Plants, Bugs, and Soils
Kid in Tree

Other Gardening/Farming Curriculum

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The curriculum included here have engaging lessons that can enrich any youth program teaching about plants, soils and insects!

GrowLab: Activities for Growing Minds (Grades k-8)
Whether you’re growing in a greenhouse, in a GrowLab® Indoor Light Garden, or on a windowsill, Activities for Growing Minds will help spark students’ curiosity about plants and invite them to think and act like scientists. Developed by the National Gardening Association and written and field-tested by educators, this complete curriculum uses fun, illustrated activities to explore plant life cycles, examine plant diversity, and investigate the interdependence of plants, humans, and other living and nonliving things. It’s a must for any plant-based studies! Meets National Science Standards; 307 pages. (1990). Eve Pranis & Joy Cohen, Natl. Gardening Assoc. $24.95

GrowLab: A Complete Guide to Gardening in the Classroom
You’ll find everything you and your students need to know about indoor gardening in this comprehensive book by the National Gardening Association. From planning and planting an indoor garden to tackling pests and other challenges, this well-written, easy-to-follow resource will guide you to growing success. Highlights include; Setting up an indoor garden, planning and planting, choosing vegetables, herbs, and flowers to grow indoors, maintaining a healthy growing environment, tackling pests and other problems, conducting special gardening projects. 112 pages. $19.95. Available from the National Gardening Association. http://www.kidsgardeningstore.com/

The Growing Classroom
Developed by the Life Lab Science Program, this award-winning second edition has been revised to meet current science standards. A wonderful collection of classic garden activities, The Growing Classroom is a teacher’s manual featuring step-by-step instructions and strategies for setting up a garden-based science program and outdoor classroom activities. Topics include planning a garden laboratory, facilitating investigative lessons on ecology and nutrition, and involving the community. Includes an expanded gardening resource section. 464 pages; gr 2-6. $39.95 at http://www.gardeningwithkids.org/11-4017.html

girls planting4-H Growing in the Garden (Grades K-3)
K-3 curriculum that grows curiosity about agriculture, natural resources, food and people. From Iowa State. 2000.
Teachers and students are having fun teaching and learning-by-doing these classroom lessons. Standards and benchmarks were used to create more than 40 kindergarten through third grade science, social studies, language arts, history, math, music, and art lessons. The lessons and four outdoor classroom plans help students develop important life skills such as communication, critical thinking, responsibility, learning to learn, and healthy lifestyle choices. Teachers report that these lessons fit into existing lesson plans, the format is easy to follow, and the materials are readily available. More than 16 pages of resources are listed in the appendix. $60.00, order through Iowa State University Cooperative Extension

Food, Land and People: Resources for Learning.
Available (usually free) through the North Carolina Soil and Water Conservation Division through participation in training workshops. FLP is a Pre-K to 12 curriculum designed to help people understand the interrelationships among agriculture, the environment, and people of the world. The curriculum consists of 55 hands-on lessons, with subjects ranging from environmental science and stewardship to human populations and land use issues. Contact Sandra Weitzel, Area Coordinator, District Programs, Division of Soil and Water Conservation, NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, 1614 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1614 / 919.218.8978 / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

North Carolina Ag in the Classroom
Sponsored by the North Carolina Farm Bureau, its goal is to help students gain a greater awareness of the role of agriculture in the economy and society, so that they may become citizens who support wise agricultural policies. Ag in the Classroom is an educational program designed to provide teachers with quality materials to teach students, through North Carolina competency-based lessons, about the sources of their food and fiber, and the importance of agriculture to the economy. Contact: Michele Reedy, North Carolina Farm Bureau AITC; P.O. Box 27766, Raleigh, NC 27611, 919.719.7282 / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Farm to Table and Beyond
In this inquiry-based curriculum, students learn about our complex and highly technological global food system and how the parts of this system interact and influence each other — critical ideas in science. Children explore and analyze their personal food choices through scientific reasoning, and they apply what they’ve learned through discussions and debates to personal decisions related to food systems, health, and the natural environment. Developed by educators at Teachers College, Columbia University, Farm to Table & Beyond is the second module in the Linking Food and the Environment (LiFE) curriculum series. Includes teacher lesson plans, background information, teaching tips, and tools for assessment; student activity sheets and readings; and a matrix mapping the book to National Science Education Standards and Benchmarks for Science Literacy. Grades 5-6, 432 pages.

Growing Food
In this inquiry-based curriculum, you and your students embark on an exciting adventure — learning science through the study of our fascinating food production system. Students learn about cycles in nature, flow of energy, and food systems while engaging in hands-on investigations of photosynthesis, food webs, agriculture, and more. Developed by educators at Teachers College, Columbia University, Growing Food is the first module in the Linking Food and the Environment (LiFE) curriculum series. Includes teacher lesson plans, background information, teaching tips, and tools for assessment; student activity sheets and readings; and a matrix mapping the book to National Science Education Standards and Benchmarks for Science Literacy. Grades 4-6, 256 pages.

