Our NGSS-aligned curriculum is centered around three core concepts: waste, water, and food. We have made this garden-based curriculum available for free to encourage teachers, educators and parents to utilize it as much as possible. Our lesson plans include:
- Grade-specific curriculum with activities - Our lesson plans are designed for specific age groups, either K-2 or 3-6. Each lesson plan has hands-on components which are age appropriate.
- Work booklets or "Garden Journals " - Each series has Garden Journals tailored to different age groups. These worksheets reinforce the concepts learned during the lesson and can be a classroom or take-home activity to follow garden time.
- Science framework - This document identifies which NGSS concepts are supported, listing performance expectations, environmental principles and concepts, science and engineering practices, cross cutting concepts and disciplinary core ideas.
- Spanish versions of our curriculum - Embedded within each lesson plan is a link to a fully translated curriculum. We also have our video lessons available in Spanish.
Series 1: From Soil to Oceans
In this series, students will learn about the foundational components of soil and how healthy soils are necessary for healthy plants. They will also learn how soil and plants are affected by the weather and its patterns. Finally, they will close the loop by understanding how pollution makes its way into our bodies of water via wind and rain, and how we can prevent trash from entering our environment through intelligent waste management practices and composting.
Series 2: Food, Water, and Drought
In this series, students will learn about human development and impact. We will discuss specific effects humans have on the environment, and learn ways to mitigate such impacts. We will begin on a small scale to understand environmental concepts (greenhouses) and develop an understanding of big picture ideas (the greenhouse effect).
In this series, students will learn about the requirements for healthy seed growth that ultimately results in healthy plants. They will understand the basics of seed and plant anatomy and determine how when composted, decaying plant organic matter can supply nutrients for new growth.
Series 4: Flow of Water in Ecosystems, Food-Systems, and Homes
In this series, students will learn about ancient agriculture and how we have transported and stored water for food production. We will then determine the true cost of food production and follow the journey that a single piece of fruit must forgo in order to make it to our homes. Finally, students will learn about water conservation and how to implement such strategies in their own homes.
Series 5: Bugs, Humans, and Soil
In this series, students will learn about soil composition/formation and how soil serves as the building block for all life. They will then determine what makes an organism beneficial to plant and soil life, and what makes an organism a pest. Finally, students will learn about how healthy soil leads to healthy plants which then lead to healthy bodies! We will point out the beneficial properties of fruits and vegetables and how their nutrients affect our bodies.
Series 6: Alive in our Watershed
In this series, students will go over what a watershed is, how we live in one, and the importance of protecting it. Students will then investigate how energy is transferred throughout the food chain and what makes a habitat suitable for various species. They will close the loop by learning about how watersheds are the habitat for many living things.
Series 7: Drought Tolerant Landscapes
In this series, students will learn about drought and how to measure it. They will discover which types of plants thrive in our climate and types of plants that are harmful to our ecosystems. Based on this knowledge, they will then learn about sustainable design that utilizes native plants and also aid in conserving water.
Series 8: Different Climates, Different Habitats
In this series, students will learn about weather and climate and determine how those factors affect habitats. Students will discover how anatomy and function makes plants suitable for their environments, and how these plants symbiotically serve the needs of surrounding animals.