Hands-On Learning, school garden

School Garden 101… Implementation

So. You’ve formed a committee, received funding, maybe even installed a garden of some sort. Now what do you do?

Let me begin by telling you this: Your garden can, and should be, an extension of your classroom, and if you open your mind… the possibilities are endless.



I’m going to share some websites with you today that may give you some ideas for integrating your school garden with your curriculum standards. So without further adieu:

  1. Square Foot Gardening – Just look at some of the pictures. When I look at them I see area, perimeter, arrays and multiplication, two and three-dimensional shapes. And that’s measurement alone! Now, don’t feel like I’m trying to get you to buy something, because I’m not. In fact, I’m the ultimate cheapskate, and I will share (later on down the road) some cool activities that your kiddos can do using plain old newspaper, twine, and glue that will accomplish the same thing as using fancy expensive equipment. #Easypeasy.
  2. Kids gardening – I’ve mentioned this site in this post, but this link will take you to their garden activities page. It is chalk full of good information that shares ideas for implementing your garden both outdoor and indoor.
  3. How about an Alphabet Garden? Growing plants that start with the letters of the alphabet is a great way to incorporate early literacy with your little ones.
  4. Kids Garden Club has a nice little menu of links that cover garden themes, projects, reading, math, writing, arts & crafts, and more.
  5. Here’s another gem from Kids Gardening (really…this website deserves a bookmark!). This link will take you to their lesson plans page. They have ideas for the topics of nutrition, pollinators and wildlife, soils and environment, plant science, and arts and culture.

How about some book suggestions?

  1. Roots, Shoots, Buckets, and Boots: Gardening together with Children by Sharon Lovejoy. I LOVE this book. It is perfect for early childhood activities in the garden. To me, this book is all about bringing the joy of gardening to young children with activities that almost seem “fairytailish”. #dreamy
  2. The Growing Classroom developed by Life Lab Science Program  is a garden based science curriculum that is aligned to current science standards.
  3. Math in the Garden has lots of hands-on activities for connecting math to real life.
  4. Grow Lab: Activity Guide & Grow Lab: Complete Guide – these two books are full of activities for gardening in the actual classroom using grow lights.
  5. The National Science Teacher Association has bunches of books and journal articles (articles can be purchased for ninety-nine cents!).

Numbers 2, 3, and 4 are all available through Gardener’s Supply Company, and they have more books geared toward gardening curriculum. I imagine you could also find these books through online used book sellers.

And last, but never least, there is this particular website called…. Pinterest. Have you heard about it (lol)? Really, just type in school, garden, kids, in any order or combination, and you will rewarded with a plethora of visual garden goodness.

I could easily go on and on. This is just a small sampling of ideas. I suggest getting together with a group of like minded coworkers and do some serious brainstorming. You will be amazed at the ideas you can generate through a little good, old-fashioned collaboration!

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