Garden Classroom Resources
This page provides you with connections to great gardening-related curriculum and learning activities developed by gardeners and teachers from all over the world. Some of the links provide you with ideas for drawing the "big picture" between healthy foods, healthy people, and a healthy planet, while some provide you with information specifically about gardening.
As you explore these resources, refer back to our Educational Standards page to see how you can tie lessons to state and national standards for the arts and sciences, and don't forget to check out the Science Page Downloads we offer. Our Project Gallery page will also give you downloads of more advanced projects to build and make in your garden.
If you have any resources that you would like to see featured on this page, please contact us to have your materials considered.
Agriculture in the Classroom
Developed by the USDA, this comprehensive site offers teacher resources such as lesson plans and activities, as well as materials that will be of interest to students. They have a section dedicated to teens, titled Teen Scene, that includes information about agriculture-related careers. They also plan to translate the site into Spanish as well.
The California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom
This site provides lesson plans for grades K-12 with ideas for bringing agriculture into the classroom.
Composting in Schools
Developed by Cornell University, this site gives you all sorts of materials to introduce composting in the classroom. With project titles like Weird and Unusual Composting, and It's Gotten Rotten, you know that this site provides some interesting information!
The Edible School Yard
Geared toward middle school students, these lesson plans include ideas for how to bring your outdoor classroom inside.
FEED: Food-based Ecological Education Design
The FEED project focuses on learning gardens on site at several Portland Public Schools to educate children about nutrition and healthy foods and simultaneously engage students in hands-on learning experiences in creating edible gardens, growing food, preparing and eating meals, and composting and recycling. They provide lesson plan downloads geared toward elementary and middle-school aged youth.
Food, Land, and People
This nonprofit organization is committed to education about the interrelatedness of agriculture, the environment, and people of the world. Food, Land & People's science- and social sciences-based curriculum, Resources for Learning, currently serves Pre-K to 12th grade students throughout the United States. The curriculum consists of 55 hands-on lessons, developed and tested by more than a thousand educators. The materials are available in Spanish.
4-H National Curriculum
This guide lists 180 educational products that have been approved by 4-H. There are several that relate to gardening and other outdoor activities.
This is a magazine that provides educators with lesson plants and activities for students ages 6-18. Their website allows you to check out some past issues, and they also have curriculum books for sale, including Greening School Grounds: Creating Habitats for Learning.
Junior Master Gardener
This program offers curriculum for middle and junior-school age students, as well as for grades 3-5.
Learning through Landscapes
This UK-based non-profit organization has some great resources for gardening activities outside and in the classroom.
Learning to Give
This website provides hundreds of free lesson plans. Their lesson plans contain both academic content about philanthropy and skills development activities that engage students in giving and serving in their classrooms, schools and communities.
Life Learning Academy/Organic Opportunities
This comprehensive curriculum for grades 9-12 includes four distinct classes: (1) Garden/Business, (2) Nutrition, (3) Culinary Arts and (4) Math/Construction. This curriculum is packed with useful information, worksheets, and activities. To learn more about Organic Opportunities, read our article about the project.
To access: visit the Life Learning Academy home page, click on Academy Curriculum, and download the PDF titled Earth. The Organic Opportunities curriculum can be found on pages 155-277 of this document.
NAAEE: North American Association for Environmental Education
While this organization is focused on environmental literacy, and not just gardening, they offer a wealth of publications that are useful for integrating gardening into the classroom curriculum.
Project Wild provides K-12 curriculum on their website. Project Wild "links students and wildlife through its mission to provide wildlife-based conservation and environmental education that fosters responsible actions toward wildlife and related natural resources."
Raring to Grow
A series of three garden curriculum guides have been developed by researchers at the Horticulture Department of Texas A&M University. These are geared towards grades 3-8, but could be adapted for older students as well.
Toward a Sustainable Agriculture
Developed by the University of Madison-Wisconsin, this website offers 5 online modules for high school students to learn about the concept of sustainable agriculture, and how it is different than conventional agriculture.
Check these out! This site has some fun classroom activity sheets that you can download that are related to gardening and horticulture. They offer activity sheets at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels.
An Eye on the Garden
This project is all about using cameras to focus learning, as well as having creative fun. The information included here will help you figure out how to compose a picture and capture images of your garden.
Exploring Classroom Hydroponics
This informational series, created by the National Gardening Association, provides you will a great start to exploring hydroponics (growing without soil) in the classroom. It introduces you to what hydroponics are, provides advice on how to meet your plants' needs by setting up a well-designed hydroponics system, and provides curriculum connections.
This website provides tons of ideas for plant-related activities in the classroom. The Wisconsin Fast Plant Program is a science education outreach program of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Farming in Space
Developed by NASA, in this experiment students examine biomass productivities, harvest indices, and energy conversion efficiencies of two varieties of wheat plants and two varieties of fast plants. An analogous experiment is being run aboard the space shuttle and International Space Station. They also have directions in Spanish.
Gardens are for Everyone
This project will help you figure out how to make your garden accessible for everyone. For individuals with challenged mobility, it may be difficult to experience a garden that is not designed with their needs in mind. This project page gives you plenty of ideas on how to welcome everyone to your garden, from raised bed gardens to vertical gardens.
This project is designed to let students express themselves and the garden through poetry. The project includes directions, curriculum connections, additional resources, and links to related articles about writing.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Located in Austin Texas, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center provides some excellent instructor resources for talking about plants and animals in the classroom, as well as some activities to do outside. If you are lucky enough to live near the center, this page also provides specific activities you can do in the center gardens. Make sure to also check out their Explore Plants page, for tips on cultivating unusual native plants in your garden.
This project is all about ponds and water features. This classroom projects includes information on planning your pond, setting the stage for an outdoor pond, installing an outdoor pond, stocking your pond, as well as information about indoor ponds. Curriculum connections are also provided, making linkages to the water cycle and aquatic life.
School Greenhouse Guide
This informational series, created by the National Gardening Association, provides you with an introduction to bringing a greenhouse into your garden curriculum. This information can be useful to people who are not working in a school garden, because it contains information on different types of greenhouses and how to maintain a healthy greenhouse.