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Exploring Water — Four Lessons to Teach about the Importance of Water

This curriculum unit, developed by the education staff at the National Gardening Association addresses the core specific elements of the water cycle for K-12 students. There are four grade specific lesson plans, but the lessons can easily be adapted to meet the needs of any age classroom. Content in the lessons covers different aspects of the water cycle and applying the principles to activities and inquiry that can be discussed in and out of the school garden.

Composting with

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Get Your Students Hooked on Composting!

Here's a high school activity to help relate the benefits of composting to your students: Inquiring about Compost

If you like that activity, be sure to check out our new Compost Activity Kit which features standards-based lessons for the Kindergarten through eighth grade crowd.

Student gardener at Atwood Elementary contributing to the compost pile.Compost. It’s all around us. Whether we assist in the process or not, composting is taking place. If we choose not to use it, we are missing a valuable opportunity.

One Stop for Your Garden-Based Education: A Garden in Every (Home)School

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Keep your Students Learning over the Winter Break!

Here are some fun activities you can send home with your students over the winter break to keep them engaged. You may even consider encouraging your students to get their parent's involved and complete these activities by offering extra credit when they return from winter break.

K-5th grade activity: How to Create a Moss Garden »

5th-12th grade activity: Serving Nutrition at Home »

Successful school gardening with kids in any situation requires a set of great resources. Having resources that enable you to seamlessly use the garden to enhance the core curricular areas makes your job, as the teacher, that much easier.

Discover the NGA Team's Connection to Horticulture

Mike Metallo

Books in Bloom-Our New Garden Feature

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Meet the Creators of Books in Bloom

Books in Bloom authors Mark Lubkowitz and Valerie Bang-Jensen (photo taken by in Bloom authors Mark Lubkowitz and Valerie Bang-Jensen (photo taken by Mark Lubkowitz earned his Ph.D. in Microbiology from The University of Tennessee and followed up with a post-doctoral fellowship in plant development genetics at The University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Valerie Bang-Jensen earned her Ed.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University studying children’s literature, reading, curriculum and teaching.

Mark is now an associate professor of biology, while Valerie serves as an associate professor of education. These two educators are currently working at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont where they have joined forces and expertise to bring an interdisciplinary garden to life.

Download 3rd-5th grade lesson integrating reading, writing, and gardening (PDF) »

Download 7th-12th grade lesson on the value of gardening and cause and effect relationships (PDF) »

The Teaching Gardens at St. Michael's College in Colchester, Vermont and home to the inspiration for Books in Bloom

Books in Bloom is now a curriculum, get updates and free lesson plans here!


Get a Fresh Start for Your School Garden

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Fresh Curriculum

Food Day is a nationwide celebration of real food and an effort to improve health, the environment, and America's food system. These important topics are essential to our students' futures. On October 24th, concerned citizens will gather across the nation to learn more and become advocates for local farms and eating healthy. Here are five lessons that can be taught in conjunction with your Food Day celebration or as they fit into your regular curriculum. These lessons are targeted at upper elementary to middle school age students, although they can be altered for younger and older students as well. Through these lessons, students will become informed consumers by learning to follow healthy eating goals and find "real food".

Download Food Day Curriculum.

Ridley High School GardenersA new school year brings the opportunity for new additions and approaches for learning inside and out of the classroom. The anticipation of summer can often leave the school garden neglected at the end of the school year, as assemblies and field trips occupy the schedule.

Making Learning Relevant

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A New Look for!

The newly re-launched KidsGardening website provides a thorough and engaging interactive experience for educators, parents, students and anyone else interested in gardening with kids. Our advanced searching tools and improved site navigation brings our renowned lesson plans, activities, projects and content quickly to your fingertips. Start sharing about your own school garden using our new Garden Registry; sign-up and meet like-minded gardeners, share photos, tips and blog about all things gardening. Keep your gardening programs green all year with our grants and awards. New online grant applications are now available saving you valuable time during the application process. Not to mention saving paper and collectively reducing our impact on the environment. Explore our newly re-launched KidsGardening website, and help young minds grow.

Check out these lessons and worksheets to help make nutrition relevant to students.

Food Persuasion Lesson »

Cereal Sleuths Worksheet »

Be Wary of Words Worksheet »

What it Really Means Worksheet »

With time, educators learn techniques for teaching material in ways that will better help students learn. Relating lessons to students’ backgrounds and/or interests is a strategy to help students retain the information because it is relevant to them. This can be challenging with a classroom full of students each with a different background and varied interests.

International Youth Gardening Programs

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Are you interested in integrating an internationally-themed garden at your site? Here is some information about gardens from specific countries to get you started.

International Gardens


Here are some lesson ideas to teach the theme of International Gardening.

Discover the Garden

Research and Design an InternationalGarden

Interested in apply for a garden grant?  50 awards are avaible to any international location. Apply today!


Planting Respect and Harvesting Responsibility

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Westhills Elementary School in Alabama details plans for a Peace Path made with concrete stepping stones to teach students to resolve conflict peacefully.




  • The first stepping stone should have the following words written on it: “Use an ‘I’ message. Tell how you feel or what happened.”
  • Written on stone number two are the words: “Listen and retell.” Place this stone above stone number one.
  • Place stepping stone number three above stone number two and write these words on it: “Suggest possible solution(s).”
  • Stone number four goes above number three and should read, “Listen and retell.”
  • Place stone number five above number four with the words: “Suggest possible solution(s)” written on it.”
  • Stone six should be placed above number five and should have the words: “Listen and retell.”
  • Finally, stone number seven should be the largest stone placed at the end of the pathway. Written on this stone should be the words: “Agree upon solution. Exit garden in Peace.”

Students facing a conflict with a friend can be guided along this pathway, by the words inscribed on each stone, to come to an understanding. When planning your Peace Path, look for an area of the garden/schoolyard that is peaceful so students won’t be distracted while using the path. Be creative with the placement of the stepping stones. The path could have students wind through trees, circle a bench, or stroll through the garden. Stepping stones can be purchased pre-made or can be made by the garden club using a kit/concrete. Words can be written on the stones with paints and then covered with a clear sealant. Once your pathway is in place, model its use for the students so they understand how this tool can be effective.

Rules for Respect and Responsibiliy in the Garden.

Lesson: Growing Responsible Students (Gr: 5-8)

Lesson: With Respect, We Fit Together (Gr: K-3)


“When I meet a new person, I don’t see race or religion-I look deeper. We must learn to satisfy our conflicts peacefully and to respect one another.” –Muhammad Ali

Rules Keep Us Safe

Grade: K-6

Objective: Students will review the importance of rules and determine the impacts that come from following them.

Time: 30 minutes


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Kids Gardening and the National Gardening Association actively work with schools and communities across the country to provide educational resources and build gardens to promote health, wellness, and sustainability.


Copyright © 1999-2014 National Gardening Association     | &      |     Created on 03/15/99, 

Last updated on 03/27/2015
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