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School Gardens

Curriculum

School gardens are a core element of farm to school. Students engaging in hands-on learning is a snap when you use a curriculum like one of many listed below.

Pre-K and Kindergarten | Elementary | Middle and High School

Pre-K and Kindergarten

Minnesota School Gardens: A Guide to Gardening and Plant ScienceMinnesota Agriculture in the Classroom — Includes Minnesota Standards-based garden lessons and a guide to creating a school garden.

Grow It, Try It, Like It — USDA Team Nutrition — A garden-themed nutrition education kit for child care center staff that introduces children to three fruits (peaches, strawberries, cantaloupe) and three vegetables (spinach, sweet potatoes, crookneck squash).

Early Sprouts: Cultivating Healthy Food Choices in Young Children — Keene State College — A research-based early childhood curriculum, this “seed-to-table” approach gets children interested in and enjoying nutritious fruits and vegetables. The Early Sprouts model engages preschoolers in all aspects of planting, preparing, and eating organically grown produce.

Elementary

Minnesota School Gardens: A Guide to Gardening and Plant ScienceMinnesota Agriculture in the Classroom — Includes Minnesota Standards-based garden lessons and a guide to creating a school garden.

Schoolyard Nature GardensGranny's Garden School, Ohio — Granny’s Garden School turns school grounds into schoolyard nature gardens that include flower and vegetable gardens, gathering spaces, and a nature trail.

Got Veggies? — Wisconsin Department of Health ServicesGot Veggies? is a garden-based nutrition education curriculum that was developed for 2nd and 3rd grade students with attention to current Wisconsin Model Academic Standards, including those for nutrition education.

Eating From the GardenUniversity of Missouri Extension — Nutrition and gardening curriculum for fourth- and fifth-grade students. Eating From the Garden provides research-based information through nutrition and gardening activities to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, and promote healthier food choices, gardening knowledge, and physical activity.

Junior Master GardenerAgriLife Extension Service, Texas A&M University System — Curriculum includes science, biology, math, botany, and reasoning skills through horticulture; both in class and out of classroom activities are included.

Growing Healthy KidsOregon State University — An 11-lesson hands-on, activity-rich curriculum for second- and third-grade students focused on nutrition education and the connection to plant parts. With the addition of the supplementary activities, the series can be extended to 22 lessons.

Our Super GardenGardenABCs, Ltd. — Explores eating healthy by eating what we grow. With kid-friendly language and eye-catching art, it highlights the "special powers" fruits and vegetables give our bodies, like the "force field" created by vitamin C that helps keep us from getting sick, antioxidants that “karate chop” diseases, and fiber, which helps us poop.

School Garden Lesson PlansFlorida Department of Education — Lesson plans for health education, science, and social studies classes.

Middle and High School

Schoolyard EcologyUniversity of Minnesota — Curriculum centered on using schoolyards for sites of science investigations.

Minnesota School Gardens: A Guide to Gardening and Plant ScienceMinnesota Agriculture in the Classroom — Includes Minnesota Standards-based garden lessons and a guide to creating a school garden.

French Fries and the Food SystemThe Food Project, Massachusetts — Organized by season, the materials teach youth how to develop a deep understanding of and appreciation for the land and local food systems.

Sustainable Agriculture Activity GuidesUniversity of California, Davis — This collection of activity guides is designed for use with students who visit college and university farms and similar farm programs that are involved in youth education.

Composting in the ClassroomCornell University, New York — Comprehensive guide for teachers interested in guiding composting research projects by high school students.

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