ALEX Lesson Plan


What's in Your Secret Garden?

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Teresa Jackson
System: Lowndes County
School: Hayneville Middle School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 8250


What's in Your Secret Garden?


After reading F.H. Burnett's The Secret Garden, students create their own secret gardens and design a slideshow presentation of their gardens to share with the class.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
Technology Education
TC2 (2009)
Grade: 6-8
2 ) Publish digital products that communicate curriculum concepts.

Examples: Web pages, videos, podcasts, multimedia presentations

Technology Education
TC2 (2009)
Grade: 6-8
5 ) Use basic features of word processing, spreadsheets, databases, and presentation software.

Examples: word processing—reports, letters, brochures

-  spreadsheets—discovering patterns, tracking spending, creating budgets

-  databases—contact list of addresses and telephone numbers

-  presentation software—slideshow

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 6
5 ) Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot. [RL.6.5]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 6
17 ) Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue. [RI.6.7]

Arts Education
ARTS (2017)
Grade: 6
Visual Arts
3) Develop new ideas through open-ended experiments, using various materials, methods and approaches in creating works of art.

Insight Unpacked Content
Artistic Process: Creating
Anchor Standards:
Anchor Standard 2: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
Process Components: Investigate, Plan, Make
Essential Questions:
EU: Artists and designers experiment with forms, structures, materials, concepts, media, and artmaking approaches.
EQ: How do artists work? How do artists and designers determine whether a particular direction in their work is effective? How do artists and designers learn from trial and error?
Concepts & Vocabulary:
  • Artistic ideas and work
  • Formal and conceptual vocabulary
  • Innovation
  • Investigation
  • Two-dimensional
  • Three-dimensional
  • Experimentation
  • Conservation
  • Craftsmanship
  • Linear perspective
  • Environmental responsibility
  • Prior knowledge
  • Museum
  • Gallery
  • Curator
  • Digital
  • Horizon Line
  • Brainstorming
  • Research
Skill Examples:
  • Make, share and revise a list of ideas and preliminary sketches.
  • Use introductory skills, techniques, and elements of art to create a composition
  • Demonstrate drawing techniques, such as hatching, cross-hatching, shading, and stippling.
  • Create a group project about a current or world event.
  • Examine careers and identify and role - play various jobs of artists.
  • Research a subject or idea that has personal meaning to create a work of art.
  • Use the elements of visual arts to create an artwork that depicts emotions.
  • Use a variety of media and techniques in two and three dimensions to create imagery from experience, observation and imagination.
  • Demonstrate proper clean-up and/or disposal of equipment and materials.
  • Demonstrate art room safety and procedures.
  • Design an environmentally area for the school such as a library or other multi-use learning area.
  • Engage for the purpose of personal reflection and ongoing revision, in group critiques.
  • Reflect through journal writing artist intent.

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will demonstrate their understanding of the novel through discussion and recall quizzes. Students will demonstrate an extended vocabulary through writing, speaking, and presenting projects. Students will use available computer technology to create a slideshow presentation or booklet of their secret gardens.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

Greater than 120 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Class set of the book The Secret Garden; magazines/books with pictures that can be cut out, art supplies, scissors (if using the booklet option)

Technology Resources Needed:

Computer with Internet access, digital camera, scanner, printer, a means of projection for sharing projects, such as a digital projector or TV scan converter


A reading of Burnett's The Secret Garden, an introduction to the use of presentation software

1.)Lead students in a discussion of the different purposes for gardens (decoration, education, food, pleasure, etc.) and the emotions often associated with them. Review the difference between fantasy (fiction) and reality (non-fiction).

2.)Introduce Burnett's Secret Garden and allow students about two weeks to read the novel. For Internet practice, guide students in finding the book online.
(Page by Page Books)
A complete publication of the book online

3.)Engage students in a discussion of the novel and its meaning. Consider the questions available at the site below.
(Penguin Reading Guides)
Discussion guides by Penguin Books

4.)Explain that upon completion of their reading of the story, the students will create their own secret gardens to share with the class. Remind students that their gardens may contain real and/or make-believe things. Be sure students know that they will need to explain what is in their gardens, why things are included, and why their gardens are secret.

5.)Allow students time to locate pictures to scan, take digital pictures, or to draw their own pictures to illustrate the things found in their secret gardens. (Booklets can replace slideshow presentations.)

6.)Instruct students to create a slideshow presentation (using PowerPoint or other presentation software) to illustrate and explain what is in their secret garden and why they keep it secret.

7.)Allow class time for each student to present his secret garden.

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Assessment Strategies

A quiz at the end of every fourth chapter (approximately) will be used for assessment.
Sample questions:
Why did Mary go and stay with her uncle?
How did Mary feel when she arrived at he uncle's place?
What were Mary's feelings toward friends?
Did she have any friends?
When did Mary realize that she was changing?
Slideshow presentations will be assessed by a rubric (attached). Teacher observation of participation in discussions will be used to assess understanding.





Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.