Lesson Plans & Curricula
Sign up for our free, monthly e-zine and get school garden news!Integrating the school garden with school curriculum is key to a successful project.  Here are some ideas to get you started.





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NEW!  Garden Treasure Hunt Worksheet
Use this worksheet to create a fun treasure hunt activity for your own garden project!  Download PDF or Word document


A Handful of Seeds: Seed Saving and Seed Study for Educators

Lessons linked to California educational standards but great information for educators in any state!  Practical guidelines on seed saving for school gardens, history and lore.

Agriculture & Environment Lesson Plans

Vocational Information Center.  Links tolesson plans, classroom projects and teaching activities for: Agriculture, Aquaculture, Forestry, Animal Science, Environment, Food Science/Culinary Arts, Horticulture, Floriculture, and Landscaping.

Angiosperms: The Life Cycle of a Flower
Learn more about the parts and life cycle of a flower, as well as get links to more resources about angiosperms. Thank you, Alejandro, the middle school student who suggested we add this wonderful resource to GardenABCs!

BBC Resources for Teachers: Growing Plants
Lessons for children ages five to six meeting United Kingdom curriculum requirements

California School Garden Network
Searchable online lessons for elementary students

Classroom Victory Garden Project
Created by the National World War II Museum. Among helpful features for teachers are: step-by-step guides for getting your garden started; interactive games; delicious recipes for after the harvest; and cross-curricular lessons that teach students not only about World War II and the role of victory gardens, but also about health, science, and citizenship. Also, teachers can get a free victory garden poster for their classroom!

Cornell Garden-Based Learning Cornell University
Activities, garden advice, citizen science projects and more.

Cultivating Community Portland, Maine
Arranged by season, the Earth Steward Gardener curriculum provides garden and food activities you can use-in every season and across every academic discipline-to help kids understand how we're all connected to the land, our communities, and each other.  Garden Treasure Hunt activity.

Environmental Education Program
Grades 4-6 from Hewlett Packard and Scholastic

Excite Your Students about Gardening by Growing a TickleMe Plant!
TickleMe Plants (Mimosa pudica) are wonderful plants to help excite kids about gardening, plants, nature and science. Teachers K-Graduate School use TickleMe Plants as part of their curriculum because TickleMe Plants are the only plants that will lower their branches and close their leaves when they are tickled, windblown, cold or placed in the dark. Use a TickleMe Plant when studying plants, life science or ecology and add more excitement to your lessons. Two lessons of many lessons are featured on this download:  A Controlled Study– What is the Effect of a Variable on the Germination of TickleMe Plant Seeds? and Can you make your TickleMe Plant go to “Sleep”?

Flower Pollination, A Resource Guide
Flowers are not only delightful to behold but they serve a higher purpose. Do you know that through the pollination of flowers many plants are able to reproduce and many animals get enough protein or carbohydrates to survive? Consider the food you eat everyday, around 30% is the result of pollination. This source guide to flower pollination is a good way for you to learn and appreciate this important mechanism.

Flowers, Plants, and Gardening: For Kids
From Serenata Flowers... Interactive lessons and resources covering botany, the plant lifecycle, photosynthesis, seed movement and more.

The Farmer Grows a Rainbow North Carolina Agriculture in the Classroom
These lessons introduce students to MyPyramid, the food guide developed by the United States Department of Agriculture. This kit educates students about making nutritious choices and the benefits of a healthy diet. The goal of "The Farmer Grows a Rainbow" is to enhance MyPyramid lessons, integrate them with traditional academic subjects and emphasize the vital role played by the farmer in food production.

Food Miles: Growing Local Food Connections  Grades K-8
Produced by Falls Brook Centre
Educational activities to teach your students about the food they eat and where it comes from... This module aims to enlighten and inspire your students about where their food comes from, and the importance of a healthy diet. The program will aid to develop environmental citizenship and individual appeals to reduce food miles as a conscious contribution to long-term environmental health. It also aims to provide handson activities to explore simple, earth-and-people-friendly gardening practices.

