Project-Based Learning: Design and Build a Rain Garden
Lesson plan with video, grades 9–12
Stormwater runoff is one of the great urban challenges of our time. In cities that are covered with impervious surfaces—roofs, streets, and parking lots—stormwater flows rapidly over these surfaces, picking up pollutants and delivering them right into our water sources.
In a natural environment, stormwater gets absorbed into the ground where soil, rocks, and plant roots filter the water. A rain garden is designed to mimic this process by slowing the flow and absorbing stormwater before it hits our waterways.
This set of materials is designed to be used in conjunction with our Sustainable Urban Design Toolkit. If you have decided that a rain garden is the right project for your school, use these lessons to take your students from the design and engineering phase to installation. Use project-based learning to engage your students with nature by beautifying the school community and reducing stormwater impacts in your area. Become part of a network of schools across the country and create your own stormwater solution!
- Design and Build a Rain Garden Teacher's Guide
- Part 1 Rain Garden Proposal Lesson Plan
- Part 1 Stormwater PowerPoint
- Part 2 Site Inventory and Base Map Creation Lesson Plan
- Part 3 Rain Garden Design and Planting Plan Lesson Plan
- Part 3 Rendering Examples PowerPoint
- Part 4 Installation and Final Evaluation Lesson Plan
- Part 1 Sustainable Cities Video
- Part 2A Rain Garden Site Inventory
- Part 2B Calculate Catchment Area Runoff and Determine Rain Garden Size
- Part 2C Draft the Base Map and Garden Layout
- Part 2 Calculate Slope
- Part 3 Rain Garden Final Design Guidelines
Published September 2017, updated November 2017