Teacher and student programs

growing minds of all ages

PreK - K

Classification

How are living things different from nonliving things? Explore the spiny desert and cloud forest and discover how living things are found in very different places.

Water in the Garden

What will you find living in water? Students will investigate the pond ecosystem in Hershey Children's Garden. (April - October).

Plants and Me

Plants surround us in our daily life. The clothes we wear, the food we eat and even the chairs we sit in come from plants. Explore the diversity of plants in our lives.

Plant Inquiry

Use your senses to observe plants and their parts, sorting and describing them. Students will plant a seed to observe its growth.

 

 
Water Inquiry

Explore the different water features in our indoor and outdoor gardens and find out how the water changes through the year.

Food Chains

Grab some binoculars or bring your own! We're going birding to observe where the Garden birds find food and how they hide. Student observations will be submitted to the "Celebrate Urban Birds" citizen science project at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Plants and Me

Plants surround us in our daily life. The clothes we wear, the food we eat and even the chairs we sit in come from plants. Explore the diversity of plants in our lives (April - Oct).

 

 
Plants and Air

We are surrounded by air - but did you know how important it is for plants to help keep our air clean? Find out the role that plants play in removing pollutants using their roots, stems and leaves!

Interactions

How do plants and animals in our glasshouse survive? Explore as we find out the types of food they eat and the places they live.

Plants and Me

Plants surround us in our daily life. The clothes we wear, the food we eat and even the chairs we sit in come from plants. Explore the diversity of plants in our lives (April - Oct).

 
Soil - Not DIRT!

Why is soil so important? What makes it different from dirt? Get ready to get dirty and find out what soil is made from.

Plant Parts

Plants need air, water, sunlight and nutrients to live and grow and have special structures to help them do that. We'll discuss these structures and locate them in the spiny desert and cloud forest. Each student will construct his or her own terrarium to take back to school and observe (please provide one 16 or 20 oz bottle for each student.)

 

 
Adaptations

Plants, animals and environments can change over time. Find out how the plants and animals of the spiny desert and cloud forest have adapted to live in these extreme conditions.

Plant Parts

Plants need air, water, sunlight and nutrients to live and grow and have special structures to help them do that. We'll discuss these structures and locate them in the spiny desert and cloud forest. Each student will construct his or her own terrarium to take back to school and observe (please provide one 16 or 20 oz bottle for each student.)

 
Food Webs

Observe the plants and animals of the spiny desert and the cloud forest and find out how they all rely on each other for energy and survival.

Plant Parts

Plants need air, water, sunlight and nutrients to live and grow and have special structures to help them do that. We'll discuss these structures and locate them in the spiny desert and cloud forest. Each student will construct his or her own terrarium to take back to school and observe (please provide one 16 or 20 oz bottle for each student.)

 
Soil Study

Come learn how the Garden uses different types of soil based on the type of plants that will be living in it. We will test the soil to find out what properties make it ideal for the environment we have created.

Plant Cells

Plants are made of cells. Find out the important functions of cells and then explore the gardens with your guide.

Adaptations

Fuzzy leaves, small leaves, large leaves, strange leaves. Find out how plants have adapted to live in the spiny desert and cloud forest.

 
Food Webs

Observe plants and animals of the spiny desert and cloud forest, and find out how they all rely on each other for energy and survival.

Phososynthesis/Respiration

How a plant makes food and breathes is connected. Explore the relationship between these important plant functions while investigating the unique biomes of Madagascar and Costa Rica.

Symbiotic Relationships

Plants and animals interact with one another through symbiotic relationships, and some organisms have become so adapted to each other that neither could survive without the other. Students explore two vastly different biomes, unearthing some of the 'isms': mutualism, commensalism, etc.

 
Plant Reproduction

Reproduction is necessary for a species to survive. Learn about the many ways plants have adapted for pollination to take place.

Adaptations

Fuzzy leaves, small leaves, large leaves, strange leaves. Find out how plants have adapted to live in the spiny desert and cloud forest.

Symbiotic Relationships

Plants and animals interact with one another through symbiotic relationships, and some organisms have become so adapted to each other that neither could survive without the other. Students explore two vastly different biomes, unearthing some of the 'isms': mutualism, commensalism, etc.

 
Environmental Science

Discover how the Garden has been inspired to create new landscapes. We will explore the rooftop garden, the rain garden and Woodland Garden to find out the environmental issues that led to the design and plant choices.

Citizen Science

Everyday, all around the world people are contributing to large scale science research projects on everything from birds and bugs, to plants and waterways. With no need for extensive trainining or complicated tools, anyone can become a citizen scientist. Technology advances have made this process not only easier, more accessible and more accurate, but also very fun. Learn how scientists are using data collected by everyday people to help solve mysteries, create laws protecting the environment, and discover new information. Then move outside to use a tool most of us have in our pockets - a smart phone - to collect data and contribute to a few different citizen science projects using mobile phone applications. Students will use their own devices, data charges may apply.

Geology and Botany

Plants can often be identified by their habitat. This class showcases how modern botanists use techniques such as Google Earth and topographical maps to help identify plant populations. Students will learn about Ohio's distinct geological history, tour various gardens, and learn about plants growing in specific locations.

Patterns in Nature

We begin with a tour and discussion of the many different colors and patterns found in the plants and animals of the Garden. Students observe and document nature, utilizing shape, line and texture, as well as learn about and look for Fibonacci sequences. The students will spend time drawing these life forms.

Plant Structure, Function and Classification

Plants have adapted physically to a wide range of environments. Learn the structure and function of various plant parts, while using them as a basis for their classification into groups and subgroups. Study unique features of plants and use a dichotomous key to identify plants in our biomes.

Evolution and Adaptation

Students learn about a spiny desert and a cloud forest, focusing on the flora found in each. Based on leaf color, leaf size and flower color and shape, students evaluate and measure the effects of water, light and time on the plant life in these two biomes. We'll measure and compare the area of leaves in both biomes, drawing conclusions on the differences they see, as well as reflect on how leaf color may be affected by the selective pressures in each biome.

 

 
 
Independent Study
  • Self-guided visits to the Garden
  • Structure your visit around what your students are currently learning
  • We greet your class, introducing the gardens and Glasshouse and the plants and animals they will see
  • Self-guided scavenger hunts upon request
Homeschool Groups

Homeschool students or learning co-ops can plan a day at the Garden. Organize a group of students and contact us to learn about how we can meet the unique needs of your group.

Adaptive Programs

Children and adults with special needs may benefit from our specially designed adaptive programming. Special populations with a variety of learning challenges can participate in plant lessons created with their unique requirements in mind. Call us to discuss your group and additional programming details at 216.707.2841.

  • Sensory programs in the Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse
  • Plants and Me investigations
  • Plant Parts investigations