Why do schools need gardens? How can students be taught using a school garden as a focus? Is there a resource for managing a school garden? How do you know what to plant and when?
This section provides resources to enable school garden coordinators and educators to teach students about a myriad of topics using a school garden such as lesson planning tools, a monthly school garden checklist and our School Garden Coach Manual as a guide.
Questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are links to resources from the Maine School Garden Network as well as our partner organizations to help you plan lessons in your school garden.
- Teach ME About Food and Farms. A collection of lessons and resources for educators in Grades K-12 that is accessible and searchable by topic, grade, Maine Learning Results and Common Core Standards.
- Big Green Educator Resources offers teaching resources such as curriculum, a video library, lessons and activities and more.
- Kids Gardening Resources for Educators. Garden-related learning experiences offer practical connections to a wide range of teaching objectives and curricular standards. Many gardening activities can be done in the classroom or school green space if a dedicated garden space is not available. Experienced garden educators have created engaging lessons on a wide range of subjects for students of all ages.
- School Garden Coach Manual. This manual’s purpose is to serve as a growing resource for schools who want to teach using a school garden.
- Farm to School Conference Presentation of School Garden Coaches PowerPoint
Why School Gardens?
School gardens enable students and educators to dig into Maine Department of Education’s Content Areas such as Math, Science, English, Social Studies and more.
Quick Start to a School Garden
Thinking about starting a school garden project? Not sure where to begin? Check out these resources! Have fun and get growing!
USDA School Garden Fact Sheet
Starting an Educational School Garden
Here is a concise outline of steps for starting an educational garden, created by University of Maine Cooperative Extension educators.
Creating & Maintaining a School Garden
These sites have free information you can download on creating and maintaining a school garden:
- Start a Garden. Covers beginning stages of planning, budgeting and fundraising.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension Office
Your local University of Maine Cooperative Extension office (in each county) can be a great help, as they have educators on staff, and they also run the Master Gardener program.
Sowing the Seeds of Success
Sowing the Seeds of Success provides background information along with downloadable program development exercises to engage you and your team.
Designed in partnership with the American Horticultural Society, Sowing the Seeds of Success is designed to walk you through the organizational aspects of a gardening program. Find tools to help start, sustain, expand, and reflect on your program. Teachers, parents, community leaders, horticulturists, Master Gardeners, youth leaders, and other interested adults will find the process a useful tool. In fact, this same process can be useful for just about any community project.
- Planning & Organizing: Documents and resources to help you plan, establish, grow and manage your garden project. Topics include establishing partnerships, effective youth engagement, working with volunteers and sustaining the garden project.
- Benefits & Research: Support your work with these research-based findings.
- Fundraising & Promotion: Regardless of the scope or audience of your garden project, it’s likely you will have to raise funds or secure donations. Topics include grassroots fundraising, applying for grants, and researching funding opportunities. You’ll also find example brochures, letters, and press releases to help you spread the word about your program.
- Evaluation Toolkit: Easy-to-use guidance for program improvement and documentation. The materials are designed for educators with minimum experience with evaluation.
Visit Cornell’s Garden-Based Learning page for more resources and information.
Garden Club Planning Template
Guyla and Linda of Saccarappa School used the following template to create a plan for their garden club – goals, skills, activities, and more. Click the button below to read about their school’s plan and create your own with the same template.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program
How can we manage pests and diseases in the garden? Possibly the most valuable approach to managing pests and diseases in an educational garden is approaching it with the realistic expectation that “if you build it, they will come” and to perceive each inevitable challenge as an opportunity to engage students in the reality of gardening.