Garden Activity Worksheets Children's Garden Network, University of Rhode Island, In-the-classroom ideas and worksheets to help teachers meet Life Science Grade Span Expectations. 

Garden Mosaics Cornell University
Garden science, intergenerational learning, action learning, multicultural education

Gardens for Learning
Must-have resource for enhancing learning through gardens 

Green Education Foundation
Lots of great lesson ideas for K-2, 3-5, middle and high school students.

How Does My Garden Grow? Writing in Science Field Journals by Devon Hamner
Science field journals have been in use for many, many years. In fact, Lewis and Clark were asked to keep a field journal by President Thomas Jefferson. Their journals included detailed observations of the land, plants, and animals they saw. This lesson plan invites students to observe and explore their environment in much the same way. Students work together to plant a garden and study its growth using the inquiry process of questioning and exploring. As they research and study, students record their observations in a field journal, to be shared with others—just like Lewis and Clark!

I Can Grow Curriculum
In a partnership with Burpee Home Gardens, the National Gardening Association developed the “I Can Grow” guide for educators, and now expands that resource to include individual lesson activities. These educational guides cover a range of subjects with activities rooted in the ground and the world around us. Download the Youth Curriculum for free.

Junior Master Gardener: Level One: Grades 3-5; Level 2: Grades 6-8
 Paper Towel Gardening easy seed template

Let It Grow: An Inquiry-Based Organic Gardening Research Project by Loraine Woodward
Struggling readers at the middle school level often become frustrated with research projects because of their low literacy skills. However, they are often very creative, kinesthetic learners and when a research project is scaffolded properly, are able to work independently, think critically, and accomplish a finished product they can feel proud of. This project motivates students to learn about organic gardening by developing their own research questions, conducting research, and gardening at their school. They then create signs about their plants and present their research to the class so that other students can learn about each plant.

Lettuce Begin - Growing Your Own Food Children's Garden Network
Easy-to-grow, tasty lettuce can inspire students to grow and eat something else.

Life Lab Science Programs 
Science and environmental education curricula and programs

Linking State Standards to Your School Garden California

Live Insect Activities
The University of Arizona's Center for Insect Science has released 20 integrated science and math lessons for K–3 students that use live insects to introduce health topics and develop science process skills. In “Food to Grow On,” for example, students observe, predict, and record food consumption and growth of insects through experimentation with caterpillar diets and relate their findings to their own growth and diet. Information Sheets, Rearing Sheets, and a Bibliography are included.


Monarch Sister Schools Program
An initiative to involve school children across North America in the protection and restoration of the habitat of the Monarch butterfly - Resource guide, workshops, eco-tours, online resources

Montana Pollinator Education Project
Links to lesson plans, illustrations, publications, videos, websites - plus, a recommended reading list for students and teachers.

National Environmental Educational Foundation School Garden Curricula
A wealth of lessons for students in grade K-4, 5-8 and 9-12 meeting state and National Science Education Standards.

Nature's Partners: Pollinators, Plants & You
Pollinator Curriculum - Grades 3-6; North American Pollinator Protection Campaign

Nourish Middle School Curriculum Guide
Nourish Middle School Hand Outs - Spanish
by the Center for Ecoliteracy
The guide offers a rich set of resources to open a meaningful conversation about food and sustainability. Beautifully designed and brimming with big ideas, the materials contain a viewing guide, six learning activities, action projects, student handouts, suggested resources, and a glossary.

Lessons and a companion DVD may be used in social studies, science, health, or English classes. Activity themes include The Story of Food; Seasonal, Local Food; Food Traditions; Food and Ecosystems; Analyzing Food Ads; and School Lunch Survey.

Nourish aligns with national curriculum standards and benchmarks of the National Council for the Social Studies, National Research Council, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Committee on National Health Education Standards.

Peter Rabbit: A Garden Plot
California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom. This unit uses The Tale of Peter Rabbit and other stories by Beatrix Potter as a vehicle to teach reading, writing, and science concepts. This unit encourages students to think about where their food comes from, distinguish between fact and fiction, observe roots and soil, and write about personal experiences they have while caring for the personal gardens they create.

