This page includes single lessons as well as entire units. These resources are standards based, and use food, nutrition, and gardens to teach academically relevant content. We will be updating this page to include more Spanish language resources.
These free online resources contain multiple lessons that should be taught sequentially.
Dig in! Each lesson highlights different fruits and vegetables, addressing 5th and 6th grade Common Core State Standards and human nutrition. While this unit pairs best with a garden, lessons lend themselves to any teaching space where food can be grown. Be creative! Free print copies of this curriculum are available to schools participating in the National School Lunch Program, or other Child Nutrition programs.
Nourish This curriculum is designed to foster meaningful conversations regarding food and sustainability. Lessons include activities and short films that meet national standards and benchmarks for students in upper elementary through early high school. Student handouts are available in both English and Spanish.
FoodSpan: Teaching the Food System from Farm to Fork The John Hopkins Center for a Livable Future has created an inquiry-based, standards-aligned high school curriculum that fosters an understanding of current food systems issues, empowering them to make healthy and responsible food choices that benefit themselves and their communities. How will your students advocate for food system change?
The Great Garden Detective Adventure Designed for 3rd and 4th grade, this curriculum leads students on a standards-based taste bud adventure—from the garden to the cafeteria. Skills in gardening and nutrition are integrated into lessons addressing language arts, mathematics, science, and health. Free print copies of this curriculum are available to schools participating in the National School Lunch Program, or other Child Nutrition programs.
Grow It, Try It, Like It This garden and nutrition education kit features My Plate front and center. These resources are suited to child care facilities, and for parent/child learning at home. Participants will be introduced to 6 fruits and vegetables and child friendly cooking practices.
Center for Nutrition in Schools A hearty thanks to UC Davis for providing not 3, not 4, but 5 standards-based nutrition curricula. Whether you teach Pre-K or 12th grade, there is a resource here that will meet your needs!
4-HAvailable for purchase: Teach science, healthy living, and citizenship through 4-H curricula such as Afterschool Agriculture, Backyards and Beyond, Junior Master Gardener, or many, many others! Stay tuned for which of these resources will be offered through our free lending library!
Use these free, online resources to identify individual lessons, or to create your own unit drawing from multiple sources.
Growing Minds Located in Asheville, NC, Growing minds offers standards-based gardening lessons for students in PreK-12. Pick and choose the lessons that work for your students!
School Garden Center Utah’s Agriculture in the Classroom School Garden Center includes a long list of lesson plans, books, activities, and other instructional resources. If you see a loan-able resource here that we do not yet offer, let us know!
School Garden Project Located in Lane County, Oregon, the School Garden Project provides a plethora of resources for addressing Next Generation Science Standards in the garden. Some STEM options are also available in unit form.
Any resources missing from our lending library will soon be added.
Sustainable Food Center’s School Garden Activity Guide This guide offers 23 hands-on activities that teach gardening, food systems, and cooking for upper elementary and middle school students. With minor modifications, many lessons can also meet the needs of high school teachers. Written for Texas schools, activities are aligned to Texas Essential Knowledge Standards. Don’t let that scare you away, as this resource is invaluable.
Citizen Science Opportunities
Project Budburst Work with citizen scientists across the U.S. to chart seasonal changes through detailed plant observations. Whether you and your students can participate once, or are able to monitor the same plants over multiple months, Project Burst has resources for you. The data collected is free and available to anyone. What data analysis project could your class do?
Cornell Lab of Ornithology Cornell is committed to monitoring how birds are affected worldwide by habitat loss, pollution, disease, and climate change. You can help in a number of ways! Whether you are interested in watching birds at a feeder, monitoring birds in the nest, or recording bird sightings in an urban setting, Cornell has a project for you! Celebrate Urban Birds and Project Feederwatch are especially good options for schools.