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Oregon AITC in the Garden

Get to Know Our Resources!

Teach students about agriculture and natural resources in the garden using our free books, lessons, and curriculum kits! Is there a resource that you love, but can’t find here? Let us know!


Garden in a Glove    This simple lesson gives students an opportunity to investigate and observe how a seed sprouts. This lesson is available as a kit.

Seed, Soil, Sun and See Them Sprout    Investigate the miraculous process of air and water combining with seeds, soil, and sunlight to create nearly all the food we eat. By having students observe different types of seeds, this lesson takes plant germination one step further by having students record the different growth rates and other observations in germination journals. This lesson is available as a kit.

The Poetry of Agriculture    Students will sharpen their observation, listening, and vocabulary skills with this poetry writing exercise that features items with a connection to agriculture. For higher grades, have students create a haiku, acrostic, mirrored refrain, or cinquain poems.

Oregon Potato Growing Machine    Students learn about the super food that is the potato, and how just a little bit of water can lead to a whole new plant.

Build a Mini Worm Bin    Discover why earthworms are considered a gardener’s best friend. The mini worm bin, or “wormery,” built in this activity allows students to observe the worms as they convert plant material into rich compost.

Build a Worm Condo    The worm “condo” built in this activity allows students to observe worms tunnel through the dirt and see their segmented body parts in action.

My Oregon Plate    My Oregon Plate is based on the new federal nutrition model, found here.  It introduces the new nutrition model, the five food groups, and makes a local connection to good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.

Living Necklace    Here is a new twist on planting seeds. Students make a “living necklace” they can wear home or display in various places around the classroom. It is ideal for kicking off a plant unit or introducing the stages of plant growth and development. This lesson is available as a kit.

Math & Science Pumpkins    While pumpkins are called vegetables, they are actually fruits. Technically, a fruit is the edible fleshy part of the plant that surrounds the seeds. In this activity, students make a number of observations regarding fruit anatomy, using math as a comparison tool.

Nature Walk Journal    In this activity, students make notebooks to both  hold materials they find and record their observations on nature walks.

From Rocks to Soil   Students explore weatherization (physical and chemical) through a series of short experiments that demonstrate how rocks and minerals are broken down into soil.

Propagation & Regeneration in Plants    While most plants grow from seeds, many can also be grown from bulbs, tubers, or stem cuttings. These practices, called vegetative propagation, are used in agriculture for growing many types of plants in the nursery and greenhouse industry, as well as for crops like potatoes and garlic.

Water Filtering and Soil    This hands-on experiment demonstrates soil’s function as a water filter, as well as other physics concepts like hydrophobicity, soil absorption and adsorption, soil’s water storage properties, and the positive and negative charges of soil and potential contaminants.

Source Relay    This fast-moving relay race teaches students that before any product leaves a factory or enters a store, it began as a resource or product of the natural world—most likely agriculture. Students will work in teams and run a relay race where they have to quickly decide the source of a product and then race to place in into one of the buckets marked factory, store, farm, or earth.

Free Loan Library Kits

Magnifying Loupes    Students will enjoy exploring various objects, plants, and animals with magnifying loupes. They will learn to hypothesize, theorize, and discover through their observations.

Seed, Soil, Sun    This kit includes everything you need to teach the lesson Seed, Soil, Sun and See Them Sprout.

Garden in a Glove   This kit contains gloves, 5 different types of seeds, and cotton balls. This is everything you need to teach this lesson!

Living Necklace    This kit contains all the materials necessary to grow you own lesson! The lesson plan can be found here.

More to come! Did you see a lesson you would like us to make a kit for? Let us know!

Free Loan Library Children's Books

Fresh Picked Poetry—A Day at the Farmer’s Market   This collection of poems takes young readers to a day at an urban farmer’s market. Grades K-3rd.

Plant Plumbing   Students learn how the different parts of plants function and how they all work together. Grades 1st-5th.

Planting a Rainbow   This educational and enjoyable book helps children understand how to plant and care for bulbs, seeds, and seedlings. Grades PreK+.

What’s in the Garden    Good food comes from a garden bursting with life, color, sounds, smells, sunshine,  moisture, and bees. Healthy food becomes much more interesting when children know where it comes from. This book introduces kids to a variety of fruits and vegetables, explains gardening practices and plant botany, and includes a kid-friendly recipe. Grades K-2nd.

Tops and Bottoms    With roots in American Slave tales, this book celebrates the trickster tradition of using one’s wits to overcome hardship. It is also a great introduction into the multitude of ways that plants grow.

Free Loan Library Curriculum Guides

Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots    This wonderful collection of gardening projects for children that includes twelve easy-to-implement ideas for theme gardens.

Junior Master Gardener Teacher/Leader Guide     This teacher guide is designed to accompany and correspond to the Junior Master Gardener Handbook. These resources include 8 instructional chapters, each with unique teaching concepts and content. This program is affiliated with 4-H.

Down-to-Earth: Enriching Learning Through Gardening    Through this hands-on, minds-on program, youth get the basics of botany, the gist of gardening, the essentials of ecology, and much more.

The Garden Classroom    This book is packed with garden-based activities that promote science, math, reading, writing, imaginative play, and art.

Moving the Classroom Outdoors    Designed to provide teachers and administrators with a range of practical suggestions for making the schoolyard a varied and viable learning resource, this book presents concrete examples of how schools have made the school site itself a teaching tool.

The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids    This resource supports educators and parents in creating a gardening partnership with children.

Project Seasons     Based in Vermont, Project Seasons offers a collection of interdisciplinary, hands-on natural resource activities and teaching ideas for elementary educators everywhere.

Seeds of Change: Learning from the Garden       Use this resource to teach about food, plant exchange, plant migration, and food history.

Investigating Plants: Hands-On, Low-Cost Laboratory    The exercises in this manual were developed and tested by seventh graders. This is a great resource for year-round use in the classroom or garden.

Garden Youth Activity Guides    This resource explores sprouting seeds, watching them grow, harvesting food, and distributing produce. If you are considering a school garden market, this should be your go to resource.