Explore lessons and fun activities for K-2 students that bring the growing process to life in the classroom and at home.

Here you’ll find lessons, activities, videos, and other resources related to gardening, for students in grades K-2. No matter if you are a teacher, parent, kid, or kid at heart, all are hands-on, experiential, and fun! We worked closely with Louisiana educators to identify only the best lessons for teachers and link them to Louisiana State Curriculum Standards.

  • Beets & Carrots:

    Beets & Carrots:

    beets and carrots illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    National Ag in the Classroom: A Garden Plot

    Students will identify foods grown in a garden, observe various types of seed, and grow their own "milk jug" garden. Students will hear "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" by Beatrix Potter and learn about produce that is grown in gardens or on farms. Students will conduct a “Rabbit Taste Test” where they give different kinds of rabbit food (lettuce, carrots, beets, radishes) to try. They will record Rabbit Taste Test results on graphs. Students will discuss why rabbits are mammals and the characteristics of all mammals.

    A Garden Plot PDF

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    1.MD.C.4
    2.MD.D.10
    K-LS1-1
    K-ESS3-1
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5

    Harvest for Healthy Kids: Beets and Carrots

    Activity plans for beets and carrots include lessons centered around circle time, meal time, and activity time along with fast and fun activities. Each kit includes an activity plan, family recipe, teacher bites, and a parent newsletter and picture cards available in both English and Spanish.

    Beets Activity Plan

    Beets Family Recipe

    Beets Parent Newsletter - English

    Beets Parent Newsletter - Spanish

    Beets Picture Cards - English

    Beets Picture Cards - Spanish

    Beets Teacher Bites

     

    Carrots Activity Plan

    Carrots Family Recipe

    Carrots Parent Newsletter - English

    Carrots Parent Newsletter - Spanish

    Carrots Picture Cards - English

    Carrots Picture Cards - Spanish

    Carrots Teacher Bites

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2
    VA-CE-E5

    Scholastic Inc: Growing and Eating Carrots in the Classroom

    The children will read the book "The Carrot Seed" and discuss the details of the book. Then they will grow carrot seeds in milk cartons, carefully observing and watering their plants.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K-LS1-1 RL.K.10
    RI.K.10
    RF.K.2
    W.K.2
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    New Hampshire Harvest of the Month: Eat the Rainbow

    Harvest lessons provide a fun way for classrooms to explore, taste, and learn about eating more fruits and vegetables. “Eating the rainbow” (a variety of different colored fruits and vegetables) keeps you healthy and strong! Students will learn how different colored foods have different health benefits. They will also learn about the differences between whole and processed foods, and “stop,” “slow,” or “go” snacks. These lessons cover the food groups and MyPlate graphic, the plant parts we eat, and how to make rainbow spring rolls.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K.MD.B.3
    1.MD.C.4
    2.MD.D.10
    1-LS3-1
    3-LS3-1
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    Growing Minds Farm to School: Root Exploration

    Introduce students to roots and the ways they function by pulling up and observing the roots of different weeds. Talk with students about the 5 “Ws” (who, what, when, where, and why) and use them as a guide for creating a poem about roots. Then, grow a sweet potato in a jar to see how roots grow.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K.MD.B.3
    1.MD.C.4
    2.MD.D.10
    K-LS1-1
    1-LS1-1
    1-LS3-1
    RF.K.2
    RL.1.4
    RL.1.10
    LS.1.5
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    Montana Harvest of the Month: Beets

    This harvest of the month worksheet includes facts about the vegetable, produce and storage tips, nutrition information, and more. As a class, complete the activity "Colorful Beets, Inside and Out" to describe, compare, and learn about beets. Classroom recipes include Beets and Sweets Heart-Shaped Chips and Galina's Very Berry Beet Smoothies.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K.MD.B.3
    1.MD.C.4
    2.MD.D.10
    K-LS1-1
    1-LS3-1
    2-LS2-1
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    Vermont Harvest of the Month: Beets & Rutabaga

    Harvest lessons provide a fun way for classrooms to explore, taste, and learn about eating more fruits and vegetables. Included are lessons covering a variety of subjects including nutrition, measurement, graphing, dyeing paper with beet juice, structures of plants, and mapping the origins of beets and rutabaga.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K.MD.A.2
    K.MD.B.3
    1.MD.C.4
    2.MD.D.10
    K-LS1-1
    1-LS3-1
    2-LS2-1
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5
    K.5.6
    1.3.1
    1.3.7
    1.3.6
    2.6.1
    2.6.2
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    National Ag in the Classroom: Dig ‘Em Up (Beets and Carrots)

    In this lesson students will investigate the functions of roots, recognize the difference between a tap and fibrous root system, and identify the roots of some plants as edible.

    Dig 'Em Up Lesson

    Dig 'Em Up Observation Sheet

    Root Identification Activity Sheet

    Roots T-Chart

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K.MD.A.1,2
    K.MD.B.3
    1.MD.A.1,2
    1.MD.C.4
    2.MD.A.1,2,3,4
    K-LS1-1
    1-LS3-1
    2-LS2-1
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5
    K.5.6
    1.3.1
    1.3.7
    1.3.6
    2.61
    2.6.2
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    Beets & Carrots:

    beets and carrots illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    How to Grow Carrot Tops

    A short-time lapse video covering the growth of carrot tops. (6:39)

    Growing Carrots from Sowing to Harvest

    A how-to video on growing carrots, from sowing to harvest. (6:20)

    Growing Beet Greens from Beet Tops

    A short-time lapse video covering the growth of beet greens. (1:33)

    Bring Back the Farm: Farm to Fork Time-Lapse of Beets

    A short-time lapse video covering the growth of beets. (2:06)

    TESCO: Crunchy Carrots: from Farm to Fork

    Watch this video to see the farm-to-fork journey of carrots, from ideal growing conditions to harvesting and production, ready for you to buy in the shops. (3:49)

    Vermont Harvest of the Month: Beets

    This resource has information on beets and lesson ideas.

