith, Somervell, Wood = $90

Additionally, we are offering three classic Dallas Arboretum outreach programs for 3rd-6th grade classrooms.

Submit a Request Now

Third Grade Lessons

Diving into Physical Properties

Grade 3
How do our actions in North Texas contribute to the issue of marine debris? In this lesson students will explore how trash enters our waterways and ultimately flows to the ocean. They will then investigate an issue closer to home by making observations of a collection of objects that fell into one of the Arboretum’s water features. After determining the physical properties of each object, students will advise Arboretum staff on the best tool to use to retrieve each object.

TEKS:
3.2(B), 3.2(D), 3.2(F), 3.4(A), 3.5(A)

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:
Patterns; Structure and Function

 

Energy in the Garden

Grade 3
How can we use different forms of energy to solve problems that arise in a garden? After exploring, describing and identifying four forms of energy (mechanical, light, thermal and sound) in everyday objects, students are presented with garden scenarios.  They are then challenged to design strategies to address the problems using different forms of energy.

TEKS:
3.1(A), 3.2(B), 3.2(D) 3.4(A) 3.6(A)

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:
Patterns; Energy and Matter; Structure and Function

 

Rapid Changes  

Grade 3
How do volcanoes, earthquakes and landslides impact Earth’s surface? Students explore images that show the aftermath of volcanoes, landslides and earthquakes. Then they use models to further investigate these geological processes. Students are challenged to describe a strength and weakness of each model. 

TEKS
3.1(A), 3.2(B), 3.2(D), 3.2(F), 3.3(A), 3.3(B), 3.4(A), 3.7(B)

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:
Patterns; Cause and Effect; Scale; Proportion; Quantity

 

Models: Sun, Earth & Moon

Grade 3
Take a bird’s-eye view of space! Students first create a human-sized model to demonstrate the relative positions of the Sun, Earth and Moon and the orbits of the Earth and our Moon. Then, they use 3D printed models to demonstrate the same concepts, in a different way. Finally, students are challenged to create their own 2D model to demonstrate their understanding.

TEKS:
3.2(F), 3.3(A), 3.3(B), 3.4(A), 3.8(C)

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:
Patterns; Cause and Effect; Scale; Proportion; Quantity

 

A Tour of Texas: Exploring Environments Across our State

Experience the diversity of life across our state! Students will first observe the characteristics of three different Texas environments: Caddo Lake State Park, Blackland Prairie and Big Bend National Park. Students will then observe adaptations of various plants and animals and identify the environment where specific organisms would best survive.

TEKS:
3.2(D), 3.2(F), 3.4, 3.9(A)
 

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:
Patterns, Structure and function

 

Life Cycles

Let us bring our live organisms to you! In this lesson students will make observations of four different arthropods at various stages in their life cycles and identify similarities and differences in how these organisms change over time.

TEKS:
3.1(A), 3.2(F), 3.10(B)

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:
Patterns

Fourth Grade Lessons

Matter Over Time

Grade 4
What happens to our trash over time? In this lab, students first measure and record physical properties of a “fresh” piece of trash. Then, they measure and record the physical properties of that same type of trash that has been buried in soil for multiple weeks. Students use this data to discuss what happens to trash in a landfill and discuss what we can do to reduce the amount matter that is added to landfills.

TEKS:
4.1(B), 4.2(B), 4.2(D), 4.2(F), 4.3(B), 4.4(A), 4.5(A)    

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:
Patterns; Cause and Effect; Energy and Matter; Stability and Change

 

Pickle Powered

Grade 4
Can a pickle light a lightbulb? First, students differentiate among forms of energy, including mechanical, electrical, light, thermal and sound. Then, they identify these various forms of energy in electrical circuits and experiment with building a pickle battery, creating a circuit which powers a lightbulb.

TEKS:
4.1(A), 4.2(B), 4.2(F), 4.6(A), 4.6(C)

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:
Patterns; Cause and Effect; Energy and Matter; Stability and Change

 

Stories from the Soil

Grade 4
What do properties of soils tell us about the environments they came from? Students will first examine properties of soils from different areas, including color and texture, capacity to retain water and ability to support the growth of plants. Students will then use what they learned to investigate and identify where a mystery soil sample came from.

