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The Global Garden

Growing Up Global: Early Years Global Education Handbook


The Global Garden is part of a larger compilation entitled Growing Up Global: Early Years Global Education Handbook. This resource book and supporting CD demonstrates how global education can be introduced to students at a very young age (five and under) through the use of fun activities such as songs, games, poems and recipes. The resource contains background information, suggested activities, such as songs and games, stories, book lists, useful website links, ideas for extension learning and a resource CD with pictures, colour photos and reproducible sheets.

The Global Garden takes a look at the chain of processes that bring our food from plant to plate, plant and animal life cycles and taking care of the environment.

Green Fingers - Students learn about the lifecycles of plants by planting seeds in pots and on moist blotting paper. They explore different ways to plant seeds and nurture them.

Cycle of Life – Student arrange pictures of a tree cycle from seed to fruit in the correct order.

Living in a Tree – Students go outdoors to observe birds, insects and animals that we share our environment with, count the different types observed and discuss their basic needs.

Made from Plants – Students classify pictures of objects that are made and not made from trees and plants.

Composting – Students learn about composting by sorting waste and discussing ways to reduce waste.

Choosing the Future – Using a picture book students learn that today’s choices have an impact tomorrow.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • Analyzing a five year old's global footprint, by discussing the impact of their lifestyle choices on our environment.


  • The resource is available to download immediately.
  • Well organized, easy to use and supplies all necessary materials.
  • Activities are very hands-on, very age-appropriate.
  • Excellent background information, list of website links and extensive book list.
  • Each lesson plan includes learning objectives, goals, materials needed and detailed teaching instructions.


  • No opportunities for students to share what they have learned with their parents or peers.
  • The activities suggested do not always attain their learning objectives.
  • Incorporate some case studies
  • No assessment mechanisms provided
  • Include some technology ideas
  • The resource lacks a significant action component.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

Themes Addressed

  • Ecosystems (1)

    • Appreciating the Natural World
  • Waste Management (1)

    • Composting

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good
  • The resource presents many different age-appropriate points of view to address the issue.
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Satisfactory
  • ecological
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Poor/Not considered
  • Non-applicable in this resource.
Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Satisfactory
  • Students sort waste and decide if it can be composted.
Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Poor/Not considered
  • Students are not explicitly given an opportunity to clarify their own values.
Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered
  • Not considered in this resource.
Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Good
  • Students plant and nurture seedlings.
  • Students go outdoors and observe birds,insects and animals. They try to encourage different species to visit their area by setting up nesting boxes, nests and clay tunnels for insects.
Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Good
  • Through some of the activities students learn that their choices have an impact on the environment.
Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Good
  • Using a picture book students learn that today’s choices have an impact tomorrow.
Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Good
  • The lessons provide concrete activites for the students. The activities have the students exploring, asking questions and finding their own solutions. The hands-on activities include planting and nurturing seeds, observing creatures, and composting.
Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Satisfactory
  • Science
  • Language Arts
  • Music
Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Good
  • The tasks allow five year olds to discover and build knowledge for themselves. The tasks are age-appropriate and encourage students to manipulate and discover through hands-on activities.
Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.


Differentiated Instruction Satisfactory
Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Good
  • An outdoor, hands-on activites is suggested - a visit outdoors to observe birds,animals and insects in their environment.
  • The class sets up an observation area which includes nesting boxes and insect tunnels in an attempt to attract more creatures.
  • Students plant and nurture seeds.
Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory
  • Students work in groups.
Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Poor/Not considered
  • No assessment suggestions are provided
Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Poor/Not considered
Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Poor/Not considered
Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Poor/Not considered
Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.