Life Lab

Life Lab cultivates children's love of learning, healthy food, and nature through garden-based education.

Middle School Social Science Lessons

These lessons have been developed to bring garden-based nutrition education and California standards-based social studies curriculum together. We believe that food history is an integral part of understanding culture and that experiential lessons in the garden and cooking classroom can encourage students to eat more healthily and deepen their understanding of past civilizations.

The lessons below are works in progress and are not yet approved by the Network for a Healthy California. These are a sample; garden and cooking activities have been modified and tested for most seventh grade social studies units (Fall of Rome, Rise of Islam, Civilizations of West Africa, Ancient China, Feudal Japan, Feudal Europe, Renaissance, and Mezo-America). For eighth grade we have lessons for the Constitutional Convention, Native American, and Westward Expansion units. If you would like more information please contact kpearce@husd.k12.ca.us

China in the Garden (Grade 7)
Students are introduced to fruits and vegetables that originated in China as well as wellness
practices and the cultural significance of citrus through a multi-station activity. A follow up cooking lesson is available.

Europe in the Garden (Grade 7)
The grains, fruits, and vegetables of Feudal Europe are presented to students in a multi-station
activity. Students will understand that social status under Feudalism affected food options through a poster matching game, get to grind wheatberries into flour (to be used to make bread later), and taste peas while learning about the nutritional value of various European fruits and vegetables.

Westward Expansion in the Garden (Grade 8)
Students are introduced to fruits and vegetables available during the overland journey from the East Coast of the United States to the West during the 1800's. Students act as settlers in this garden based card game, and move along one of the three trails, which presents challenges in regards to geography, climate, and food security. After gathering produce from the different regions of the U.S., students put them together in a cooking activity, making bean chili and writing ghost stories.
 

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Thanks to the Whole Kids Foundation for the generous grant and to Big Creek Lumber for your donation to the Amesti Eagles' Garden. With the generous support of Life Lab and other community supporters, our students are receiving the gift of hands-on Next Generation Science Standards and learning about healthy eating in a beautiful outdoor classroom!

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Do you ever wonder what is living just below the surface of the San Lorenzo River? Join the Coastal Watershed Council and Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History for tomorrow's Exploring the San Lorenzo River tour and find out!

We will be meeting at 8:30 on the Santa Cruz Riverwalk next to Mike Fox park and will be seining for fish and collecting benthic macroinvertebrates aka bugs! We will learn about the organisms that live in the San Lorenzo River and their food webs. This tour is open to all ages. You can sign up online or by emailing CWC River Scientist Alev Bilginsoy at abilginsoy@coastal-watershed.org. Learn more at coastal-watershed.org/what-we-do/exploring-san-lorenzo-river-series/.
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At a @soilbornfarms school garden conference, in a workshop on trees reminded me of this incredible Radiolab Podcast podcast. Listen to this one. ... See MoreSee Less

Forests feel like a place of great stillness but dig deeper and there’s a hidden world beneath your feet as busy and complicated as a city. 

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LIFE LAB on MAUI! so AnB stopped sugar production on Maui this year, there is tons of land available to lease and they are now taking offers. If farmers or farm educators won't get to it, it will turn into development, there are not enough offers from farmers and we need more, so please pass this on to those that are interested. To speak to An B need to look them up and make an offer. They are taking offers now! ... See MoreSee Less

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Rachel PringleSenior Director of ProgramsEducation Outside

Life Lab has been the most innovative and relevant organization in this field. From providing the best curriculum to their cutting edge professional development, we have relied on Life Lab as our go to organization for support, ideas, and collaboration.

Erica CurryTraining and Professional Development ManagerFoodCorps

Life Lab provides truly inspiring training. Their breadth of experience, joy for teaching, and commitment to sharing knowledge highlight the best practices in food and garden education.

Sheila BrickenKindergarten TeacherSan Lorenzo Valley Elementary

Thank you for such a wonderful field trip experience! Your leaders did such a great job at keeping our kids engaged.

Tara NeierCamp ParentSummer camp mom

Terry had another awesome two weeks at Life Lab. I think he learns more there than in any other part of his year. School is great, but he’s passionate (and often dogmatic) about what he learns there.