    Beets & Carrots:

    beets and carrots illustration

    Books

    The Giant Carrot by Jan Peck (1998)

    A TALL tale about the power of teamwork. When sweet Little Isabelle's family plants a carrot seed one day, tall Papa Joe, wide Mama Bess, and strong Brother Abel all do their part. But when Little Isabelle wants to help too, Brother Abel just laughs. "What can you do," he asks. "I'll sing and dance to the carrot to make it grow," she says. "And come summer, we'll have little cups of sweet carrot puddin." Sure enough, that carrot takes a fancy to Little Isabelle's singing and dancing and grows to an amazing height, proving that great things can be accomplished when everyone works together. Based on an old Russian folktale, and complete with a scrumptious recipe for carrot puddin', this wonderfully humorous story shows the strength of teamwork and the power of a touch of imagination.

    Carrots Grow Underground by Mari Schuh (2011)

    This title highlights the life cycle of a carrot and gives examples of other plant-based foods that grow underground. Designed for early readers, the book includes a list of additional resources and a glossary.

    Oliver’s Vegetables by Vivian French (1995)

    On a visit to his grandparents' house, Oliver wants to eat only French fries. Grandpa tells him that he may look in the garden for potatoes, but that he must eat what he finds, whatever it may be. On the first evening, Oliver pulls up carrots and discovers that he likes them. On successive days he discovers spinach, rhubarb, cabbage, beets, and peas. A fun book about eating from the garden.

    I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child (2003)

    This story makes a fun hook to engage young students with healthy eating. Lola is a very fussy eater. Carrots are for rabbits and peas are 'too small and too green.' One day, after rattling off her long list of despised foods, she ends with the vehement pronouncement, "And I absolutely will never not ever eat a tomato." Not convinced, Lola's older sister Charlie has an idea. She tells Lola that the orange things on the table are not carrots, but "orange twiglets from Jupiter" and peas are in fact "green drops from Greenland." Mashed potatoes, when pitched as "cloud fluff from the pointiest peak of Mount Fuji" suddenly seem appealing to Lola. And in the end, might she even eat a tomato?

    Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert (1987)

    "Dad says we are going to grow vegetable soup." So begins Lois Ehlert’s bright, bold picture book about vegetable gardening for the very young. The necessary tools are pictured and labeled, as are the seeds. Then the real gardening happens...planting, weeding, harvesting, washing, chopping, and cooking! In the end? "It was the best soup ever." A recipe for vegetable soup tops it all off!

    The Magic Beet by Kiya Kahl (2020)

    Clementine is quirky and sentimental. She loves gardening with her Grammy and has a deep connection to a ring that was given to her by her Grampy. While losing herself in all the beautiful colors of the garden, Clementine also loses her most prized possession. Despite her sadness, Clementine learns to be patient and to remain hopeful. One day, it all pays off when she harvests "THE MAGIC BEET."

    Too Many Carrots by Katy Hudson (2016)

    This charming and lovingly illustrated children's book by acclaimed author Katy Hudson ("A Loud Winter's Nap" and "Bear and Duck") shows how friendships get us over the rough spots in life, even if the going gets a little bumpy. "Too Many Carrots" is the perfect springtime, Eastertime, and anytime gift.

    The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss (1993)

    From beloved children’s book creators Ruth Krauss and Crockett Johnson comes the perennial favorite "The Carrot Seed," now in a board book that's perfect for little hands. When a little boy plants a carrot seed, everyone tells him it won't grow. But when you are very young, there are some things that you just know, and the little boy knows that one day a carrot will come up. So he waters his seed, and pulls the weeds, and he waits...

    Tops & Bottoms by Janet Stevens (1995)

    Hare solves his family’s problems by tricking rich and lazy Bear in this funny, energetic version of an old slave story. With roots in American slave tales, "Tops & Bottoms" celebrates the trickster tradition of using one’s wits to overcome hardship.

  • Blueberries:

    Blueberries:

    blueberry illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    Harvest for Healthy Kids: Berries

    Activity plans for berries include lessons centered around circle time, meal time, and activity time along with fast and fun activities. Each kit includes an activity plan, family recipe, teacher bites, and a parent newsletter and picture cards available in both English and Spanish.

    Berries Activity Plan

    Berries Family Recipe

    Berries Parent Newsletter - English

    Berries Parent Newsletter - Spanish

    Berries Picture Cards - English

    Berries Picture Cards - Spanish

    Berries Teacher Bites

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    1-LS3-1 W.K.1,2,3
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2
    VA-CE-E5

    Upper Valley Farm to School Harvest Lessons: Berries

    These harvest lessons cover a variety of subjects including pollinators, blueberry nutrition, blueberry taste tests, and art.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2
    VA-CE-E5

    Blueberries:

    blueberry illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    Naturipe: Blueberry Harvesting Process

    A virtual field trip to a blueberry orchard and processing plant. Students will see how blueberries are grown, harvested (by hand and machine), and processed. (2:52)

    Eating Berries Every Day for a Week Will Do This to Your Body

    This video discusses the benefits of eating berries, with nutritional and other facts about berries. (10:14)

    WebMD: One-Food Wonder: Blueberries

    A short video with nutritional information and other facts about blueberries. (0:50)

    True Food TV: Blueberry | How Does It Grow?

    Besides showing how the blueberry grows today, this video gives an excellent history of the blueberry. (10:47)

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Blueberry Brochure

    Brochure containing blueberry facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Blueberry Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    5 Superfoods That Actually Live Up to Their Hype

    Everyone has heard that blueberries are one of the "super fruits." This informative article for teachers and students explains the five superfoods, including the blueberry.

    How to Eat a Rainbow: 5 Shades of Nutrients

    Informative article for teachers and students on what it means to “Eat a Rainbow.”

    Medical News Today: Everything You Need to Know about Blueberries

    Informative background information on blueberries including facts and nutrition information for teachers.

    University of Illinois: Pollinator Buzzy Activity Book

    This is a short workbook full of puzzles, coloring pages, and information related to pollinators. Have fun and learn!

    California Ag in the Classroom – Learn About Ag: Prolific Pollinators

    This full-color PDF teaches students about pollinators, including pollinators that pollinate blueberry flowers.