Choice, Control and Change
Students learn science through studying diet and activity choices. They learn about how the human body works, and how food and activity play a role in its well-being. Students engage in hands-on investigations of food preference, our food environment, energy intake and expenditure, lifestyle-related diseases, and more. Finally, they explore and analyze their personal food choices through scientific reasoning and apply what they have learned to personal decisions related to their diet, physical activity, and overall health.Developed by renowned educators at Teachers College, Columbia University, Choice, Control & Change is the third module in the Linking Food and the Environment (LiFE) curriculum series. Includes teacher lesson plans, background information, teaching tips, and tools for assessment; student activity sheets and readings; and a matrix mapping the book to National Science Education Standards and Benchmarks for Science Literacy. Grades 6-8, 224 pages.

Nourishing Choices
Drawing on a wealth of collective experience, Nourishing Choices offers educators, health professionals, youth leaders, and parents a road map for developing a food education program and exciting children about healthful eating. It features details on ensuring sustainability, profiles of winning school- and district-based initiatives, and an extensive resources section. 88 page

Got Dirt? and Got Veggies?
Got Veggies? is a garden-based nutrition education curriculum created with the goal of getting children to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Got Veggies? features seven full lesson plans that are aligned with Wisconsin’s Model Academic Standards for Nutrition, Health, Science, and other related subjects.  A series of shorter garden-based activities are also included, as well as fun recipes and helpful tips for cooking and eating in the garden.  This curriculum provides an all around great way to nurture students’ interest in growing and eating fresh fruits and vegetables!

The Food Project
Amazing program in Massachusetts, connecting youth to growing food in sustainable ways.  Their goal is to create fertile ground for new ideas about youth and adults partnering to create social change through sustainable agriculture.  A series of publications that range from the logistics of setting up a youth farm and managing a program, to developing a farm market stand as well as activities books for youth development.  Visit http://www.thefoodproject.org for more information and to order books including: French Fries and the Food System, 2001, Sara Coblyn, The Food Project and Growing Together: A Guide to Building Inspired, Diverse and Productive Youth Communities, Gale, G. They also have program manuals: Academic Year Program Manual, Rural Agriculture Manual, Summer Youth Program Manuals, Vol. I, II, & III, Farmer’s Market Manual, Urban Agriculture Manual, Volunteer Manual

Garden Mosaics
Garden Mosaics is a program designed for youth and their adult leaders that combines intergenerational mentoring, community action, and understanding different cultures. Youth learn from elder community members, who share their gardening practices, cultural backgrounds, and wisdom about their community. Youth also learn from the Garden Mosaics educational resources and activities. Activities take place in community gardens, neighborhoods, home and school gardens, and indoors. Youth participants are from community centers, camps, home schools, classrooms, and science enrichment, job skills training, intergenerational, service-learning, and environmental education programs.  Developed by Cornell University. For more information visit: http://www.gardenmosaics.org. Garden Mosaics Kit (includes program manual, DVD, poster, etc), $79.98 or Program Manual, $19.99

Roots n’ Shoots
Roots and Shoots is a program started by Dirck and Molly Brown to connect youth with gardening and incorporates intergenerational cooperative learning. They have created two Roots and Shoots garden and developed a curriculum and handbook to help folks get started. This Down to Earth Handbook has everything you will need to know about inplementing your own garden program. It is a hands-on, feet-first approach to a school garden where everyone can have a good time learning and working together. This step-by-step guide includes: A notebook binder format for easy duplication of materials and addition of your own ideas, 200+ pages of useful, how-to information, detailed lesson plans for each grade covering natural science, literature, music, art, and math, with templates and samples for class projects and publicity pieces, detailed designs, planting, equipment and structures for each of the seven theme gardens, suggestions for ways to involve school staff, students, voluteers, and community organizations, and ways to get started, how to recruit and train volunteers, fund raising strategies, and how to create effective publicity. The handbooks (Volume 1 and Volume 2) are $45/each

Soil Science (Grade 2-3)
Hands-on lessons lead teachers and students through soil science basics.  Includes ongoing, performance and formal assessment tools, encourages cooperative learning and sections that relate soils to the real world..  Meets the National Science Education Standards (NRC) Delta Science Module (2004). Available through Delta Education. http://www.delta-education.com. Teacher’s Guide, $83.00. Complete Kit, $399.00

Soil and Life (Grades 6-12)
This resource and activity book, written by Dr. Robert Ridky for the American Geologic Institute, contains 6 lessons and 23 activities on topics such as physical and chemical weathering, components of soil, water porosity and permeability, land use, and more. Written to the National Science Education Standards, each lesson contains a clear objective and background information on science content and an instructional approach. Activities are hands-on and incorporate questions that promote critical thinking. Most activities can be completed with simple classroom equipment and supplies. Binder includes separately bound teacher’s guide and reproducible, loose-leaf student activity sheets.(2003).

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Curriculum Pages


Youth Gardening Curriculum: includes all of the curriculum listed here as well as additional resources books for gardening with youth.View PDF

List of links to sustainable ag curricular resources - developed by Amanda Wilkins, NCSU Horticulture Intern.View PDF