Oregon School Garden Curricula
The criteria for inclusion on this list are as follows:
The materials are available for free in a widely accessible format
The materials are specific to Oregon
The materials are place-based and tied to academic content standards where appropriate
Materials are listed in approximate order by target audience age.
Harvest for Healthy Kids
Age group: Pre-Kindergarten
Academic standards: Aligned with early learning standards.
Structure: The program connects young children with fresh food grown close to home through activity kits that teach science, math and literacy. Thirteen activity kits focus on a different fruit or vegetable, each with an activity plan, picture cards, recipes, teacher newsletter, and family newsletters in Spanish, Russian and English.
Oregon State Univ. Extension Growing Healthy Kids Curriculum (Garden Enhanced Nutrition Ed.)
Age group: 2nd and 3rd grade
Standards: Not yet linked to Oregon State or Common Core Standards. In process.
Structure: Seven lessons
, each focused on integrating nutrition education into gardening activities. Lessons include recipes to make in the classroom and materials to take home to engage families.
Age group: Grades K-5
Academic Standards: Variable tied to both Oregon State and Common Core Standards.
Structure: Comprehensive three seasons thematic units with three to six lessons per season. Lessons build on one another from year to year creating a cumulative curriculum for the length of a student’s elementary school experience.
Marion Polk Food Share: Grow Healthy Kids
Age Group: Grades 1-5
Standards: Not keyed.
Structure: Two sets of lessons
, with nine lessons for winter activities (mostly indoor planning and preparation) and eight lessons for spring.
School Garden Project of Lane County
Age group: Grades K-6, with supplemental materials to allow for each lesson to be tailored to various ages.
Academic Standards: Aligned with Next Generation Science Standards, and has also been revised to increase inclusivity and accessibility for students with special education needs.
NGSS in the Garden: Each lesson focuses on a key concept explored by a Performance Expectation from the NGSS. Each lessonplant parts, garden habitat, soil composition, etc) provides background information and activity rotations in the garden, including hands-on inquiry stations, complimentary garden work, exploration and/or tasting, and educational games and activities. Each lesson also has suggested addition to adaptations to simplify, add complexity, or for rainy days.
STEM in the Garden: These five week long, ten lesson units revolve around the exploration of a single garden inspired topic of study. Each unit strives to incorporate science, technology, engineering and math through a variety of hands-on activities that build student knowledge, interest and engagements around the theme and STEM.
Age Group: Adaptable, but primarily K-6
Standards: Not linked to Oregon State or Common Core Standards.
Structure: Nine lessons encompassing soil and watershed health, native pollinators, basic botany and ecology, and healthy garden-based eating. In addition to these hands-on lessons, this guide also provides tips on year-round gardening, outdoor pedagogy, culturally sensitive teaching approaches, recipes, and additional curricular resources
Science in the Learning Gardens: NGSS-aligned, Garden-based Curriculum for Middle School (Portland State University); National Science Foundation Award: 2014-2017
Science in the Learning Gardens (SciLG) is an NGSS-aligned, garden-based curriculum for the middle-school level, and a key component of a longitudinal research project (see research section below). SciLG makes issues such as climate change and sustainable food systems relevant, accessible, and engaging through hands-on experience with problem-solving and inquiry. SciLG was developed and piloted at two low-income middle schools that serve predominantly racial and ethnic minority students in Portland, Oregon. Curriculum materials (instructional units and garden-based lessons) aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards for 6th through 8th grade are under development and will be available to share in 2017 at Learning Garden's website
Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom
Age group: Grades K-12
Standards: Variable tied to Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards
Structure: Expansive collection of downloadable, stand-alone lesson plans and worksheets on hands-on activities as varied as Busy Bees and Living Necklaces to Worm Bins and Water filtration. Free lending library with activity kits and resources for lessons in the school garden
Oregon State University: Food for Thought
Age Group: High School
Standards: Variable tied to Oregon State Standards
Structure: Twenty free lessons
that incorporate reading comprehension and hands-on activities for science, social studies, and language arts. This high school curriculum explores the research that brings food to the table in an Oregon-style feast, from seafood and beef to berries. In addition, the curriculum examines food-related concerns, such as hunger in Oregon, food safety, GMOs, and nutrition education.
Ag in the Classroom Searchable Curriculum Matrix
The National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix is an online, searchable, and standards-based curriculum map for K-12 teachers. The Matrix contextualizes national education standards in science, social studies, and nutrition education with relevant instructional resources linked to Common Core Standards. Search our instructional, classroom-ready resources now! After you find what you need, consider storing them in your personal binder.
For even more curricular resources, see: the Oregon School Garden Curricula Project, a longer document compiled by the Oregon Farm to School and School Garden Network in 2014, so somewhat out of date.