    Blueberries:

    blueberry illustration

    Books

    Jamberry by Bruce Degen (1995)

    This classic book features a berry-loving boy and an endearing rhyme-spouting bear. The fun wordplay and bright paintings with lots of details for young readers to explore make "Jamberry" a perennial favorite. A small boy and a big friendly bear embark on a berry-picking extravaganza, looking for blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries. Their fun adventure comes to a razzamatazz finale under a star-berry sky.

    Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey (1948)

    This classic children’s book tells the story of a mother and daughter blueberry picking, who encounter a mother bear and pair of cubs feasting on berries in the same patch. Sal’s mother tells her not to eat all the berries so they can store some for winter, but Sal has a hard time following that direction. The bears meanwhile are feasting before a long winter rest. In the story we learn that the mother bear tells her young to eat all they can before winter comes. Follow this story with discussion of storage of berries through the winter. How is the human family different from the bear family in its needs and in the ways of storing this precious food? Reading Level: K-4.

  • Broccoli & Cauliflower:

    Broccoli & Cauliflower:

    broccoli and cauliflower illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    A Dash of Learning: Observing Broccoli Flowers

    Observational activity of broccoli flowers and a math activity measuring the length of the flowers.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K-LS1-1
    1-LS1-1
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5

    Vermont’s Harvest of the Month: Broccoli & Cauliflower

    Students observe the structure of the broccoli and cauliflower plants and do an activity to discuss the six parts of the plants we eat. They may read and discuss “The Boy Who Loved Broccoli” by Sarah A. Creighton. They will make and taste-test broccoli salad or taste and compare broccoli and cauliflower prepared different ways.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K-LS1-1
    1-LS1-1
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2
    VA-CE-E5

    Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program: Broccoli Worksheets

    Student worksheets include a broccoli taste test guide, broccoli poetry, broccoli nutrition, and other activities.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K.MD.B.3
    1.MD.C.4
    2.MD.D.10
    RI.K.10
    RI.2.7
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    Harvest for Healthy Kids: Cauliflower

    Activities for cauliflower include lessons centered around circle time, meal time, and activity time along with fast and fun activities. Each kit includes an activity plan, family recipe, teacher bites, and a parent newsletter and picture cards available in both English and Spanish.

    Cauliflower Activity Plan

    Cauliflower Family Recipe

    Cauliflower Parent Newsletter - English

    Cauliflower Parent Newsletter - Spanish

    Cauliflower Picture Cards - English

    Cauliflower Picture Cards - Spanish

    Cauliflower Teacher Bites

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K.MD.A.2
    K.MD.B.3
    1.MD.C.4
    2.MD.D.10
    K-LS1-1
    1-LS3-1
    RL.K.10
    RI.K.10
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    Broccoli & Cauliflower:

    broccoli and cauliflower illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    Iowa Ingredient: Growing Cauliflower

    A how-to video for growing cauliflower from seed to harvest. (4:16)

    Upper Valley Farm to School Network – Harvesting Broccoli and Cauliflower

    This video explains that the parts of broccoli and cauliflower plants that we eat are flower buds and stems and discusses the nutrients that these plants provide for us. (4:33)

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Broccoli Brochure

    Brochure containing broccoli facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Broccoli Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    Learning About Broccoli

    This is a short video demonstrating that we eat the flower buds of the broccoli plant. (1:07)

    Bonnie Plants: How to Plant Broccoli Plants

    A short informational video on how to plant broccoli and other cole crops. (1:17)

    True Food TV: Foods That Are Actually EDIBLE FLOWERS

    Even though we call them fruits and vegetables, everything from cauliflower to broccoli, and artichoke to fig, are really their plants' flowers. (1:41)

    TESCO: Budding Broccoli – How Does It Grow?

    Learn about the different types of broccoli, the conditions they need to thrive, and the process of planting the seeds and seedlings. This video also shows what happens to the broccoli if it is not harvested: the broccoli head buds open up into a cluster of tiny yellow flowers. (2:24)

    TESCO: Budding Broccoli – from Picking to Packing

    Learn about the differences between broccoli crowns and purple sprouting, and how this super veggie gets from farm to fork. (2:19)

    True Food TV: Cauliflower | How Does It Grow?

    This video discusses the origin of cauliflower, explains that a cauliflower is a bouquet of flowers, and takes you to a commercial farm to demonstrate how they grow cauliflower. (4:03)

    Broccoli Pedigree | PBS

    A short video vignette about why we have never stumbled across a wild broccoli. (1:58)

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Cauliflower Brochure

    Brochure containing cauliflower facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Cauliflower Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    Broccoli & Cauliflower:

    broccoli and cauliflower illustration

    Books

    The Trouble with Cauliflower (2006)

    Absolute in his belief that eating cauliflower gives him bad luck, Mortimer is surprised to find that, after being tricked into eating it by his friend Sadie, he has had the luckiest day of his life, in a picture book about superstitions and the power of positive thinking.

    The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons (2008)

    A fun and informative book all about vegetables, how they are grown, and which parts we eat. A great book to show kids the difference between “leaf” vegetables, “bulbs,” “flower buds,” and more. Different sections of the book could be read to highlight different themes: how vegetables grow, what parts of vegetables we eat, how to grow your own vegetable garden, and more.

    There’s Broccoli in my Ice Cream! By Emily MacKenzie (2017)

    A story about a Dalmatian named Granville who likes to eat everything but fruits and vegetables. Ages: 5 and up.

    Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli by Barbara Jean Hicks (2014)

    The two monsters in this book insist that they don’t eat broccoli. However, there is more to this story! Reading Level: 3-7 years.

    The Boy Who Loved Broccoli by Sarah A. Creighton (2011)

    This book tells the story of Baxter, a boy who likes to eat broccoli so much that he gets superpowers. Reading Level: Elementary.

  • Cabbage:

    Cabbage:

    red cabbage illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    Oregon Harvest for Schools: Everyone Wants to Eat!

    Show students how Brussels sprouts grow on a tight stem and can provide many protected homes for insects — both pests and beneficials. Brainstorm with students about what plants and insects need to survive. Then walk through the school yard or garden to look for plants showing evidence of being eaten by animals or insects. Discuss ways that plants protect themselves from insect damage and ways that humans can also protect plants. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter is a classic tale showing how other critters may also want to eat food we plant and can be used as either an introduction or conclusion to this lesson.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K-LS1-1
    K-ESS3-3
    1-LS1-1
    1-LS3-1
    2-LS4-1
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    Harvest for Healthy Kids: Cabbage

    Activities for cabbage include lessons centered around circle time, meal time, and activity time along with fast and fun activities. Each kit includes an activity plan, family recipe, teacher bites, and a parent newsletter and picture cards available in both English and Spanish.