TEKS:
4.1(A), 4.2(B), 4.2(F), 4.4, 4.7(A)

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:
Patterns

 

Earth’s Water Cycle

Grade 4
In this lab, students will move through 5 stations to investigate various components of the water cycle. They will identify how models can be used to represent natural phenomena and explore the sun’s role in the continuous movement of water above and on the surface of Earth.

TEKS:
4.1(A), 4.2(B), 4.2(D), 4.3(B), 4.8(B)

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:
Cause and Effect, Systems and System Models

 

All About Ants! Traits and Behaviors

Grade 4
Let us bring our ant farm collection to your classroom! In this lab, students explore and describe inherited traits and learned behaviors while observing live ants.  First, students observe and identify the inherited traits ants share with all insects and those traits that make ants unique. Then, they discuss the behaviors of these social insects and identify the difference between instinctual behaviors and learned behaviors.

TEKS:
4.2(B), 4.2(D), 4.2(F), 4.3(B), 4.10(B)

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:
Patterns; Cause & Effect

 

Ecosystems in Action

Grade 4
What happens when the top predator leaves an ecosystem? In this lab, students identify the physical characteristics and ecological roles of 5 organisms: red wolves, post oak trees, turkey vultures, white-tailed deer and earthworms. Then, they create a food web to show how energy flows through this ecosystem. Finally, students play a game to explore how the local extinction of the red wolf in the eastern half of Texas impacts the entire food web.

TEKS:
4.2(B), 4.2(D), 4.2(F), 4.3(B), 4.9(B)

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:
Patterns; Cause and Effect; Systems and System Models; Energy and Matter; Stability and Change

Fifth Grade Lessons

Sorting Out Mixtures

Grade 5
What is a mixture? In this lab, students will first identify the differences between heterogeneous mixtures and solutions. They will then work in groups to create mixtures from a collection of beads and make observations of the physical properties of the mixture as compared to the physical properties of the ingredients. Finally students will explore soil as a mixture and investigate the ingredients that make up soil.

TEKS:
5.2(D), 5.4, 5.5(B), 5.7(B)

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:
Patterns

 

Garden Art

Grade 5  
How does light travel? In this lesson, students will first complete three investigations to explore how light travels in a straight line and changes direction when reflected or refracted. They will then be challenged to use what they learned about light to design a prototype of an art piece for the Dallas Arboretum.

TEKS:
5.2(D), 5.4, 5.6(C)

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:
Patterns, Cause and Effect, Structure and function

 

Landform Formation

Grade 5  
Why does the surface of Earth look the way it does? First, students observe images of landforms from around the globe. Then they use stream tables to investigate and describe how wind, water and ice contribute to the formation of sand dunes, valleys, canyons and deltas.

TEKS:
5.1(A), 5.1(B), 5.2(C), 5.2(D), 5.3(C), 5.2(F), 5.7(B)

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:
Patterns; Cause and Effect; Scale, Proportion and Quantity; Systems and System Models

 

Exploring Day and Night

Grade 5
Why do we experience day and night? First, students make observations of a time-lapse video of the setting sun. Then, they experiment with two different models and construct an explanation based on direct and indirect evidence, to explain the cause of the day and night cycle.

TEKS:
5.2(D), 5.3(A), 5.3(B), 5.8(C)

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:
Patterns; Cause and Effect; Scale, Proportion and Quantity; Systems and System Models

 

Eco Flow

Grade 5
Our arthropod collection will travel to you! In this lab, students observe live tarantulas, walking sticks, pill bugs and beetles in their habitats and identify interactions between living and nonliving components in these ecosystems.

TEKS:
5.1(A), 5.2(C), 5.2(G), 5.9(A)

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:
Systems and System Models

 

Amazing Adaptations: Plants

Grade 5
After reviewing the basic structures and functions of plants, students work through three stations to observe and describe a diverse selection of leaves, stems and roots. Students then learn about different Texas environments and infer, based on their observations, which plant grows best in each environment.

TEKS:
5.1(A), 5.2(G), 5.4(A), 5.10(A)

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:
Structure & Function

Classic Outreach Lessons

*Please note: Our classic outreach programs address standards for grades 3-6. While TEKS-aligned, they were not evaluated as part of the program linked above.

