This curriculum builds upon many years of educating students in the garden and scales up content across grades and lessons for instructional scaffolding. It is designed as an interactive teaching tool to be co-taught with classroom teachers and garden instructors as leads. Each lesson connects directly to standards: Next Generation Science, Common Core State, Physical Education, and Environmental and Health Education. The concise and easy to-follow lessons are a packed 45 minutes for preschool through fifth grade. Flexibility is important, so some lessons include several activities that teachers can choose from to accommodate their lesson plans. Consistency is also important, so lessons follow themes and structures found in the Curriculum Map. 360 pages.
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The Berkeley Unified School District has pioneered garden education since the first school garden was planted at LeConte Elementary in 1983. This single garden inspired many others, and over the next twelve years it evolved into a multi-school Gardening and Cooking Program with annual support from a federal grant of $1.9 million from the California Nutrition Network. We lost this funding in 2013, along with many other nutrition and garden education programs, at which point we refocused from a nutrition-based program to one that supports teachers and students in the academic classroom.
This change encouraged us to develop a pilot curriculum in 2013–1014, with support from teachers, garden educators, and consultants from the Edible Schoolyard, Berkeley. Our team of experts gleaned from existing lessons and research to synthesize drafts to best fit our own school gardens. We rewrote the pilot lessons with input from our school communities and with incredible support from P. Rachel Levin, an English Language Coach, to develop academic and health targets accessible to all of our students.
The curriculum builds upon many years of educating our students in the garden and scales up content across grades and lessons for instructional scaffolding. It is designed as an interactive teaching tool to be co-taught with classroom teachers and garden instructors as leads. Each lesson connects directly to standards: Next Generation Science, Common Core State, Physical Education, and Environmental and Health Education. Our concise and easy-to-follow lessons are a packed 45 minutes for preschool through fifth grade. Flexibility is important to us, so some lessons include several activities that teachers can choose from to accommodate their lesson plans. Consistency is also important, so we follow themes and lesson structure found in the Curriculum Map.
The curriculum section provides over one hundred garden-based lessons to create, expand, and sustain garden-based learning experiences. It offers practical ideas and resources for every level of garden-based learning from sprouting seeds to understanding the food system.
This curriculum section was compiled by the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Garden-Based Learning Workgroup. The content for this section was borrowed, with permission, from various resources. It was our goal to use existing resources as not to “recreate the wheel” and to give a broad example of the garden-based learning resources that are currently in print.
The section is divided into 12 theme areas with applications for primary and upper grade level students.
Designing the school garden will require Math, ELA, and Science skills with Scientific Method being used as a foundation. Students will create a school garden as a result of the work they preloaded into the activity. Finally, students will decide if the school garden has an improvements needed for future growth or more growth.
- Material Type:
- Lesson Plan
- North Carolina State University
- Provider Set:
- Kenan Fellows Program for Curriculum and Leadership Development
- Natosha Brinkley
- Date Added:
In this 6th grade science lesson, ESY staff bring visual aids and props to the classroom to teach guidelines for applying the school’s 4BEs (Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible and Be an Ally) in the garden. It is important that each student receive this lesson before they come to the garden for their first hands-on class.
In this 7th grade science lesson, students identify desirable traits in plants and take cuttings from parent plants to facilitate asexual propagation and produce offspring with identical DNA.
In this 6th grade Science class, students learn how to build a compost pile, learn about organisms needed for decomposition, and begin to understand the purpose of compost in the garden.
In this 6th grade science lesson, students are introduced to the garden as a classroom. They meet the garden staff, tour the garden, learn the basic systems and routines of the garden classroom and are introduced to the Edible Schoolyard life skills and values.
In this 6th grade science lesson, students learn about the prevalence of potatoes while also preparing, roasting, and eating garden potatoes from the wood-burning oven.