For Teachers

Agriculture is Michigan’s second largest industry, contributing more than $91 billion to the state’s economy. It is an essential part of our daily lives, but many students are disconnected from where their food comes from. To assist you in integrating agriculture into your classroom, we  have compiled some of our favorite lesson plans and resources . . .

Farm Field Trips

Want to take your class on an adventure?  We want to help you do that!  Here are some resources to get you started:

Farm Field Trip Guide

Potential Destinations for Field Trips in and near Dexter: Cornman FarmsTantre Farm

Guides and Fact Sheets:

How to Integrate Curriculum in a Garden Program

Classroom Management in the Garden

Classroom Management in the Kitchen Classroom

Green Schoolyard Resource Directory (SF Bay Area) 

Free handouts and posters on nutrition here

The Food Project Toolbox – program guides AND lessons and curriculum are on this site.

Lessons and Curricula:

Growing Minds Lessons Plans List (K-12) – This extensive farm to school program in North Carolina has provided a great database of lessons, recipes for local foods, children’s literature related to farm to school, resources for including local foods in school meals, and professional development and trainings for teachers.

Teaching the Food System (9-12) – FREE, classroom-ready teaching modules that suit a variety of contexts, including high school and college level courses. They can be taught in any order, either independently or as part of a series. This study of the food system spans multiple subjects, including environmental science, biology and social studies.

Teaching Organic Farming and Gardening (9-12) – Spans the practical skills needed for growing organically, applied soil science, as well as the social and environmental issues in agriculture.

Common Core in the Garden – A searchable database of school garden-based lessons tied directly to Common Core, ELA, Science, and Math standards in grades K-5!  It couldn’t be easier than this to get solid lesson plans to enrich your curriculum! Log in as a guest to search and view the lessons.

Edible Schoolyard – A wonderful school garden resource page from one of the leading farm to school programs in the country!  This page allows you to search for lessons by grade level, season, or subject, and provides access to guides for garden and kitchen program maintenance, and professional development for adults involved in the programs.

Edible Schoolyard NYC Curriculum Summary (K-5) – This is a monthly break down of the lessons students engage in to connect their edible gardens to the classroom.  Lesson summaries are given for grades K-5.

Garden ABCs – Lessons and curricula integrating gardens into classrooms for grades K-12 from a plethora of sources.

California School Garden Network – A searchable database of garden lessons and curricula that are sorted by grade level, activity type, and content areas.

New York Agriculture in the Classroom – Lesson plans from the award-winning NYAITC notebooks. Lessons address concepts in language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies using the food and fiber system as a theme, and include teacher instructions, student activities, worksheets, answer keys, puzzles, and games.

Eat. Think. Grow. (grades K-5) – Lessons and activities for all seasons.

Got Veggies? (grades 2-3 and adaptable activities) – A youth garden-based nutrition education curriculum with 7 full lessons plans linked to Wisconsin academic standards.  It also includes a plethora of garden activities, recipes and tips for cooking and eating in a school garden.  The lessons can be used as stand-alone activities or in conjunction with each other as a full unit.

MI Farm Bureau –  Each lesson plan conforms to MI State Standards

National 4H Curriculum (most grades 5-12) – Lessons and Curriculum plans for topics related to science, healthy living, and citizenship.  ALSO awesome – this site has curriculum development guides that help educators create experiential and inquiry-based learning curriculum about science, healthy living, and citizenship.

Dig-In! (grades 5-6) –  inquiry-based science lessons on nutrition through gardening from the USDA

LifeLab – free lessons and whole books for purchase

GrowLab – guide for indoor gardening in the classroom

Garden Based Learning resources from Cornell University – stand alone lessons and project-based lessons for 6-week cycles

Food and History lessons 

Science of Life Explorations (SOLE) through Agriculture 

National Agriculture in the Classroom lessons 

Garden Mosaics: i m science – projects and lessons related to gardening and community connections

MAEOE Curricula – Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education

Farm to Cafeteria Network (K-12) – lessons compiled from many sources

Education Outside (grades K-5) – lessons by monthNational Environmental Education Week (grades K-12) – school garden related lessons by grade levelA Child’s Garden of Standards (grades 2-6) – garden lessons linked to curriculum standards (CA-based)

USDA for Kids – information and resources geared toward kids and teens related to agriculture

Composting in Schools – An interactive website with activities, quizzes, glossary, and more.  Developed by Cornell University’s Waste Management Institute.

Trash Goes to School (grades K-12) – 193 pages of hands-on activities for all grades that explore compost, decomposition, attitudes about waste, natural resources, and more!  A .pdf copy is here: TrashGoesToSchool.

Grow Your Own Potatoes: Teacher Resources – These lessons, videos, slideshows, worksheets, and more are provided by the potato council in the UK.  They are visually pleasing and rich with cross-curriculuar ideas and lesson plans using potatoes as a lens for learning.

Youth Gardening Lessons – Lesson ideas for grades K-5 from South Dakota State University.

Flower Garden Resources for Kids – Videos, lesson plans, fact sheets on botany, horticulture, and hydroponic gardening.

Sullivan Memorial Learning Garden Fund:


The Sullivan Memorial Learning Garden at Dexter High School is dedicated to honoring the legacy of Kevin Sullivan by providing mini-grants for DHS teachers who want to purchase resources that would help their classroom utilize the school garden for curriculum enrichment.  If you would like to access funds that would help your class utilize the garden or engage in educational activities related to agriculture, healthy eating, or local food systems, please fill out this Mini Grant Application and return it to or to the address on the form.

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