Jefferson's Gardens: A Landscape of Opportunities: Section 2 - An Experimental Vegetable Garden
Author InfoDarla Gerlach, EdD
Shaler Area Middle School
1810 Mt. Royal Boulevard
Glenshaw, PA 15101
Type of Lesson
Students will study Jefferson’s concept of microclimate and water conservation at Monticello and they are given the opportunity to monitor their observations of growing their own vegetable (a radish) similar to Jefferson’s detailed recordkeeping of his vegetable garden at Monticello. Students will also discuss microclimate at Montalto (mountain next to Monticello); comparing and contrasting agricultural concepts and conservation nowadays.
Students will be provided with information from the Monticello website and interrelated resources.
PA Core Standards: Reading in History & Social Studies (6-8); Reading Informational Texts: CC.8.5.6-8.A,B,D-G,J; Writing in History & Social Studies (6-8); CC.8.6.6-8.A-I.; Reading in Science & Technology (6-8); CC.3.5.6-8C,F-I; Writing in Science & Technology (6-8); CC.3.6.6-8A-I.
Students will develop an understanding of how Thomas Jefferson incorporated plants and agricultural ideas from multiple foreign countries into his own gardens at Monticello.
This section is coordinated with the following sections: Jefferson’s Gardens: A Landscape of Opportunities: Introduction to Project-Based Learning and Instructions to the Unit, as well as:
Lesson 1 - A Perpetuating Flower Garden
Lesson 3 - Jefferson: Creating Personal Space for Self-Reflection
Lesson 4 - The Art of Calligraphy
Additional Learning Outcomes
Students will develop an understanding of Jefferson’s fascination with plant experimentation and gardening techniques for future generations to expound upon. Jefferson’s tolerance with unsuccessful crops and his determination to persevere with successful solutions provides inspiration for individuals today.
See the following in "Handouts and Downloads"
- Powerpoint: "An Experimental Vegetable Garden"
- Refer to Handout - "Vegetable Growth Chart"
- and reference "Jefferson's Gardens: A Landscape of Opportunities Image Gallery for photos of Monticello's vegetable garden.
Handouts and Downloads
- A Socratic Discussion of Jefferson’s decision to situate Monticello on a mountaintop
- An Experimental Vegetable Garden
- Jefferson's Gardens: A Landscape of Opportunities Image Gallery
- The Socratic Circle
- Vegetable Growth Chart
- Environmental Observations of Jefferson: "The Socratic Circle"
- Environmental Observations of Jefferson: "A Socratic Discussion of Jefferson's decision to situate Monticello on a mountaintop" and Environmental Observations of Jefferson: Part 2: Agricultural aspects of Montalto (one download)
- Observations & Notations "Vegetable Growth Chart"
- Handout: "Observations of Radish Growth"
Reference: Jefferson's Gardens: "A Landscape of Opportunities Image Gallery"