Are you interested in bringing your students into the garden but you don’t have personal experience or support from an expert garden teacher? Here is a list of different activities that will allow for you to bring your students into the garden without having to even know what is growing there! Each activity is aligned to either the core or PA State standards and will support the teaching that you are doing in Math, English, Science or Social Studies!


English Language Arts (Grade 1 Common Core Standards)

• Keep a Garden Journal (Writing, all)
• Talk about Where our Food Comes From, Reflect on Garden Class (SL.1.1)
• Tour the Garden, Record or Recount Findings (SL.1.4, SL.1.5. & W.1.8.)
• Write Step-by-Step Instructions for Starting Seeds (W.1.8.)
• Read, Compare and Contrast Books from ESY’s Recommended Picture Books List (Reading, all)
• Record and Share Food Memories (W.1.8. & SL.1.4)
• Create a Photo Journal of the Garden’s Seasons (W.1.6. & SL.1.5)
• Research Plants; Write descriptions (W.1.7 & W.1.8.)
• Create Class Plant Book, Read Aloud (W.1.5, W.1.6. & RL.1.10)
• Talk About Favorite Food Tradition, Crop or Garden Class (SL.1.6.)
• Write Thank You Notes to Volunteers (W.1.2.)

Mathematics (Grade 1 Common Core Standards)

• Name Crops/ Garden Scenarios in Word Problems (1.OA.1.)
• Measure Height/ Length of Crops (1.MD.2)
• Order Garden Vegetables or Tools by Height/Length (1.MD.1)
• Count (Then Add or Subtract) Crops/ Vegetables/ Flowers (1.OA.5.)
• Graph the Growth of Sugar Snap Peas (2.MD.10.)
• Chart the Class’s Favorite Garden Vegetable (2.MD.10.)
• Measure Garden Crops, Beds and Tools with the appropriate tool (4.MD.1. – 4.MD.4.)

Social Studies/ Family-School-Community Partnerships (PA 1st Grade Early Childhood Standards)

• Explore the Garden as a Community-Building Tool (P6)
• Explain Why the Garden Needs a Variety of Weather (3.1)
• Draw/Write about how Seasons Affect the Garden (3.1)
• Connect Maintaining a School/Community Garden to Good Citizenship (5.2)
• List the Student’s Rights and Responsibilities in the Garden (5.2)
• Explain the Barter, Trade and Money Systems in terms of Garden Produce (6.1 & 6.4)

• Draw a Map of the Garden (7.1A)
• Label Cardinal Directions in the Garden (7.1A)
• Explore Cultural History of Food (7.3)
• Research the Native American “Three Sisters” (7.4 & 8.2)

Science (PA 1st Grade Early Childhood Standards)

• Read Nonfiction Books from ESY’s Recommended Picture Books List (ALL)
• Tour the Garden Using All 5 Senses (3.1)
• Collect Rainwater, Measure & Track Rainfall (3.1)
• Study the Air Cycle in Relation to the Garden (3.5)
• Investigate Seasonal Change Impact on the Garden (3.5C)
• Draw/List Food Needs vs. Food Wants (3.8B)
• Collect Fall Leaves To Make Compost (4.2D & 4.8)
• Sprout Mung Beans in the classroom for eating (4.3A)
• Pick up Litter in the Garden (4.3B)
• Observe Animals in the Garden Ecosystem (4.3C & 4.4B)
• Dissect a Lima or Fava Bean Seed (4.4B)
• ID Plants in the Garden (4.4B)
• Take a Rubbing of a Sunflower Head, Bark or Leaf, ID parts (4.4B)
• ID Pests and Beneficial Insects in the Garden (4.5)
• Conduct a Soil Investigation (4.6A)

3rd GRADE – 8th GRADE

English Language Arts (Grade 4 Common Core Standards)

• Read Michelle Obama’s Book, First Garden, and Discuss (SL.4.1.)
• Interview a Farmer or Gardener (SL.4.2.)
• Bring in Family Recipes, Share Food Traditions (SL.4.4)
• Write a Fiction Story and Nonfiction Article about the Garden (Writing, all)
• Tell Stories about Why Food is Valuable (W.4.1.)
• Write a “How to Transplant” Guide (W.4.2.)
• Research and Write a Crop Description (W.4.2. & W.4.7.)
• Write and Perform a “3 Sisters” Play about Corn, Beans, and Squash (W.4.3 & SL. 4.4.)

