Classroom Garden From Trash

A. Wills
Multiple Subject Teacher

Students will create several plants (a garden) from parts of a plant that are normally thrown away.

Grade Level: K - 4th


Length of Time: 10-15 Per Day for Several Weeks

Objectives & Outcomes

Learners will understand that some foods are sustainable and can be regrown from scraps, then used in a meal.

Materials Needed

  • lettuce leaves
  • pineapple top
  • celery bottom
  • potato peelings with eyes
  • several small planters
  • several bowls with water
  • mister
  • other plants as desired


Opening to Lesson

Ask students where vegetables come from. Ask students if they know how to grow a plant like lettuce or potatoes. Discuss how each of these plants grow over time. Explain to students that some plants can be grown from other pieces of the same type of plant that we typically throw away, such as the bottom of a celery stalk or the peeling on a potato.

Body of Lesson

  • Show students the pieces that will be planted and a whole plant if available. Ask students if they think new plants will grow from the clippings. Have students guess how long it will take to grow each new plant.
  • Allow students to plant each new plant as described below. Also allow students to care for and monitor the plants daily.
  • Lettuce: Place a lettuce leaf in a bowl with just a bit of water. Mist lightly each day. Within 3 to 5 days roots should start to develop and the plant can be transferred to soil.
  • Celery: Place the bottom (cutting) of a celery bunch in warm water( keep water levels consistent daily, should not cover cutting) and place in direct sunlight for as long as possible for about a week. Leaves should begin to grow within the week and the plant can be transferred to soil.
  • Potatoes: Place dry potato peelings about 4 inches deep in soil with the eyes facing up, growth should be seen within a couple weeks.
  • Pineapple: Cut the top off of a pineapple and place on toothpicks. Place in a bowl of water with the top just above the water, barely touching. Change the water every other day and keep in a warm room with plenty of direct sunlight. In about a week to week and a half, once growth begins, place in soil and grow indoors.


As plants reach maturity, prepare a snack using what was grown for students to try.

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Assessment & Evaluation

Assessment will be based on participation and discussion of how the plants are growing over time.

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