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Print Version    

Review of:

The Great Garden Detective Adventure: The Great Garden Detective Adventure cover A Standards-Based Gardening Nutrition Curriculum for Grades 3 and 4


Image courtesy of:
USDA FNS Team Nutrition
Producer:USDA FNS Team Nutrition
Date Produced:January 2013
Format(s):
  • CD-ROM
  • Booklet
  • Game
  • Curriculum
  • Newsletter
Audience(s):
  • Elementary School (6-8 yrs)
Topic(s):
  • Meal Planning
  • Eating Patterns
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Other
Description:Discover what fruits and vegetables are sweetest, crunchiest, and juiciest through a series of investigations and fun experiences connecting the school garden to the classroom, school cafeteria, and home. This eleven-lesson curriculum for 3rd and 4th grades includes bulletin board materials, veggie dice, fruit and vegetable flash cards, and ten issues of Garden Detective News for parents/caregivers.
Language:English
Free?Yes
Ordering Info:Visit the Team Nutrition website at the link below to access the material in PDF or to order (for eligible schools and child care settings).
Web Site:http://origin.www.fns.usda.gov/TN/Resources/gardendetective.html


Content

A. Use of MyPlate/MyPlate or the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Material incorporates and uses some concepts in MyPlate or the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
B. Scope
Scope of information appropriate for target audience and essential topics discussed in appropriate detail.
C. Purpose
Purpose of material clearly stated in title or introduction.
D. Organization
Material well-organized and major points presented clearly.
E. Accuracy
Information is accurate and recommendations current with content of MyPlate and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
F. Learner Background
Material does not assume that reader has background information.
G. Learning Objectives
Learning objectives identifiable and met.
H. Learning Activities, Projects, or Interactive Learning Tools
Material includes a variety of stimulating and interesting learning experiences, questions, projects, or suggestions for further action that will involve the reader.

Comments:
Quite a variety of activities, projects, and learning tools are included. These include a detailed curriculum with lesson plans, activities that students could do in school that include tasting fruits and vegetables, growing fruits and vegetables, making presentations about fruits and vegetables, recipes, newsletters students can take home to their families, related vocabulary words, and worksheets. The activities span many areas including math, science, and language arts.
I. Objectivity/Sponsor Bias
Subject matter presented objectively and fairly. No brand name promotion or obvious sponsor bias.
J. Inclusion of learning objectives, learner activities, instructional aids, lesson plans, evaluation component, identification of required instructional materials, web site with additional materials.
Material includes five or more of the above.
K. Recipes (if included)
Overall, recipes are compatible with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
L. Recipes (if included)
Recipes include a nutrient analysis per serving for some of the nutrients listed on the nutrition label. If for a low-income audience, some cost information is included.

Comments:
Most nutrients are included in the nutritional analysis, but trans fats are not mentioned.
M. Instructional Resources
Instructor resources included with suggestions for enhancing the teaching process. Suggestions for follow-up learning activities/discussion questions included.
N. Credits, References and Resources (Including dates, publisher, etc.)
Current and complete credits, references, and resources listed.
O. Summary
All major ideas summarized or reviewed to reinforce key concepts; summaries easily identified.

Comments:
A lesson summary is included for each lesson, and lesson extension activities are included for each lesson as well.

Diversity
A. Role Models
Positive role models are provided in text and illustrations. Role models presented as having many roles, traits, and emotions.
B. Multi-cultural Representation
Racial, ethnic, and religious groups are represented in a factual manner showing a variety of roles, occupations, and values.
C. Different lifestyles and food patterns
Material reflects, but does not emphasize, a variety of values, practices, and/or food patterns representative of different lifestyles, cultures, and socioeconomic levels.

Print Materials
A. Writing Style
Main ideas are clear and flow smoothly.
B. Writing Approach
Writing approach is positive and personal. Active voice is used most of the time.
C. Vocabulary
Vocabulary used is appropriate for intended audience. Minimizes use of technical terms and if used, are defined.
D. Supportive Illustrations
All of the illustrations contribute to the material and are on the same page as their textual references. Tables and graphs are as simple and easy to read as possible. All information needed in graphs and tables is provided in a form requiring no further explanation.
E. Layout and Design
Color, design, and layout of material are attractive, and stimulate interest, without being too busy. There is good balance between print and blank space.
F. Visual Quality
Paper weight used is heavy enough so that print from one side cannot be seen on the other side. Text is written in a font size that is easy to read, and the main body is not written in capital letters.
G. Headings/Cueing Devices
Clear headings are provided for each topic area. Cueing devices (shading, boxes, arrows, etc.) are used to direct attention to key points.
H. Approximate Reading Level
Reading level is at or below 5th grade level for low-literacy materials. Assessment method provided.


Audiovisual Materials

A. Concept Presentation
Audio and/or visuals are mutually supportive to presentation of concepts.

Comments:
The pages that can be made into overhead slides in this curriculum help to reinforce the topics.
B. Pace
Presentation progresses at a pace that permits comprehension. Pacing of dialogue is appropriate for absorbing concepts presented. Blank time is provided.
C. Auditory Quality

Comments:
n/a-no sound is involved
D. Visual Quality
Visuals are clear and properly framed; graphics and titles are clearly visible; color, lighting, and editing enhance presentation of content.
E. Continuity
Continuity provides cohesiveness and smooth flow. Visuals in logical order. Auditory portion precisely matched with visual portion.


Web Sites
A. Currentness of Information
Web site information is current; there are no broken hyperlinks.
B. Readability
Text size is adequate for viewing. Good contrast between text and background.

Comments:
The text was laid out nicely and easy to read.
C. Navigation

Comments:
n/a-Websites were given as references, but not included in the material itself.


Overall Comments on Resource Reviewed

A. Positive Points of the Reviewed Resource:
The curriculum includes a variety of activities that elementary school teachers could use in their classrooms to get children interested in eating and growing fruits and vegetables. In addition to science, activities involve math and language arts activities. In addition, parents are encouraged to help out at certain points in the curriculum and some activities such as the school garden and student presentations could gain the interest of the entire community.
B. Points that Could Be Improved:
This is an excellent curriculum. Seeing it included in every elementary school will help children gain a better appreciation of fruits and vegetables, as well as many related skills.
C. General Comments
The lessons sound fun and interactive.
D. Overall Summary
The Great Garden Detective Adventure curriculum is an excellent resource that could be used by elementary school teachers to familiarize their students with many fruits and vegetables, including how they taste, and how they grow. Enjoyable activities tie into other areas of the curriculum including math, science, and language arts. The curriculum is quite extensive and includes an instructor's manual, CD containing the lessons, activities, and recipes, and newsletters for children to bring home to their families.


Reviewer Rating
Any opinions expressed about any resource in this web site (either expressly or implied) are solely and completely the responsibility of the reviewer and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Highly Recommended

Read other Review for this resource.