Photosynthesis Infographic
An easy-to-understand poster of photosynthesis from Kidsdiscover.com

Plant Life Cycles 
by Educator Diana Maculan, for Grade 3

Project Learning Tree
Award-winning environmental education program for educators, parents and community leaders working with youth from preschool through 12th grade.

Project Learning Tree - Exploring Environmental Issues: Focus on Forests - High School
Integrate teaching about forests into your lessons using hands-on classroom studies and outdoor field investigations.

School Garden Curriculum Resources
Univ. of California Coop. Extension, LA County

Schoolyards as Classrooms Project: Alice Ferguson Foundation

Training and curriculum mapping support

The Garden School
Lessons on soil, introduction to plants, roots and leaves, and more!

The Whole Plate: A Return to Real Food
This curriculum by Jane Siemon is composed of 4 Units and 2 mini-units that teach students: How to choose and prepare whole, natural foods from scratch, What the basics of healthy nutrition are, How our current food system impacts our health and the health of our planet as a whole, Who started the modern organic, natural foods movement and who is at the cutting edge of nutrition today, Why it is all interconnected! Each Unit comes complete with: a Course Overview, Unit Introductions, Readings, Lectures, Study Questions and Answers, Recipes and Resources For Further Study. Proceeds from the sale of this program support the Youth Initiative High School.


Think Garden Videos

This engaging KET-produced video collection helps teach elementary students about the art and science of growing food, with an emphasis on biological and environmental concepts. It also addresses topics related to nutrition and economics.

The collection was created in partnership with the Food Literacy Project at Oxmoor Farms and Cane Run Elementary School in Louisville, Kentucky and Meadowthorpe Elementary School; The Arboretum, State Botanical Garden of Kentucky; Seedleaf; and Karen Angelucci in Lexington, Kentucky


WE Garden Lessons  
A long time champion of edible school gardens, First Lady Maria Shriver  spearheaded the planting of a garden on the grounds of California’s State Capitol Park in Sacramento. The garden teaches people of all ages lessons in nutrition, healthy living, agriculture, science, history and service. Lesson packets range from seed matching to bugs to reading roots.  Includes activities, teacher supplements, planting plans and more!
**NEW** Busy Bees: Investigating the Pollination Cycle

What's Growin' On? Your Link to California Agriculture
Aligned to content standards for grades 3-8

My Own Food Chain: Grades K-2
  Liberty Prairie Conservancy Grayslake, Ill.
          Food Chain Introduction

Liberty Prairie Conservancy

Food Chain Detectives

Plant Needs of Life

Plant Party Party

Crop Diversity

Planning the Plot

Everyone has a Chore!

Nutrient Management

Sowing Seeds

Planting the Garden

Introduction to Insects

Integrated Pest Management

Studying Soils

Soil Erosion

Water Quality

Summer Sustenance  
Harvesting the Garden
Alternative Marketing

Project Pumpkin: Grades 3-5  Liberty Prairie Conservancy Grayslake, Ill.

Nutrient Management, Part 1

Nutrient Management, Part 2

Soil - Its Components

Soil Conservation - Compost and Worms

Plan the Garden

Greenhouse Planting

Integrated Pest Management

Planting the garden

Summer Pumpkin Daycare

Harvesting the Garden

Alternative Marketing

Sustainable Farming Practices

Water Quality and Wetlands
Supplemental Materials: Compostia and Farmopoly

The Edible Garden: Grades 6-8 Liberty Prairie Conservancy Grayslake, Ill.

Planning the Garden

Planting the Garden

Summer Garden Care

Soil Conservation: Composting

Harvest and Evaluate the Garden

Soil Conservation: Nutrient Management

Knowing Nutrition for Meal Planning

Soil Conservation: Erosion

Planning the Meal

Shopping for the Meal (Supplement: Cheeto Creation flow chart)

Preparing the Meal

Water Cycle

Water Quality

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