Junior Garden Science Exploration

Your lesson will take place in Rainbow Reef, the Learning Lab, and other exhibits.

Lesson extensions for before or after your visit

The following activities are designed for your class to enjoy before or after your museum visit. Familiarizing students with the lesson concepts can enrich your museum experience.

Discovery table

Encourage students to bring in an object from nature that interests them. Display the objects on a table or shelf. Add plants and/or class pets to the display. Provide magnifying glasses, and clipboards with paper and pencils for exploration and drawing.

Wonder center

Establish an area in the classroom where students can post their questions. Provide sticky notes, pencils, and chart paper for recording.

Question circles

Choose questions from the Wonder Center to discuss as a class. Include students in establishing norms for the discussions. Some may be, “We will raise our hands when we want a turn,” “We will agree or disagree in a friendly way,” and "We will roll the ball to someone with a hand up for a turn." The goal is to give students a forum in which they can voice their theories rather than to arrive at correct answers.

Inquiry conversations

Provide opportunities for discussions (either small group, whole-group, or one-on-one) that begin with open-ended questions such as, “What do you notice?”, “What did you discover?”, or What do you wonder?” Let the students guide the discussion. Document the conversations by transcribing or tape recording. The documentation can be used to plan future experiences, remind students of what they said, or to share students' thinking with parents.


  • My Five Senses by Aliki
  • The Other Way to Listen by Byrd Baylor  
  • One Small Square: Backyard by Donald M. Silver