Lesson Plans

Great lesson plans make any new classroom project a cinch! Over the years, Growing Minds has developed farm to school activities that incorporate state and national curriculum. Teachers are currently using these plans throughout Southern Appalachia and beyond. Find lesson plans in the list below or take a look at our Get Local @ School materials to find lesson plans, recipes, books, and other resources for each month of the school year.

All Growing Minds lesson plans have connections to the Common Core State Standards, NC Essential Standards, and age-appropriate literature.

Have a farm to school lesson plan that you want to share with us? Enter your lesson into our Growing Minds Lesson Plan Template and email it to growingminds@nullasapconnections.org.


Curriculum alignment (NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development) for all preschool lesson plans. 

Preschool Lesson Plans – Exploring local food and farms with your young learners doesn’t have to be challenging! Our preschool lesson plans are an easy way to build connections between the outdoor environment and the classroom while introducing children to new fruits and vegetables.

Our Growing Minds Farm to Preschool Toolkit contains all of our preschool lesson plans, This Week in the Garden Preschool weekly activity guides, and Farm to School Goes Home weekly newsletter for families.


Curriculum alignment (Common Core State Standards & NC Essential Standards) for all K-2 lesson plans.

Recipe Lesson Plans – Kid tested and teacher approved recipes for each month of the school year. These lesson plans include full step-by-step instructions for cooking in the classroom and include literature connections and other activities to complete the lesson.

Garden Lesson Plans – School gardens provide students of all ages with opportunities for hands-on learning activities.  Our garden lesson plans provide a framework for outdoor exploration regardless of the color of your thumb.

Food and Farm Lesson Plans – Our lesson plans provide students with opportunities to learn about seasonal foods and local farms while meeting Common Core and NC Essential Standards.


Curriculum alignment (Common Core State Standards & NC Essential Standards) for all 3-5 lesson plans.

3-5 Grade Lesson Plans – Students explore the science of food with these inquiry-based lesson plans. Each lesson plan includes student worksheets and literature connections.


Middle and High School Resources – For these grades farm to school lends itself to looking at a broader view of agriculture. It often includes topics such as industrial vs. small scale food systems, public health, environmental impacts of agriculture, and food equity issues. The resources linked on this page were curated by a member of our team who is a former high school science teacher.

Equity and Inclusion Resources

Children begin to develop racial awareness and bias at a very young age. In an effort to create learning environments that are more diverse, inclusive, and reflective of our culturally diverse society, farm to school programs should follow equity-minded best practices. Visit our Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Bias resources page to view our full equity statement, find children’s books (including farm to school literature) that celebrate diverse voices, and access recommended external resources that can be used by both teachers and parents to teach children about race, diversity, and inclusion. 

Day by Day Resources (for use at home or school)

Growing Minds Day by Day is a year-long series of seasonal educational resources designed for families and teachers to use during the COVID-19 quarantine and beyond. Weekly resource lists feature a theme related to food, gardening, or nature. Each resource list includes thematic recommendations for children’s literature, local food recipes, lesson plans, activities, and online resources curated by the Growing Minds team.

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