    Cabbage Activity Plan

    Cabbage Family Recipe

    Cabbage Parent Newsletter - English

    Cabbage Parent Newsletter - Spanish

    Cabbage Picture Cards - English

    Cabbage Picture Cards - Spanish

    Cabbage Teacher Bites

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K-LS1-1
    1-LS1-1
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    Soil Secrets: Cabbage Chemistry

    In this investigative lesson students use purple cabbage juice as an indicator to measure the acidity of their soil samples.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K-LS1-1
    1-LS1-1
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5

    Cabbage:

    red cabbage illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    Growing Cabbages from Sowing to Harvests

    A how-to video for growing cabbages from seed to harvest. (6:27)

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Cabbage Brochure

    Brochure containing cabbage facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Cabbage Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    Cabbage:

    red cabbage illustration

    Books

    Oliver’s Vegetables by Vivian French (1995)

    On a visit to his grandparents' house, Oliver wants to eat only French fries. Grandpa tells him that he may look in the garden for potatoes, but that he must eat what he finds, whatever it may be. On the first evening, Oliver pulls up carrots and discovers that he likes them. On successive days he discovers spinach, rhubarb, cabbage, beets, and peas. A fun book about eating from the garden.

    Clara Caterpillar by Pamela Duncan Edwards (2001)

    A carefree cabbage caterpillar named Clara, who becomes a common cream-colored butterfly, can′t possibly compete with a catty, conceited caterpillar named Catisha, who becomes a captivating crimson-colored butterfly. Or can she?

    The Giant Cabbage by Cherie Stihler (2003)

    Moose discovers a very big cabbage in his garden that could win first prize at the Alaska State Fair. But there's a problem — it's so huge he can't lift it! An old Russian folktale inspired "The Giant Cabbage," but this contemporary version showcases Alaska with vivid illustrations, adorable animal friends, and verbal twists and turns. Ages: 3-7 years.

    Katie’s Cabbage by Katie Stagliano and Michelle H. Martin (2014)

    The true story of how Katie Stagliano, a third-grader from Summerville, South Carolina, grew a 40-pound cabbage in her backyard and donated it to help feed 275 people at a local soup kitchen. Ages: 7-11 years,

    The Cabbage Soup Solution by Erika Oller (2004)

    Someone is stealing cabbages from Elsie’s cabbage patch. With the aid of her two cats and some delicious homemade soup, Elsie befriends her cabbage thieves. Ages: 4-8 years.

  • Cantaloupe & Watermelon:

    Cantaloupe & Watermelon:

    watermelon and cantaloupe illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    USDA Team Nutrition: Cantaloupe Corner

    In this activity guide children learn about cantaloupe through hands-on activities. They experience how a cantaloupe looks, feels, tastes, and smells. Cantaloupe Corner connects the cantaloupes grown on the farm to the fruit in the store or farmers market. The children can’t resist the cantaloupe-tasting activities, from plain wedges to soup to salad. "Growing at Home" materials create review options for the daily Cantaloupe Corner activities. The resources for these lessons can be found in The Basics Book.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    VA-CE-E5 1-LS3-1 W.K.1,2,3
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    National Ag in the Classroom: Plant and Animal Life Cycles

    A series of lessons featuring life cycles of plants (apple, cotton, pea, pumpkin, tomato, and watermelon) and animals (chicken). Students create a model with string and cutouts of the watermelon life cycle including the pollinator. The watermelon life cycle is the last lesson in this resource.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K.MD.A.2
    K.MD.B.3
    1.MD.C.4
    2.MD.D.10
    K-LS1-1
    1-LS1-1
    1-LS3-1
    2-LS2-2
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5

    Learning A-Z: Anansi and the Talking Watermelon

    A downloadable book with accompanying Reading/ELA lessons. Anansi is stuck inside a watermelon and tricks his way out. This folktale is also available in Spanish and French. You must be a member of Learning A-Z, but you can sign up for a free trial to download this lesson.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    W.K.1,2,3
    L.1.5
    L.2.5
    SL.K.1,2,3
    SL.1.1,2,3
    SL.2.1,2,3
    RL.K.1,2,3
    RL.1.1,2,3
    RL.2.1,2,3
    W.K.1,2,3

    The STEM Laboratory: Watermelon STEM Book

    A printable, foldable book on measuring various watermelon attributes.

    Does a Watermelon Sink or Float? This is the PDF of the watermelon book in this lesson.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K.MD.A.2
    K.MD.B.3
    1.MD.C.4
    2.MD.D.10
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5

    Harvest for Healthy Kids: Melon

    Activity plans for melon include lessons centered around circle time, meal time, and activity time along with fast and fun activities. Each kit includes an activity plan, family recipe, teacher bites, and a parent newsletter and picture cards available in both English and Spanish.

    Melon Activity Plan

    Melon Family Recipe

    Melon Parent Newsletter - English

    Melon Parent Newsletter - Spanish

    Melon Picture Cards - English

    Melon Picture Cards - Spanish

    Melon Teacher Bites

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K.MD.A.2
    K.MD.B.3
    1.MD.C.4
    2.MD.D.10
    K-LS1-1
    1-LS1-1
    RL.K.10
    RI.K.10
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    Cantaloupe & Watermelon:

    watermelon and cantaloupe illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    Be Amazed: Top 10 Foods That Originally Looked Totally Different

    Here are 10 fruits and veggies that looked and often tasted very different before we started cultivating them! Included: corn, avocado, peach, eggplant, tomato, strawberry, carrot, cucumber, banana, and watermelon. (10:02)

    How to Pick a Ripe Watermelon

    An informative video on how to know when a watermelon is ripe enough to pick. Some of these tips can also be used to pick a ripe watermelon from the store. (2:07)

    Watermelon from Seed: Time-Lapse

    A time-lapse video of watermelon growing from germination (Day 8) to first true leaves (Day 39). (1:05)

    Learn Fun Facts About Watermelons

    A short video with facts about watermelons. (0:49)

    True Food TV: SEEDLESS Watermelon – You’ll Never Guess How It’s Grown

    If seedless watermelons have no seeds, how exactly are they grown? And what about other seedless fruit? Bananas and seedless grapes — how do they grow? Prepare to have your mind blown. (3:39)

    Cantaloupe & Watermelon:

    watermelon and cantaloupe illustration

    Books

    Watermelon Day by Kathi Appelt (1996)

    There's a watermelon growing in the corner of the patch where the fence posts meet, and Jesse is waiting for it. Waiting for it to fill up with the cool summer rain and the hot summer sun. Waiting until at last it is ripe and ready for eating. Waiting until it is ready for her family's annual Watermelon Day. Reading Level: Elementary.

