From planting seeds to discovering the science of pollination, seeds provide a nearly infinite range of teaching opportunities. School gardens, in-class activities, and even field trips offer students insight into biology, food production, ecology, and sustainability — all on the local level.
1. Our Resources
1.3 Example lessons
2. Other resources
2.1 School Garden Setup Guide
2.2 Food Garden Lesson Book
2.3 School Garden Calendar
West Coast Seeds offers several programs of which teachers might not be aware. We would like to describe them here, offer some ideas and considerations, and provide some outside resources that we are proud to endorse.
Fundraising with Seeds is an obvious way to supplement limited school budgets. It’s also a good way to publicize a school’s efforts to make sustainable agriculture a key element of their programs. Our fundraising program can be used to raise funds for sports teams and band equipment, but it can also be used to pay for raised garden beds, and in-class experiments.
Let West Coast Seeds support your school garden and educational programs with Seed Donations. Every year we help scores of charities, classrooms, schools, and educators introduce students to growing food. We love hearing about the success stories from sustainable agriculture programs across the country and around the world.
From deluxe in-class growing tools like the Growlight Garden to simply germinating seeds on a damp paper towel in a zip-top bag, there are projects to suit every budget, and every grade level.
For instance, sprouting seeds can be started on Monday and harvested Friday afternoon for students to taste. As they grow, they put on weight and give off heat. Try weighing the sprouting jar over the course of the short, five day growing period. Use a thermometer to record the temperature of the sprouts before each rinse.
Or use inexpensive, expanding coir pellets to plant various types of seeds and see which germinates most quickly. How quickly will the roots emerge from the edge of the coir pellet?
Plant one pot under bright light, and another beneath some kind of light barrier and compare the results. What do the students predict?
The possibilities go on and on. Even seasoned life-time gardeners are constantly learning from the garden. For younger students, the book Gardening Lab for Kids offers 52 other garden-related activities.
School Garden Setup Guide
We recommend starting out by downloading SPEC’s School Garden Startup Guide as the very first step when contemplating a school garden. This thoughtful and informative guide is useful for schools, community programs, and parents schooling at home. School gardens have taken off around the world as an obvious way to bring students in contact with food production. But budgets and access to summertime volunteers can pose challenges.
Food Garden Lesson Book
Our friends at the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC) have produced another awesome resource, Green Thumbs at School: SPEC Food Garden Lesson Book. This priceless resource provides simple ways to integrate activities into the classroom in line with curriculum mandates, and it can be easily adjusted to suit curricula across the country and elsewhere.
School Garden Calendar
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It is our goal to collect other quality resources for teachers, and to gather them on this page. If you know of any seed or gardening related materials, please send us a link so we can share with other educators. If you have any suggestions on how we can improve this page, we’d really appreciate hearing from you.