Garden-Based Learning Across the Curriculum


Welcome to Garden-Based Learning Across the Curriculum!

Childhood obesity and the sedentary lifestyle of our youth is a reality. Re-connecting youth to their environment and making our world a better place to live has become a priority. Schools are going "green" and realize their backyards can be put into good use by planting "gardens of learning". School gardening provides opportunities for youth to explore and truly appreciate the natural world while understanding the interrelationships between people and their environment. In the school garden, children learn authentically, cultivating a deeper understanding of a healthier lifestyle while actively growing, harvesting, and eating healthy fresh fruits and vegetables.

In this four unit course you will explore the principles, theory and practice of garden-based learning (GBL), how schools around the globe are recognizing GBL's value, and how they integrate these real-world lessons into all curricular areas.

Within each unit, you will have 5 activities to complete:

1. Introduction and unit overview

2. Readings, videos and other resources

3. Group Discussion

4. Case Study & Reflection

5. Portfolio Project

The assigned readings, videos and presentations are explicitly designed to help the educator integrate garden-based lessons into the curriculum. To enhance your understanding of the issues and topics, you will engage in group discussion and explore case studies of schools that have effectively used the school garden as a place-based, outdoor learning lab. You'll have an opportunity to reflect upon the readings, group discussion, and case studies through journal and portfolio entries. When completed, your portfolio will become a toolbox of cross-curricular, real-life lessons and assessments ready to use for the classroom. You may use any grade level or format for your lesson plans.

Unit 1: Why Garden in Schools?

Target Objectives: Participants will explore Garden-Based Learning (GBL) principles, theory and practice, identify the benefits of GBL in schools and strategies of curriculum integration.

Unit 2: Garden-Based Math & Science Inquiry

Target Objectives: Participants will identify and demonstrate garden-based inquiry of Science and Math, and develop project-based activities and assessment.

Unit 3: Garden-Based English Language Arts & Social Studies Lessons

Target Objectives: Participants will identify and demonstrate garden-based learning activities for English Language Arts and Social Studies, and develop project-based activities and assessment.

Unit 4: Project-based Learning in the Garden

Target Objectives: Participants will identify project-based, garden-based learning activities that meet additional curricular goals, and adopt strategies of integrating GBL into the curriculum.

When you're ready to begin, go to:

Unit 1: Why Garden in Schools?

and follow this character who will show you the required assignments.