    Watermelon for Everyone by Martha Rose Woodward (2011)

    A colorful book geared toward students from kindergarten through college level. This nonfiction book is the winner of a special award as the 2013 Best Cookbook in the World on the Topic of Watermelon from Gourmand Magazine in Madrid, Spain. The Cookbook Section contains recipes for both non-cooked and cooked dishes having watermelon as the primary ingredient. Lesson Plans and teaching activities for teachers and parents are also included as well as historic facts about watermelon. Reading level: K-2.

    Watermelon Wishes by Lisa Moser (2006)

    Charlie and his grandfather spend their summer growing a patch of watermelons and waiting for the perfect one to wish on. Reading Level: Elementary.

    Watermelon Party by Jasmine Cabanaw (2014)

    "Watermelon Party" is based on a real event that happened at Rocky Ridge Refuge. One Fourth of July, Janice put out a watermelon, and one by one the animals gathered around the watermelon, sharing in its juicy sweetness side by side, despite their differences in species and size. It is the perfect story of friendship, love, animal rescue, and good old summertime fun! The writing style is light and fun. The repetitive rhyming scheme will help children with their reading skills and learning action words. Reading Level: Elementary.

    Watermelon Madness by Taghreed Najjar (2018)

    Noura is crazy about watermelon. She wants to eat nothing else, every day, at every meal. In fact, Noura thinks there is no such thing as too much watermelon — until one night, when the watermelon she has hidden in her room to eat all by herself begins to grow and Noura gets taken on a wild watermelon adventure! A story that can be the springboard for a discussion on favorite foods, eating a balanced diet, sharing with others, and trying new foods. Reading level: Elementary.

    One Watermelon Seed by Celia Barker Lottridge (2012)

    Max and Josephine tend their garden, counting as they plant their garden from 1 to 10. As the harvest comes in, they count by groups of 10. Engaging illustrations with hidden animals. Ages: 3-6 years.

    The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli (2013)

    A crocodile has one big fear: swallowing a watermelon seed. Winner of the 2014 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award. Lexile: 180L. Grade level: Pre-K.

  • Citrus:

    Citrus:

    orange citrus fruit illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    Better Lessons: Lemons and Limes! More Explorations with Density

    So how do lemons and limes compare to oranges when it comes to buoyancy? Your students might be surprised! Students will be able to describe basic properties of density by participating in an investigation. Students will apply what they learned about density to make logical predictions about what will happen when an orange or a lime is dropped into water. Will it float? Will it sink? Most importantly, they will  verbalize WHY they made the prediction they made in order to build their thinking skills and expand their vocabulary. This lesson was designed for Kindergarten, but easily could be adapted for grades 1-2.

    PDF Lesson Plan  

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K.CC.A.2
    K.MD.A.1,2
    K.MD.B.3
    K-PS2-1 W.K.1,2,3
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,4,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,4,6

    Better Lessons: Orange You Glad That You Are Learning about Density?

    Students will explore the concept of object density by completing a simple investigation. Students are surprised by the results of this hands-on investigation in which they test the buoyancy of an orange with and without a peel. Getting an unexpected result can challenge our students' thinking, opening up new ideas and drawing new conclusions. This lesson was designed for Kindergarten, but easily could be adapted for grades 1-2.

    PDF Lesson Plan

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K.CC.A.2
    K.MD.A.1,2
    K.MD.B.3
    K-PS2-1 W.K.1,2,3
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,4,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,4,6

    Citrus:

    orange citrus fruit illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    True Food TV: Why Ripe Limes Are NOT Green

    You've likely never eaten a ripe lime. Here's why in 60 seconds. (1:09)

    True Food TV: Almalfi Coast Lemon | How Does It Grow? Special: The Flying Farmer

    This human-interest video shows how some Italian lemon farmers grow their huge lemons in terraced gardens on mountainsides off the Almalfi Coast of Italy. From the town below, an 83-year-old, fourth-generation lemon farmer appears to be flying in the clouds as he climbs his arbors to harvest lemons. (11:22)

    How Orange Juice Is Made

    From orange trees to orange juice. (6:39)

    True Food TV: Orange | How Does It Grow?

    Very informative video on the varieties of oranges and how they are grown commercially. (7:38)

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Tangerine Brochure

    Brochure containing tangerine facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Tangerine Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Satsuma Brochure

    Brochure containing satsuma facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Satsuma Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Orange Brochure

    Brochure containing orange facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Orange Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Lime Brochure

    Brochure containing lime facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Lime Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Kumquat Brochure

    Brochure containing kumquat facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Kumquat Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Grapefruit Brochure

    Brochure containing grapefruit facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Grapefruit Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    Center for Ecoliteracy: Nourishing Students: Posters

    Display these posters in kitchens, cafeterias, classrooms, and during after-school programs as a fun and engaging way to promote fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy eating. This set of free, downloadable full-color posters features wildlife animals with the following fruit or vegetable: Radish, Strawberry, Grape, Tomato, Orange.

    California Harvest of the Month: Grapefruit Botanical Image

    This site includes facts about grapefruit and a colorful diagram of the anatomy of a grapefruit, a lemon, and a lime.

    Citrus:

    orange citrus fruit illustration

    Books

    When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree by Jamie Deenihan (2019)

    This clever story, complete with a recipe for lemonade, celebrates the pleasures of patience, hard work, nature, and community. Grade Level: Elementary.

