Curriculum Ideas & Links

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Elementary school educators across the country are faced with the challenge of meeting state-wide curriculum requirements and helping students pass standardized achievement tests. Although school gardening may not be specifically mentioned in these standards, with a little bit of planning, horticulture activities can be used to accomplish state goals and objectives in multiple disciplines. It is critical for teachers to show the link between the standards and their school garden efforts to ensure adminstrative support and success.

The Virginia Department of Education has established the Standards of Learning or SOLs to guide educators. The following links provide ideas of ways gardening can be incorporated into classroom activities/curriculum to achieve the related SOLs:

Although activities are separated by subject matter, many garden activities are interdisciplinary. For example, planting a spring vegetable garden may accomplish science (learn about plant life cycles), English (write step by step instructions on planting the garden for a take home brochure), math (measure for plant placement and spacing), history (choose vegetables grown in Colonial times), fine arts (use the garden to learn about color and texture) and health (make a salad after harvesting vegetables and learn about 5-a-day for Better Health) objectives.

In addition to the subject specific links, the following sites provide online lesson plan curriculum and activity ideas for all subjects (tips for evaluating websites):

Site for Teachers

ABC Teach

Lesson Plans Page

Learning Page

Lesson Planz

Teams Distance Learning

The Educators Network

The Teacher Information Network

Lesson Plan Search


For more information contact the Virginia Tech Horticulture Department at:

Office of Environmental Horticulture, Virginia Tech
407 Saunders Hall, 0327
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0327
540-231-2714 or vtmg@vt.edu

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Created Spring 2001, Last Modified April 8, 2002