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Lesson Plans

Step into the Portland Japanese Garden and discover a world of new ideas and experiences that will bring your classroom to life! We invite you to explore this world with your students on a class visit to the Garden and through the Learning to Live in Harmony with Nature teaching materials.

With the Portland Japanese Garden as a living vehicle for exploration, you and your students are invited to discover new ways of thinking, not only about Japanese culture, but about natural science, language arts, social studies, and the visual arts.

Learning to Live in Harmony with Nature includes five lesson plans that serve Oregon State Common Curriculum Goals in several categories, while offering a variety of approaches to engage children in learning to understand and appreciate nature through the Garden.

Each of the five lesson plans in this packet is designed to enhance a field trip to the Garden, but can also be used in the classroom by taking advantage of the natural spaces around your school, in a park or on a trail nearby.

Each lesson designates the grade-level for which it is written (K-2, 3-5, and 6-8), but each also includes easy-to-use methods of adapting the plans to fit whichever grade level you teach.

Each lesson plan includes: Objectives, Common Curriculum Goals, Materials List, Classroom Activities (with step-by-step instructions), and Suggested Resources (with worksheets and rubrics included in some lessons).

The Garden also offers a Virtual Tour with beautiful images of the Portland Japanese Garden in a PowerPoint presentation, which can be downloaded to create OHP transparencies or hard copies for classroom use.

We hope these materials will help you to incorporate the topic of Japanese culture into your busy curriculum. Please ask about special funds available for transportation and admissions for Title I qualified schools.

We look forward to seeing you in the Garden!

Living in Harmony with Nature

Download Lesson Plan Overview

Lesson One

Garden Sense: Exploring The Five Senses

Grades K-2

Download Lesson One

Lesson Two

Haiku: Poetry in the Garden

Grades 3-5

Download Lesson Two

Lesson Three

Stones: The Bones of the Garden

Grades 3-5

Download Lesson Three

Lesson Four

Kodomo No Hi: Children’s Day in Japan

Grades 3-5

Download Lesson Four

Download Koi Banner Instructions

Download Koi Template

Lesson Five

Mitate: To See With New Eyes

Grades 6-8

Download Lesson Five

Digital Copies

If you’d like a CD of these materials, you can request a copy by clicking here to contact us.