    A Star in My Orange: Looking for Nature’s Shapes by Dana Rau (2006)

    This book explores shapes in the world around you. Ages: 5-8 years.

    An Orange in January by Dianna Aston (2007)

    This book follows an orange from blossom to ripe fruit, and from tree to truck to market. Ages: 4-8 years.

    Oranges to Orange Juice by Inez Snyder (2003)

    An introduction to the process of making orange juice from fresh oranges. Nonfiction. Ages: 5-7 years.

    Nothing Rhymes with Orange by Adam Rex (2017)

    We all know nothing rhymes with orange, but how does that make Orange feel? Well, left out, obviously! When a fruit parade gets together to sing a song about how wonderful they are — and the song happens to rhyme — Orange can't help but feel like it's impossible to ever fit in. But when one particularly intuitive Apple notices how Orange is feeling, the entire English language begins to become a bit more inclusive. Beloved author-illustrator Adam Rex has created a hilarious yet poignant parable about feeling left out, celebrating difference, and the irrefutable fact that nothing rhymes with orange. Grade Level: K-3.

  • Cucumber:

    Cucumber:

    cucumber illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    Scholastic: Teaching the Senses with Refrigerator Pickles

    A sequence of five lessons that revolve around the book, "I Hear a Pickle: and Smell, See, Touch, & Taste It, Too! by Rachel Isadora (2016). Students learn about dill, and then make refrigerator pickles. Students use their five senses to describe their dill pickles.

    Scholastic Classroom Activity

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    1-LS1-1
    2-PS1-1
    W.K.1,2,3
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,4,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5,6
    L.K.5
    L.1.5
    L.2.5

    Growing Minds Farm to School: Cucumber Explorations

    This lesson introduces students to cucumbers and how they grow. Students will also read the book "The Pickle Patch Bathtub" and participate in a cucumber taste test.   Cucumber Exploration Lesson Plan   Examples of Cucumber Plants Growing   A good extension for this lesson would be to conduct an investigation on the effects of light or lack of light on plants and/or seed germination using cucumber seeds or plants. The following link is for a lesson on the effects of light or lack of light on basil plants: Measuring Plant Growth with Sunlight.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K-LS1-1
    K-ESS3-1
    1-LS1-1
    1-LS3-1
    2-LS2-1
    2-LS4-1
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,4,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,4,6
    L.K.5
    L.1.5
    L.2.5

    Cucumber:

    cucumber illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    Disco Cucumber Time-Lapse

    Time-lapse video of a cucumber’s tendrils supporting the vine. (1:46)

    Pickle Time-Lapse

    Time-lapse video of a cucumber growing from flower to picking size. (2:39)

    True Food TV: Cucumber | How Does It Grow?

    This video discusses the origin of cucumbers, explains why cucumbers sometimes have a bitter taste, and takes you to a commercial farm to demonstrate how they grow cucumbers. (7:52)

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Cucumber Brochure

    Brochure containing cucumber facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Cucumber Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    Cucumber:

    cucumber illustration

    Books

    Up, Down, and Around by Katherine Ayres (2008)

    This rhyming story is perfect for introducing young children to fruits and vegetables that grow up (like corn and peppers), down (like potatoes and carrots), and around (like cucumber and pumpkin vines).

    The Pickle Patch Bathtub by Frances Kennedy (2004)

    One day, Donna tries to bathe in the farmhouse washtub and realizes that her legs are too long. She decides that she will grow pickling cucumbers to sell until she saves up enough money for a new bathtub. How many cucumbers will she have to grow and how long will it take for her to save enough money? Grade Level: Preschool – 2. Lexile Measure: AD830L.

    Cool as a Cucumber by Sally Smallwood (2005)

    A "lift the flap" book featuring a variety of vegetables, their different parts, and things that they are similar to. Reading level: Pre-K.

    The Spider and the Cucumber by Catina Harris (2018)

    The spider thinks that the cucumber must feel awful that it isn’t the same color on the inside as on its outside. This book teaches that something different can also be nice. Reading level: Elementary.

    I Hear a Pickle: and Smell, See, Touch, & Taste It, Too! by Rachel Isadora (2016)

    A simple introduction to the five senses. Grade level: Pre-K to K.

    Cool as a Cucumber: And Other Expressions about Food (It’s Just an Expression) by Bridget Heos (2012)

    This book explores a variety of food-related sayings and helps readers figure out what people really mean when they use them. Reading level: Elementary.

    Cucumber Soup by Vickie Krudwig (1998)

    A big cucumber falls onto an ant mound. Together the ants and their friends work together to lift the cucumber. As each insect is introduced in the story, true facts are given on the opposite page. Numbers 1-10 are also used throughout the text. Reading level: Pre-K to 2.

  • Eggplant:

    Eggplant:

    eggplant illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    National Ag in the Classroom: Plant Tops and Bottoms

    Students will identify where fruits and vegetables belong on a MyPlate diagram and describe the major parts of plants — roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and fruits — according to whether they are produced on the top or bottom of a plant. This lesson includes the eggplant.

    A recommended companion resource for this lesson is the Edible Plant Game. This game combines the knowledge students have gained about plant parts with the fact that plants provide people with the nutrients and energy needed for a healthy lifestyle. This activity will be most beneficial if conducted with students after they have been taught the individual plant parts.

    Edible Plant Game Instructions

    Edible Plant Game Slides

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K-LS-1-1
    1-LS-1-1
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,4,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,4,6
    2.5.3 1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    Oklahoma Farm to School: Plant Parts We Eat

    Students will learn to identify different parts of plants and to categorize the edible parts of different fruits and vegetables.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K-LS-1-1 SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,4,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,4,6
    L.K.5
    L.1.5
    L.2.5

    Eggplant:

    eggplant illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    Harvesting and Saving Eggplant Seeds

    Saving eggplant seeds is very easy, and doesn't require fermenting. It literally only takes minutes to do. A couple of eggplants will produce many more seeds than you need. (7:31)

    Eggplant:

    eggplant illustration

    Books

    The World of Vegetables by Alexandra Lopatina (2011)

    Each story, like "How Senior Aubergine Made Teeth Better," is delivered in an entertaining, fairy-tale representational form and tells about a particular vegetable, its values, and its importance in daily diet, and concludes with a healthy recipe for students to make. Ages: 4-10 years.

