Jefferson’s Gardens: A Landscape of Opportunities / Introduction to Project-Based Learning for this Unit

Lesson Plan


Grade Level

Middle School

Author Info

Darla Gerlach
Shaler Area Middle School
1810 Mt. Royal Boulevard
Glenshaw, PA 15101

Type of Lesson



Up to 1 month

Interdisciplinary Connections

This unit correlates with English/Language Arts, Science, Social Studies curricula and Humanities curricula.



This unit will provide information on project-based learning and teaching strategies that will be used in the sections: Jefferson's Gardens:  A Landscape of Opportunities: A Perpetuating Flower Garden/An Experimental Vegetable Garden/Creating Personal Space for Self-Reflection and The Art of Calligraphy. 

Prior Knowledge

Students will be provided with information from the Monticello website andinterrelated resources to complete the projects associated with this unit.

State Standards

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.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes

Project-based learning allows students to independently set and accomplish their goals for this unit.

Technology Connections/outcomes

Project-based learning is derived from a teaching/learning model that empowers students to be more creative and more receptive to becoming independent thinkers and problem solvers in the classroom and outside of school.

This section is coordinated with the Introduction to the Unit

And the following lessons under Jefferson's Garden: A Landscape of Opportunity:

1. A Perpetuating Flower Garden

2. An Experimental Vegetable Garden

3. Jefferson: Creating Personal Space for Self-Reflection

4. The Art of Calligraphy

Additional Learning Outcomes

Students will becomecreative learners in that theyacquire skills to tap intovarious types of resources that provide valuable information to help them in the process of completing their projects.


  1. See "Handouts and Downloads" – Jefferson's Gardens: A Landscape of Opportunities: Introduction to Project-Based Learning

Related Assets

Handouts and Downloads


See various projects in this unit.