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Other Gardening / Farming Curriculum

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Girls planting seeds in the garden

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

Teaching Gardening to a Class

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 explor

e 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.

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

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 /

Farm to Table & 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 by 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 healthy 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 The Food Project 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

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. Teacher’s Guide, $86.00. Complete Kit, $469.00

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).

Curriculum Pages

Youth Gardening Curriculum

includes all of the curriculum listed here as well as additional resources books for gardening with youth.

Sustainable Agriculture and Gardening Resources

This comprehensive list of curricula and programs dedicated to sustainable agriculture and grades was developed by Amanda Wilkins, NC State Horticulture Intern.