    Violet and the Eggplant Painting Problem by Cynthia Wylie (2018)

    Violet, a young painter, chooses to grow eggplants because she loves the color purple, and decides to make paintings of them to track their progress. Alas, she discovers there is no more purple paint. She solves her problem in an interesting way! Ages: 4-8 years.

    Our Community Garden by Barbara Pollak (2004)

    If you could plant a garden that represented your personality, what would it include? Maybe cherry tomatoes, green peppers, and delicious strawberries? Audrey Aubergine and her friends do just that in their neighborhood’s community garden, where they play hide-and-seek, tend giant sunflowers, and discover nature’s possibilities.

  • Leafy Greens:

    Leafy Greens:

    leafy greens illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program: Spinach Worksheets

    Taste-test worksheets for spinach along with coloring sheets and other lessons organized by grade level.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    1.NBT.C4a SL.K.1,4,5
    SL.1.1,5
    SL.2.1
    L.2.1e
    L.2.5a
    1-E-1.1,2,3,6
    1-E-2.1,2,3,4
    7-E-1.1
    7-E-3.3
    VA-CE-E5

    Vermont Harvest of the Month: Kale

    Includes two lessons: The Autobiography of Kale (English) and Parts of a Leaf (Science). Have students imagine they are a kale plant and describe their life from seed to plate. This is a great opportunity to discuss the life cycle of a plant, as it lives through the seasons. Then have students draw and label a kale leaf through observation. On the board, you can draw the parts along with the students and discuss the role of each part as you go.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K-LS1-1
    1-LS1-1
    2-LS2-1
    2-LS4-1
    K-ESS3-1
    SL.K.1,4,5
    SL.1.1,5
    SL.2.1
    RL.K.1,10
    RL.1.1
    RL.2.1
    W.1.3
    W.2.3
    1-E-2.1,2,3,4
    7-E-1.1
    7-E-3.3

    New Hampshire Harvest of the Month: Kale

    A variety of lessons to explore, taste, and learn about kale. Activities include learning about plant parts, making a massaged kale salad, and mapping the history of kale.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K.MD.A2
    1.MD.C4
    2.MD.D10
    K-LS1-1
    1-LS1-1
    2-LS2-1
    2-LS4-1
    K-ESS3-1
    SL.K.1,4,5
    SL.1.1,5
    SL.2.1
    RL.K.1,10
    RL.1.1
    RL.2.1
    1-E-2.1,2,3,4
    7-E-1.1
    7-E-3.3
    VA-CE-E5

    USDA Team Nutrition: Spinach Lane

    In this unit, children learn that spinach is a vegetable. They experience the look, feel, smell, and taste of spinach leaves. Spinach grows quickly, and hands-on planting activities help children see how seeds produce these flavorful plants. Grow some spinach and have a harvest. See how bunches of spinach go from the farm to the store and farmers markets. Leave time to tempt the taste buds with spinach dips, salads, and more tasty options. "Growing at Home" materials encourage families to include spinach often in cooking, conversations, and fun and games. The resources for these lessons can be found in The Basics Book.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K.G.A.1,2,3 K-LS1-1
    K-ESS3-1
    1-LS3-1
    2-PS1-1
    W.K.1,2,3
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    North Carolina Ag In the Classroom: Sylvia’s Spinach

    This lesson includes students growing their own spinach plants and reading selected resources.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K-LS1-1
    1-LS1-1
    1-LS3-1
    2-LS4-1
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,4,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,4,6
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    Iowa Team Nutrition: Spinach

    Students will gain knowledge of spinach (how to recognize, how to eat, how it grows). Students will plant spinach and observe its growth, then conduct a taste test.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K-LS1-1
    1-LS1-1
    1-LS3-1
    2-LS4-1
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,4,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,4,6
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    Growing Minds Farm to School: Spinach Smoothies

    This lesson uses use hands-on cooking classes as a mechanism for teaching curriculum concepts. The lesson plan includes step-by-step instructions for cooking this recipe in the classroom; curriculum connections; and related books to read.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,4,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,4,6
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    Growing Minds Farm to School: Swiss Chard Smoothies

    This lesson uses use hands-on cooking classes as a mechanism for teaching curriculum concepts. The lesson plan includes step-by-step instructions for cooking this recipe in the classroom, curriculum connections, and related books to read.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,4,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,4,6
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    Leafy Greens:

    leafy greens illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    Spinach Time-Lapse (40 days)

    A time-lapse video that shows how both leaves and roots grow on spinach plants. (2:34)

    Growing Kale and Collard Greens

    A suburban homesteader gives tips on growing collards and kale. (5:49)

    Growing Swiss Chard from Seeds, Days 0-31

    A home gardener describes the process of growing Swiss chard from seeds in a container. (13:13)

    True Food TV: Hydroponic Spinach | How Does It Grow?

    Very informative video on spinach and how it is grown hydroponically. (5:40)

    University of Maine Cooperative Extension: Best Way to Wash Fruits and Vegetables

    This bulletin explains the best ways to wash fruits and vegetables, including leafy greens, to remove pesticides, pests, bacteria, and soil.

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Spinach Brochure

    Brochure containing spinach facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Spinach Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Collard Greens Brochure

    Brochure containing collard green facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Collard Green Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    Leafy Greens:

    leafy greens illustration

    Books

    Oliver’s Vegetables by Vivian French (1995)

    On a visit to his grandparents' house, Oliver wants to eat only French fries. Grandpa tells him that he may look in the garden for potatoes, but that he must eat what he finds, whatever it may be. On the first evening, Oliver pulls up carrots and discovers that he likes them. On successive days he discovers spinach, rhubarb, cabbage, beets, and peas. A fun book about eating from the garden.

    Sylvia’s Spinach by Katherine Pryor and Anna Raff (2014)

    A picky eater discovers the joy of growing food and the pleasure of tasting something new. Sylvia Spivens always says no to spinach. But one day Sylvia's teacher gives her a packet of spinach seeds to plant for the school garden. Overcoming her initial reluctance and giving the seeds a little love and patience, Sylvia discovers the joy of growing food and the pleasure of tasting something new.

