The Nature of Teaching provides free, downloadable PDF lesson plans that are classroom-ready for K-12 students. There is an emphasis on K-5, with the majority of the lessons being for lower grade levels. Lesson plans are standards-based and activity-based with an overarching goal to get children outside. The Nature of Teaching focuses on the following three main areas: Wildlife, Health & Wellness, and Food Waste. Activities are created with the following content areas: English, Language Arts, Math, and Science, highlighting the environment and nature. Professional development workshops are available for teachers.
Junior Master Gardener has an exciting Learn, Grow, Eat, & Go! (LGEG) Curriculum for the “Level One” elementary grades. LGEG is research-based and evidence-based, including lessons on gardening, nutrient-dense food experiences, physical activity, and school & family engagement. LGEG is a 10-week program, offering 2 lessons/week. The cost per material varies, running approximately $50/material. Junior Master Gardener offers “Level Two” curriculum for grades 6-8, containing exciting challenges in their “Operation Thistle” curriculum. Teacher training is available for Junior Master Gardener curricula.
Ag in the classroom contains a searchable curriculum matrix. Educators can search lesson plans by grade, content area, outcomes, national standards, etc. There are lesson plans for a wide array of topics in science, including biology, botany, agriculture, to name a few. The main page of the site features highlighted monthly lessons. The cost of lesson plans varies, including some free resources. There is also an option for educators to submit resources into the matrix to share with others. There are kits for sale in the AgClassroomStore within the Teacher Center on the website.
Oklahoma Farm to School contains various resources centered around the topic of school gardens. Areas of focus include the following: recipes using garden produce, green roofs, rain barrels, garden plant features, and food safety, to name a few. The resources available on this site are free, including classroom activities that have a fun, creative spin on gardening. Lessons on this site are geared primarily for lower grade levels.
The Project Learning Garden (PLG) Curriculum at Captain Planet Foundation is an inquiry-based, project-based schoolyard garden program. In addition to teaching science, social studies, math, health and nutrition, art and music, and language arts, PLG practices shape eating behaviors for children. The PLG provides resources for primary schools, elementary schools, and middle schools, with an emphasis on K-5. The PGL Curriculum and materials consists of a robust variety lessons and resources. There is access to free lessons on the website. The complete program with supplies and materials is for sale.
Tower Garden Educator is an aeroponic growing system that can be used indoors with lights to grow lettuces, greens, and herbs year-round, without weeding or cumbersome work. The lights and water solution both cycle on/off with timers at the power source. This provides an easy, simple way to garden indoors. Each Tower Garden can grow up to 28 plants indoors, providing a wonderful format for each student in a classroom to have his or her own growing spot. Tower Garden can also be easily wheeled from one classroom to another. Additionally, during outdoor gardening seasons, Tower Garden can be used outdoors to grow traditional, above-ground garden vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, peas, watermelon, etc.). Visit the “School Gardens” section of this website. Then, scroll down to gain access to free lessons plans and learning materials. Lessons are NGSS-aligned and are organized as Pre-K, K-5, and 6-8.
The Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse of the Green Education Foundation provides a space for educators to download and share lessons on sustainability. The lesson plans are grouped by grades in the following categories: Pre K-2, 3-5, Middle School, and High School. Lesson plans are also organized by subject, including science, health, social students, language arts, math, and creativity. Free lessons, curricula, and hands-on activities are available, including the following topics in global sustainability: waste reduction, energy & water conservation, green energy, carbon footprint, environmental science, in addition to others.
Harvest for Healthy Kids is a great resource for early learning teachers and childcare providers wanting to utilize gardens and garden fresh produce to help form healthy eating habits. All resources on this site emphasize healthy eating habits, centered around garden vegetables, fruits, berries, and legumes. There are beautiful picture cards for the early learning students, activity plans and tips for teachers, and family newsletters to engage families. Additionally, free recipes are available. Registration is required to gain access to all materials.
Project Food, Land, & People offers numerous lesson plans and resources on the topics of food production, food consumption, and natural resources. As K-12 students explore the interrelationships between food, resources, and people, a wide variety of topics are covered, ranging from lessons in nutrition to lessons in financial literacy. These resources can be used in formal or non-formal educational settings. Materials are for sale; $30-$40 perpackage.
Growing Minds Farm to School provides free state and national curriculum, including the following topics: gardening, recipes, food & farm, science of food, and agriculture, among others. Resources are organized by suggested monthly harvests. Additionally, lessons are grouped by grades: preschool, K-2, 3-5, and 6-12.