Garden Humanities: Respect in the Garden

Respect in the Garden


In this 6th grade humanities lesson, ESY staff bring visual aids and props to the classroom to teach guidelines for applying the school’s 4BEs (Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible and Be an Ally) in the garden. It is important that each student receive this lesson before they come to the garden for their first hands-on class.


After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Explain the behavioral expectations in the garden using information on the 4BEs poster as a guide
  • Demonstrate an emerging understanding of the Edible Schoolyard Life Skills and Values


During this lesson, students will:

  • Review the 4BEs poster and share real life examples from their garden class
  • Discuss how teamwork, collaboration and open-mindedness can be demonstrated in the garden.


  • Live chicken
  • Assorted garden tools
  • Visual aid

Before You Begin

  • Create the visual aid
  • Collect and prepare all the materials


At the Opening Circle

  1. Welcome students and ask if they know the school’s 4BEs. Point out the visual aid, and explain that it shows how the school’s 4BEs can be applied in the garden.
  2. Have a student read the "Be Safe" section of the visual aid to the group. Explain that asking before eating garden crops is critical to students' safety. Also explain that the kitchen needs to have enough food for planned lessons and that all crops taste best when they are ripe and ready to eat. Point out that forage crops like raspberries and ground cherries are an exception to this rule: they are plants that students are allowed to pick and eat without asking.
  3. Have a student read the “Be Respectful” section of the visual aid to the group.  Ask students to volunteer ideas of how they can show respect to insects, chickens, and each other. Demonstrate the safest way to catch, hold, and pet a chicken.
  4. Have a student read the “Be Responsible” section of the visual aid to the group. Demonstrate how to use the tools responsibly and safely. Ask students what some of the possible consequences of using tools incorrectly or irresponsibly could be.
  5. Have a student read the “Be an Ally” section of the visual aid to the group. Ask students for suggestions on how they can be an ally in the garden and clarify as needed.
  6. Introduce the ESY values that are especially applicable in the Garden: teamwork, collaboration and open-mindedness. Ask students how they can demonstrate these in the garden.
  7. Ask students to contribute other ideas that could be included on the Respect in the Garden poster.
  8. Divide the class into groups for garden jobs. Encourage students to look for ways to demonstrate the 4BEs in the garden. Ask them to watch for a particular example from a classmate to share at closing circle.

In the Field

  1. Students disperse into their garden job groups. Each group works with a teacher on its assigned job.
  2. Begin each group with an introduction and check-in question.
  3. After the allotted time, clean up and return to the Ramada.

At the Closing Circle

  1. Remind students of the one-voice rule in the Ramada. Going one by one around the circle, have each student report one thing they are looking forward to doing in the garden.  
  2. Ask one student from each group to report back to the larger group about what they did in their garden job.
  3. Ask students to reflect quietly for a moment and then share an example of someone they saw modeling one of the 4BEs.

Download: Respect in the Garden Visual Aid

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