Every garden is part of a habitat. Plants live in the habitat along with birds, insects, and other organisms.
Within the garden, insects like butterflies and other creatures such as spiders are helpers whose behaviors and feeding habits insure the garden’s success. Other insects like caterpillars or aphids, along with animals like rabbits, squirrels, and chipmunks, are pests that can keep a garden from reaching its maximum health and productivity.
It’s important for gardeners to be careful how they attempt to control pests in the garden. Many gardeners go for the “quick fix” of spraying their gardens with poisonous chemicals (pesticides). However, this practice has several harmful side effects, such as polluting groundwater, contaminating the produce itself, killing beneficial creatures, and upsetting the balance of the garden ecosystem.
Instead, gardeners can add elements to the ecosystem to help their plants survive and prosper. For example, they can purchase beneficial insects such as ladybugs or praying mantises for release in the garden. They also can plant flowers that attract pollinators and use mulch or compost to attract beneficial beetles and worms that help decompose organic materials and aerate the soil—creating the conditions that allow helpers to thrive and that keep pests from overtaking the garden.
Successful gardening requires an understanding of the interactions between the organisms that live in the garden habitat or are drawn to it and the plants that grow there. And thinking about the garden’s ecosystem also is a steppingstone to broader considerations of food webs and the complexities of ecosystems in general.
Academic standards correlations on Teachers' Domain use the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) database of state and national standards, provided to NSDL projects courtesy of JES & Co.
We assign reference terms to each statement within a standards document and to each media resource, and correlations are based upon matches of these terms for a given grade band. If a particular standards document of interest to you is not displayed yet, it most likely has not yet been processed by ASN or by Teachers' Domain. We will be adding social studies and arts correlations over the coming year, and also will be increasing the specificity of alignment.