 

Disappearing Act

3rd-6th Grade
What happens when an organism in an ecosystem disappears? Students first investigate 3 organisms: white-tailed deer, post oak trees and grey wolves and then create a model of the Post Oak Savannah to actively simulate how the local extinction of wolves in this area affects all components of the ecosystem. Each student acts as either a wolf or a deer in this engaging, interactive lab.

TEKS:
3.1(A), 3.2(B), 3.2(C), 3.2(D), 3.2(E), 3.2(F), 3.3(B), 3.3(C), 3.4(A), 3.9(A), 3.9(B)
4.1(A), 4.2(B), 4.2(C), 4.2(D), 4.2(E), 4.2(F), 4.3(B), 4.3(C), 4.4(A), 4.9(B), 4.10(A)
5.1(A), 5.2(C), 5.2(D), 5.2(E), 5.2(F), 5.2(G), 5.3(B), 5.3(C), 5.4(A), 5.9(A), 5.9(B), 5.9(C)
6.1(A), 6.2(C), 6.2(D), 6.2(E), 6.3(B), 6.3(C), 6.12(E), 6.12(F)

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:
Scale, Proportion, & Quantity; Cause & Effect; Systems & System Models; Stability & Change

 

It’s a Bug’s Life

3rd-5th Grade
The Arboretum is home to hundreds of plant and animal species, including many bugs! In this program, students identify ‘bug’ as an informal name given to terrestrial arthropods and observe live organisms to identify the traits that make insects different from other arthropods. Students look closely at various arthropod adaptations that support survival in different environments and investigate the unique life cycles of different organisms.

TEKS:
3.1(A), 3.1(B), 3.2(B), 3.2(D), 3.2(E), 3.2(F), 3.3(C), 3.4(A), 3.10(A), 3.10(B)
4.1(A), 4.2(B), 4.2(D), 4.2(E), 4.2F, 4.3(A), 4.3(C), 4.4(A), 4.10(A), 4.10(C)
5.1(A), 5.1(B), 5.2(C), 5.2(D), 5.2(E), 5.2(F), 5.3(C), 5.4(A), 5.10(A)

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:
Patterns; Structure & Function

 

Restless Earth

3rd-5th Grade
Every place has a story. In this lab, students explore the slow processes that create geological change: weathering, erosion and deposition. 3rd and 4th grade students investigate how these processes lead to the formation of soils and use this information to explain why soils have different properties. 5th grade students identify how these processes lead to the formation of landforms and use this information to explain why certain places look the way they do and predict how areas could change in the future.

TEKS:
3.1(A), 3.2(B), 3.2(D), 3.2(F), 3.3(A), 3.4(A), 3.7(A)
4.1(A), 4.2(B), 4.2(D), 4.3(A), 4.3(B), 4.4(A), 4.7(B)
5.1(A), 5.2(C), 5.2(D), 5.3(A), 5.3(B), 5.4(A), 5.7(B)

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:
Cause & Effect; Scale, Proportion, & Quantity; Stability & Change

 

Garden Design Challenge

3rd-6th Grade
What environmental factors and landscape design choices must our horticulture staff consider when designing our seasonal plantings? In this multi-disciplinary lab, students work with actual Arboretum plant lists and design notes to create a landscape in the garden. Follow up the class with a visit to the space students just designed! [Only offered on-site]

TEKS:
3.1(B), 3.2(C), 3.2(D), 3.2(F), 3.3(B), 3.3(C), 3.4(A), 3.9(A), 3.10(A)

4.1(B), 4.2(C), 4.2(D), 4.2(F), 4.3(A), 4.3(C), 4.4(A), 4.10(A), 4.10(B)
5.2(C), 5.2(D), 5.2(F), 5.2(G), 5.3(A), 5.3(C), 5.4(A), 5.10(A), 5.10(B)
6.2(C), 6.3(B), 6.3(C), 6.4(A), 6.12(D), 6.12(F)

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:
Patterns; Cause and Effect; Scale, Proportion and Quantity; Systems and System Models; Stability and Change