Activities: Local Teachers

The activities provided on these pages are designed to extend the use of this site. These activities are provided as launch points for teachers to use with their classes, and for teachers to modify to suit the needs of their specific set of students. Most of the activities are interdisciplinary and should provide lots of room for students (and teachers) to stamp their own identities on them.

The Virtual Museum is designed so that it can be navigated independently by 3rd and 4th graders who have at least some internet experience. Teacher supervision of any internet activity, even this Virtual museum, is always recommended. I hope you enjoy learning about Luther Burbank as much as I did!

Local Teachers - Field Trips: on this page!
Language Arts
Local Teachers (Those Who are Actually Able to Visit These Sites)

You are the lucky ones! You can actually plan field trips to each of the two Burbank sites, the Home and Gardens in Santa Rosa, and the Gold Ridge Farm in Sebastopol. The Luther Burbank Virtual Museum can be used in several ways to enhance your field trip experience.By the way, the 1998-1999 school year is a great time to visit these spots! March 7, 1999, is the 150th Anniversary of Luther Burbank's birth, so special activities will be happening at both sites throughout the year.

Present Tours

Overview:These visual web tours are pretty detailed, with photos of the major stops at both sites, and lots of Burbank-related facts. The key information is sprinkled throughout each of the tours.

As Teacher Background: The Present Tours for either site will provide you with solid background information about both sites and their exhibits.

For Use in Class:These sections of the museum could be used to preview the sites prior to an actual visit. If you decide to use the Present Tours as a precursor to an actual visit, I would recommend focusing on a few of the sections instead of going through the entire tour for the site. Some of the sections, such as the Cutting Garden and Stop #5; Cacti on the Home and Garden Present Tour are launching points for brief student activities.

Past Tours, Burbank-abilia!

Overview: These sections of the Virtual Museum feature actual artifacts and rare photos that are not usually available for public viewing at either site.

As Teacher Background: Both of these sections provide solid background about Luther Burbank and the two sites.

For Use in Class: The Burbank-abilia! wing of the Virtual Museum can be used before or after a visit to either site. The Past Tours for either site can also be used before or after, but I would recommend using these tours for post-visit conparisons. There are some interesting sidetrips, especially in the Famous People wing.

Field Trips to Either Site

Both sites are free and open to the public year-round. Docent-led tours (nominal fee) are available April-October at both sites. Luther Burbank Home and Garden School Group Reservation forms are sent to all Sonoma County 3rd grade teachers for spring tours. These docent-led tours book up very quickly! When you do make a reservation, you will receive some teacher resources.

Activity Sheet: When I recently took my class on a visit to the Home and Gardens, I created a Student Activity Sheet that seemed to be a big hit with the kids. The items are open-ended, causing the kids to mentally "weigh" the plants and their characteristics. As a teacher, it was terrific fun to watch the kids carefully smell each rose ("You gotta smell "Grand Delight," Ms. P.! It's the best!") before they made their final choices for favorite fragrant plant! This sheet is designed to be used with a partner. If you'd like to use this sheet , I think you can simply print the web page (it will actually run off as 2 pages.) Students may also want to bring along their journals, a clipboard, or sketch pads when visiting either site.

Doing some sort of preparation prior to a visit to either site will enhance the experience for everyone involved. Check out the other teacher activity sections - one of these activities or discussion ideas may work well as a set-up for a site visit.

A "Seasonal" Sidenote

Many of the garden beds at the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens change from season to season. The LB H&G Present Tour photos were taken, for the most part, in early June.

At the Farm, the seasons are very noticeable. If you visit in early spring, you can see the fruit trees in bloom. Later on in early June, small fruit will appear. In the summer and fall, many of the fruits are ripe and easily identifiable for school children.The GRF Present Tour photos were taken mainly in June, but some are from July and August.

For more information, you can visit these websites:

Luther Burbank Home and Gardens, Santa Rosa

Gold Ridge Farm, Sebastopol

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