The Japanese Garden

Learning Context

The Japanese Garden Project enables our students to show real-life achievement in Language Arts, Math and Social Studies through a non-traditional setting. The students use their background knowledge about Japan and its gardens. The students will examine many different web sites, software packages and books. They will video conference with a horticulturist in Japan. They will investigate, plan and carry out the building of the Japanese Garden in the schoolyard.

Through the use of cooperative learning groups and technology, an active learning environment can be fostered to accommodate a range of student abilities.

Through this learning process, the students will be able to:

  • Plan and measure an area for the garden
  • Identify different plants
  • Understand the symbolic philosophies behind the Japanese Garden
  • Locate Japan on a map
  • Learn the Japanese Culture and philosophy by constructing a Japanese Garden
  • Build a bamboo fence

Work cooperatively in groups

The students will understand the basic principles of the garden in such a way as it represents the world. It will have rocks to represent the rocks and mountains, trees to represent trees in the forests, water to represent the ocean, plants to represent the flowers and trees of the world and soil to represent Earth.

Through this process, the students will keep an on-going journal with questions and reflections. The students will also create web pages and slideshow presentations. The students are active participants throughout the project which will enable them to demonstrate ownership. This project is an example of an integrated approach to learning that enables students with different learning abilities to achieve.


Social Studies

Standard 3: Geography

  • Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the geography of the interdependent world in which we live- local, national, and global - including the distribution of people, places, and environments over the Earth’s surface.
  • Students will use natural resources in building a Japanese Garden.
  • Students will speak to the horticulturist (Cacuchi) to learn and
  • understand the symbolic philosophies behind the Japanese Garden.
  • Students will learn the Japanese culture and philosophy by constructing a Japanese Garden.

Language Arts

  • Standard 1: Language for Information and Understanding
  • Students will listen, speak, read and write for information and understanding.
  • Students will complete PBL (Problem Based Learning) Chart
  • Students will listen to a horticulturist
  • Students will ask questions pertaining to a Japanese garden
  • Students will write information in learning logs (journals)
  • Standard 2: Language for literary response and expression.
  • Students will read aloud accurately and fluently for directions