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Growing Minds is a program of Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project. ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food.

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Garden lesson plans

Classroom Activity Accompanying Books Description Suggested Month
Planting in the Garden The Giant Carrot Students choose what to grow, how to grow it, and when to plant a fall garden. August
Seed Tapes The Tiny Seed  

Students will learn proper seed spacing for planting in the garden.

August
Watering the Garden Water, Weed, and Wait  

Students will learn that plants need water just like people and animals need water. They will explore dry and wet soil and be able to describe the difference between them. They will be introduced to a rain gauge and its purpose.

August
Searching the Garden Safely Jack’s Garden  

As a class, students will create “garden tips” that will teach and reinforce appropriate garden behavior. Students will use their senses to explore and investigate the world around them.

August
Edible vs. Non-Edible Gregory the Terrible Eater  

Students will learn the difference between edible and non-edible and understand how these concepts connect to a garden and the objects and properties of a garden.  Through a visit to the garden and by utilizing charts and discussion questions, students will expand their understanding of edible, non-edible, and the garden environment.

September
Garden Alphabet A Farmer’s Alphabet, A Gardener’s Alphabet  

Students will make observations and build an understanding of the properties of common objects in the garden. They will share information about what is in the garden by describing the objects through illustration and descriptive writing.

September
Butterfly Life Cycle Where Butterflies Grow  

Teach students about insect life cycles through a close look at butterflies.

October
Changing Leaves and Changing Seasons Leaves Fall Down: Learning about Autumn Leaves  

Teach students about changing seasons and the season of autumn. Students create a leaf spinner and record daily temperatures.

October
Harvesting in the Garden Pick, Pull, Snap!: Where Once a Flower Bloomed  

Students will review characteristics of mature produce and learn how to harvest different types of fruits vegetables. As a class, students will make harvesting calendars and apply their harvesting skills in the garden.

November
Root Exploration What Do Roots Do?  

Introduce students to roots and the ways they function. Talk with students about the 5 “Ws” (who, what, when, where, and why) and teach them as a guide for creating a poem.

November
Stem Exploration Stems  

Teach students about the parts of plants and their functions and use the garden to teach a hands-on plant based activity.

November
Insect Exploration Cucumber Soup  

Introduce students to the insects and other creatures they will find in the garden and their characteristics.

December
Making Garden Signs Our School Garden  

Students will learn to identify plants in the garden and work together to make garden signs.

January
Soil Exploration Dirt  

Through garden exploration, students will learn about the properties of soil and why soil is important to plants.  They will closely observe soil and practice tallying and reporting results of soil experiments. 

January
Soil Amendments Garbage Helps Our Garden Grow  

Students learn about the benefits of soil amendments and spend time recording their garden observations.

February
Garden Planning This Year’s Garden
 

Students learn what people need to create a successful a garden and what plants need to thrive. Through a hands-on activity, students learn about mapping and construct a “bird’s-eye-view” picture of a garden bed. Through a reflection process, students work together to make group decisions in planning a classroom garden.

February
Literacy Beds any piece of children’s literature with a garden theme  

The class will plan, plant, and grow a garden based on a piece of children’s literature.

 

February
Seasons on a Farm The Year at Maple Hill Farm  

Students will learn about seasonal weather patterns and their effects on local farms and gardens and use qualitative and quantitative measurements to describe weather.

March
Soil Temperature And then it’s Spring  

Students will use thermometers to measure soil temperature and use the information to determine if the soil is warm enough to support plant growth.

March
Poetry in the Garden In Our Backyard Garden, Scarecrow  

Students will strengthen their creative writing skills by writing poems that connect with the garden.

April
Seed Starting From Seed to Plant  

Students will observe germination of different types of seeds and learn how to transplant seedlings into soil.

April
Worm Exploration Yucky Worms, An Earthworm’s Life  

Teach students about life cycles by learning about worms and the ways they benefit the garden and farms. Through reading literature and completing hands-on activities, the class will conduct a worm investigation and observe that the organisms (and other animals) need food, air and space to grow.

May
Honey Bees Brilliant Bees  

Students learn about communication by exploring honey bees and comparing them to other insects and animals.

May

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