Second grade

5 The 3 Be’s

Objectives/Assessment Targets

Students will:

  • Model garden rules.

Activity Preparation

This is the first lesson students get in the garden. It introduces students to the garden grounds, what’s growing, the tools they will use, and expectations for using them and being in the garden.

Write the 3 Be’s on the whiteboard. Connect with teachers so the expectations match the school’s culture.


  • Examples of garden tools students will use throughout the year
  • Materials to make a 3 Be’s poster
  • Cover worksheet, page 1 in student workbooks

Activity 1: Our 3 Be’s

Remind students that:

  1. The garden, like our school, is full of diversity and respecting other people and living things is important.
  2. We have the same expectations in the garden as in the classroom.

Invite a student to read the 3 Be’s practiced at the school on the whiteboard.


How will you practice each Be?

  1. Be Respectful: Respect all living things, including plants, animals, insects, and each other. Point out that some students may be frightened by certain insects and spiders in the garden and review appropriate ways to deal with fear. Demonstrate how to walk on paths respectfully in the garden. Explain that there will certainly be moments when students will be able to run in the garden, but in general walking is the safest way to get around in the garden.
  2. Be Safe: Use tools safely and responsibly (real tools for real jobs). Explain that we will work together throughout the year to care for the garden, which will require the use of real tools. Students will learn where the toolshed is so that they know where to find tools, clean tools, and put tools back.
  3. Be Responsible: Prompt students to think about this phrase and how it ties into being safe and respectful. Point out that not all plants are edible. Demonstrate how to ask before picking and when we do harvest fruits and vegetables they are ripe and ready. Explain that many fruits and some vegetables appear to be ready and mature when, in fact, they are still unripe. Picking responsibly and safely means not throwing our bounty or hoarding garden favorites (e.g., strawberries).

CA Health Standard 1.5.S

Identify ways to reduce risk of injuries at home, at school, and in the community.

CA Health Standard 7.4.N

Practice how to take personal responsibility for engaging in physical activity.

CA Health Standard 8.1.N

Support others in making positive food and physical activity choices.

Activity 2: Making Your Workbook Your Own

Students use the first page in their workbooks to write their name and classroom teacher. Invite them to personalize their workbooks. Prompt them to draw or write ways they will practice the 3 Bes in the garden throughout the year. If students need additional prompts, encourage leaf rubbing or trying to draw what they see growing in the garden with a careful, scientific eye. Students write their first journal entry.


  • What is growing in the garden now?
  • What do people do when they are being safe in the garden?
  • What do people do when they are being respectful in the garden?
  • What do people do when they are being responsible in the garden?

Student Reflection

Ask questions: Explain that asking questions can help students be respectful, safe, and responsible. Encourage students to ask questions to a peer or teacher whenever they are unsure about something. Emphasize that the garden is a place to ask all sorts of questions about curiosities!

NGSS Science/Engineering Practice 1: Asking Questions and Defining Problems

Ask questions based on observations to find more information about the natural and/or designed world(s).

Practice teamwork: Prompt students to think about what teamwork means and why it is so important in the garden. Explain that the garden only exists because of the student and teacher teamwork and collaboration that go into maintaining it.

“Try it!”: Emphasize that we always try a little of whatever is offered. It’s okay if we don’t like it. We make sure not to yell out how much we don’t like something; instead, we can quietly put our food in the compost.

English Language Learning (ELL) Focus: Routine Statements

  • When I’m being safe in the garden, I ______________.
  • When I’m being respectful in the garden, I __________________.
  • When I’m being responsible in the garden, I___________________.

Additional Information

Tips from our garden educators: Begin each class with observation questions for students as they enter the garden. Get to know each student’s name by playing name games. Students will respect the garden and your instruction more if you know their name.

Observational questions could be:

  • What fruits and vegetables are ready to eat in the garden right now?
  • Can you find flowers of every color of the rainbow?
  • What is new in the garden? What do you see that you’ve never seen before?
  • What is missing? What have you seen before in the garden that you don’t see anymore


The content found in this demo chapter has been adapted from Berkeley Public Schools’ Gardening and Cooking Program via


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K-12 Teaching Science 2018 (student manual demo) Copyright © by Berkeley Unified School District is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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