School Garden Lessons, Activities and Curricula

Jerusalem Artichoke

When I first started working in school gardens my initial focus was on getting kids to eat healthy. To that end I would plant as many varieties as possible knowing that young gardeners love anything they plant and nurture themselves.

As school gardens got more popular however, more and more teachers were asking how to incorporate school gardens into their everyday lesson plans. Learning to eat healthy was just one of many topics that needed to be covered. Peruse the websites below and you will find activities and lesson plans that also relate to art, science, math, and social studies.  Also please note many are broken down by grade.

1) School Garden Lessons from

2) School Garden Curricula Grades K-12 from National Environmental Education Foundation

3) 15 Lessons for 1, 2 and 3 graders (72 page pdf)

4) 15 Lessons for 4 and 5 graders (61 page pdf)

5) Curriculum ideas from California School Garden Network

6) Agriculture in the Classroom – Lesson Plans from USDA

7) School Garden Lesson Plans from Virginia Tech Horticulture Department

8) Nature’s Partner’s – Pollinator, Plants, and You (Comprehensive pollinator curriculum for grades 3-6)

9) School garden activities arranged by season

10) Lesson Plans and Curricula – Garden ABCs

9 thoughts on “School Garden Lessons, Activities and Curricula

  1. Jean Corbett says:

    Thanks for posting these lessons! I work with school gardens in St. Louis city and a huge obstacle in their sustainability has been getting the teachers to buy into the academic benefits. Developing school garden curriculum and tying the lessons to state standards has been a long process, but seems to be the answer to keeping everyone involved and engaged.
    How do you believe we can successfully engage the most teachers in gardening with their students? Is this something that should be promoted as a health objective, or academic? Both?
    Thanks for any and all input!

  2. admin says:

    Tying school garden lessons to academic standards is certainly the key, however much work still needs to be done as not every school has a garden so no statewide standards. Teachers should try to incorporate gardening into lessons plans of art, science, math, social studies and/or health/nutrition using the garden as an example. So to answer your question, yes both.

  3. Roberta Paolo says:

    Standards based lessons with a garden focus is only part of the answer. There is a huge amount of information available on how to connect classrooms and the garden. Visit our website and click on Teaching Resources for ones based on Ohio’s state standards. The biggest challenge is teachers do not have time for the extra stuff associated with maintaining a school garden program. The answer is a paid garden coordinator – or in our case – more to work with each teacher and her class in their garden.

  4. Laura says:

    Hi! I have started a little business selling tomato grafting kits, with illustrated instructions for grafting heirloom tomatoes. My hope is that more gardeners will discover this traditional technique, and thereby reduce their need for chemicals in their gardens. Right now the product is being sold to home gardeners, and instructions are geared that way, but I think my kit would also make a very nice classroom project (I would sell it at a big discount to teachers — I might even be able to sell it at cost, if it didn’t get too out of hand)

    The reason for my post is this: I would love to work with a science or schoolyard garden teacher who blogs here, to adapt the instructions to lesson plans for kids. There are lots of neat variables that kids could measure, and different things they could try, such as grafting different varieties of tomatoes on one plant. If you are interested, please visit and email me there. Thanks and good gardening! Laura, NC

  5. Rachel Kenya says:

    I am so thrilled to find this page. Our social entperprise works with smallholder farmers in Kenya and is about to launch the NGO division of our company “Rootz” with a mission to build 10,000 school gardens in the EAst Africa Community. This material will be invaluable as we buid the new program.

  6. Pingback: School Garden | mweidmanblog

  7. Pingback: Theoceanconnectsus | Pearltrees

Leave a Reply