4th Grade Talent Development (formerly ISP)

Joe Lee Johnson Elementary STEAM Academy

Backyard Getaway

For this project, you will choose a region in Texas where you would like to live, and you will be designing your dream backyard. You have an acre of land to create four unique areas: a relaxation area, a recreation area, a flower or food garden, and a state tribute area. Your backyard will be unique to your own personality, likes, and dislikes.

All assignments must be typed and passed in (with email notification for Bethany Franco) via Google Drive by their due date.

Part 1: Climate and Terrain Features

Climate and Terrain Features: Research the various regions in the state of Texas: Hill Country, Big Bend Country, Gulf Coast, Panhandle Plains, Piney Woods, Prairies and Lakes, and South Texas Plains. Choose two regions to compare for your backyard getaway. Using Google Sheets, create a spreadsheet that tells the following information: Climate (include Average Winter Temperature and Average Summer Temperature- can be a range), and Average Yearly Precipitation (Rainfall/Snowfall). In a second section of your table, tell about the Terrain Features of your location. Remember to include a title and your name on your table.

Due Date: Wednesday, September 20th

Region Choice: Type one paragraph in Google Docs (5-7 sentences) that explains which region you choose for your backyard. Include the features from your spreadsheet that are to be included in your backyard. What about the climate do you like? What terrain features appeal to you?

Due date: Wed. September 27th

Part 2 – Area Locations

Relaxation Area Brainstorm: Brainstorm a list of activities and things that are relaxing to you (they can be anything!) in a Google Doc. Below your list, write a two paragraph reflection on your brainstorming, explaining why these things are relaxing to you, and how you’ll include them in your relaxation area.

Due Date: Wed. Oct. 4

Recreation Area Brainstorm: Do the same thing you did for your relaxation area, but this time, use activities and things that you enjoy or would like to enjoy in your backyard.

Due Date: Wednesday, October 11

Flower or Food Garden Research: First, choose whether you will do a flower garden or a food garden. Second, research the flowers or foods that will grow well in your location. Then, create a summary of your research telling what 5 flowers or foods you have chosen to grow in your garden area, and why you chose them. Your summary can be a written explanation on Google Docs, a Google Drawings book with information and illustrations, or a mini Google Slides presentation.

Due Date: Wednesday, October 18th

State Tribute Area: Pay tribute to your state in this area of your backyard. This could include items from your state’s history or items that represent famous people, places, attractions, or are things commonly associated with your state. Choose 3 tribute items to include. Write an informational description of each item and why you chose it to pay tribute to your state in a Google Doc.

Due Date: Wednesday, October 25th

Backyard Map: Create a road map or “blueprint” of your backyard using Google Drawings. Remember that your backyard is one acre in size and objects should be drawn in reasonable scale. Be sure to include all of the areas in your backyard; relaxation, recreation, flower or food garden, and state tribute areas. Draw all these areas on your road map and include a key with symbols.

Due Date:Wednesday, November 1st

Backyard Getaway Model

Mini Model: Create a real-life miniature model of your one-acre Backyard Getaway! This 3D model does NOT have to be to scale, and you can use any materials you wish. Label each area of your backyard, and make it as detailed and creative as possible.

Due Date: Wednesday, Nov 8th


Table of Contents: Create a Table of Contents with Google Docs that lists all the sections and components of your portfolio along with their corresponding page numbers.

Cover Page: Using Google Docs or Google Drawings, create an eye-catching cover page for your portfolio that includes an original title, your name, and the class presentation date. Be sure to use some color and include at least one picture/ illustration.

Due Date: Wednesday, Nov. 15th

Portfolio: Organize all of your materials in a three-ring binder. The table of contents should come first, followed by the rest of your assignments. Your cover page should go on the front of the portfolio.

Due Date: Wednesday, Nov. 29th

Display Board: Use a large two- or three- panel display board to display the work that you have done for this ISP. You may choose to add any of your portfolio items or any additional materials that you wish. Your display board should be neat, organized, and display TAG-quality effort.

Due Date: Wednesday, Dec. 6th

Present in class - Wednesday, December 13th

Assignment Due Date
Climate and Terrain Features Wednesday, Sept. 20
Region Choice Wednesday, Sept 27
Relaxation Area Brainstorm Wednesday, October 4
Recreation Area Brainstorm Wednesday, October 11
Flower or Food Garden Research Wednesday, October 18
State Tribute Area Tuesday 11/28
Backyard Map Wednesday, November 1
Mini Model Wednesday, November 8
Table of Contents
Cover Page
Wednesday, November 15
Portfolio Wednesday, November 29
Display Board Wednesday, December 6
Present in Class Wednesday, December 13