• Write Letters to Local Community Gardeners or Master Gardeners (W.4.4.)
• Thank the Principal/ Garden Educator for the Garden (W.4.4.)
• Create a Class Recipe Book (W.4.6.)
• Keep a Running List of Plants in the Garden (W.4.8.)

Math (Grade 4 Common Core Standards)

• Convert/Halve/Double a Recipe (4.NF.1. & 4.MD.2.)
• Make Rows of Seeds/Crops into an Array (4.NBT.6.)
• Monitor Sunrise and Sunset to Find Elapsed Time (3.MD.1. & 3.MD.2.)
• Harvest the Correct Number of Garden Vegetables by Multiplying (4.OA.2.)
by the Number of Students or Dividing by Amount Available
• Calculate the Perimeter and Area of the Garden Beds (4.MD.3.)
• Find Parallel and Perpendicular Lines in the Garden (4.G.1.)
• Study Symmetry in Butterflies and Flowers (4.G.3.)

Social Studies (Grade 4 Academic Standards for History/Civics and Government)

• Study Tropical and Temperate Climates and the Food Grown In Each (3.5.4.C)
• Research and Write an Essay on the Food History of a Country (8.1.4.C)
• Make Posters of School Gardening as Good Citizenship (5.2.4.D)
• Discuss Connection between Technology and Farming (8.3.4.C)
• Research Progression from Hunter/Gatherer to Nomad to Agriculture (8.2.4.C)
• Create a Map of the Garden to Scale
• Create a Three Sisters Play about Native American Food (8.2.4.B)

Science (Grade 4 Academic Standards for Science and Technology)

• Measure the Growth Rate of Plants While Manipulating (3.1.4.C,E)
Variables Such as Light, Soil, Temperature, Weed pressure, Water, and Air
• Collect Weather Data/Patterns: Temperatures, Rainfall, (3.5.4.C, 3.1.4.C)
Barometric Pressure, Wind Speed/Direction
• Collect Seasonal Data: Day Length, Sun Position, Temperatures (3.4.4.D)
• Explore Ways Farming Technology Changes Environment. (3.8.4.A)
• ID Plants, Insects, and Soils (3.5.4.A)
• Test the Ph of Soil from Variety of Locations (3.5.4.A)
• ID the parts of the plants we eat (3.3.4.B)
• Start a Worm Bin (Indoor Vermicomposting) (3.6.4.A)
• Explore Food Transformations by Making Ice Cream, (3.4.4.A)
Bread, Cheese, or Butter
• Grow Mushrooms (3.5.4.B)
• Start Seeds Indoors (3.3.4.A)
• Interpret Soil Tests (N,P,K, pH) (3.5.4.A)
• Plan the Garden Layout for the Year (3.3.4.C)
• Plan the Planting Schedule for the Year (3.3.4.C)
• Weed and Water (3.3.4.A)
• Search for Migrating Birds and Hibernating Earthworms (3.3.4.C)
• Dissect Flowers (3.3.4.B)
• Start Sweet Potato Slips (3.5.4.B)
• Make Compost Tea (3.6.4.A)
• Harvest and Eat Sugar Snap Peas, Cherry Tomatoes etc. (3.5.4.B)
• Track Phases of the Moon, Daylight Savings Time (3.1.4.C)
• Study Diseases and Health Risks Related to Food (3.6.4.A)
• Compare Nutrition Content of Processed and Fresh Food (3.6.4.A)
• Find Beneficial Insects and Pests in the Garden. Research Relationship. (3.3.4.C)