    Sneaky Spinach by Alexis Schulze and Sophie Hanton (2016)

    This is a story about a boy named Nick who refuses to eat his vegetables. He doesn't know how important fruits and vegetables are for his brain and body, so a group of Super Spinach leaves comes up with a clever little scheme.

    Pete Moss and the Super Strong Spinach: Bloomers Island Garden of Stories #1 by Cynthia Wylie and Courtney Carbone (2018)

    Follow Pete Moss in this magical, beautifully illustrated story as he attends boarding school on Bloomers Island to learn about gardening and growing his own vegetables.

  • Lettuce:

    Lettuce:

    lettuce illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program: Salad Greens Worksheets

    Taste-test worksheets for salad greens along with coloring sheets and other lessons organized by grade level.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    SL.K.1,4,5
    SL.1.1,5
    SL.2.1
    L.K.5a,5c
    L.1.5
    L.2.5a
    W.K.2
    W.1.2
    W.2.2
    1-E-1.1,2,3,4
    1-E-2.3
    6-E-1.1,2,3
    7-E-1.1,2
    VA-CE-E5

    Kids Gardening: Edible Landscaping

    Interested in starting a food garden with your students, but can’t find space for a traditional vegetable garden or fruit orchard? Try edible landscaping! Students will investigate the ornamental properties of lettuce to expand their perceptions of plant material that can be used in landscapes.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K.MD.A2,B3
    1.MD.A1,A2,C4
    2.MD.A1,A2,A3,A4,B5,B6,D9,D10
    K-ESS3-1,3
    K-LS1-1
    1-LS3-1
    2-LS4-1
    SL.K.1,4,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,4,5
    SL.2.1,2,3
    W.K.7,8
    W.1.2,7
    W.2.1,2,5,6,7,8
    1-E-1.1,1.2,1.4,2.3
    7-E-1.1,1.3
    VA-AP-E1,E2,E3,E4,E5,E6
    VA-CE-E3,E5,E6

    Scholastic Inc: Plant a Salad Garden

    You'll be amazed at children's answers to the question, "How does your garden grow?" Children will develop science concepts, language, and social skills as they work together to plant a container vegetable garden.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K-LS1-1
    1-LS3-1
    2-LS2-1
    RL.K.10
    RL.1.1
    RF.K.2D
    RF.1.2C
    SL.K.1,2,3,4,5
    SL.1.1,5
    SL.2.1
    1-E-1.1,1.2,1.4,2.3
    7-E-1.1,1.3

    Florida Harvest of the Month: Lettuce Classroom Guide

    A variety of lettuce lessons and activities focused on math, science, language arts, and social studies.

    Lettuce Find the Lettuce: Students will create a “wanted” poster to find the missing lettuce (Language Arts)

    Salad on MyPlate: Students will identify their favorite salad ingredients and complete a MyPlate food group calculation (Math)

    Lettuce Grow: Students will complete this activity after they learn the stages of the plant cycle (Science)

    Tools of the Trade: Students will match the worker to the tools they use and the equipment they need to do their job (Social Studies)

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K.CC.A2
    K.OA.A2,A5
    1.OA.A1,A2,C5,C6
    2.OA.A1,B2,C4
    1-LS3-1 W.K,1,2.2
    SL.K.1,4,5
    SL.1.1,5
    SL.2.1
    2.6.2 1-E-1
    7-E-1
    VA-CE-E5

    National Ag in the Classroom: A Garden Plot

    Students will identify foods grown in a garden, observe various types of seed, and grow their own "milk jug" garden. Students will hear "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" by Beatrix Potter and learn about produce that is grown in gardens or on farms. Students will conduct a “Rabbit Taste Test” where they give different kinds of rabbit food (lettuce, carrots, beets, radishes) to try. They will record Rabbit Taste Test results on graphs. Students will discuss why rabbits are mammals and the characteristics of all mammals.

    A Garden Plot PDF

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    1.MD.C.4
    2.MD.D.10
    K-LS1-1
    K-ESS3-1
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5

    Vermont Harvest of the Month: Mixed Greens

    A variety of lessons to explore, taste, and learn about mixed greens. Activities include growing greens in a plastic bottle greenhouse, conducting taste tests, and mapping the history of salad.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K.MD.A.2
    K.MD.B.3
    1.MD.C.4
    2.MD.D.10
    K-LS1-1
    1-LS1-1
    1-LS3-1
    2-LS2-2
    2-PS1-1
    RL.K.10
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5

    K.3.1
    1.3.1
    1.3.6
    2.2.8
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    Kids Gardening: Lettuce Be Healthy

    Growing the makings of your own salad indoors is a fun and easy way to bring greenery into your classroom and your diet. First, students research different varieties of lettuce from seed catalogs (online or request catalogs). Students will learn that different varieties of lettuce have different vitamins and minerals and look different (e.g., color, head, or leaf). Students will track the growth of their plants using the Lettuce Growth Chart. If you want to add an experimental element, students can grow the plants in different locations and compare the height, rate of growth, and color of their plants.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K-LS-1-1
    K-ESS2-1
    K-ESS3-1
    1-LS1-1
    1-LS3-1
    1-ESS1-2
    2-LS2-1
    2-LS4-1
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,4,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,4,6
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    Growing Minds Farm to School: Lettuce Exploration and Lettuce Wraps

    The Lettuce Exploration lesson guides students in using scientific inquiry to observe and learn about several varieties of lettuce. Create a line plot to record the results of a class tasting and interpret the data collected on the line plot. The Lettuce Wrap lesson plan includes step-by-step instructions for cooking this recipe in the classroom, curriculum connections, and related books to read.

    Lettuce Exploration Lesson Plan Lettuce Wrap Lesson Plan

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K.MD.A.1,2
    K.MD.B.3
    1.MD.A.1,2
    1.MD.C.4
    2.MD.A.1,2,3,4
    2.MD.D.9,10
    K-LS1-1
    1-LS1-1
    2-LS2-1
    RF.K.2
    RL.K.5
    RL.K.10
    RL.1.4,10
    RL.2.4,10
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,4,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,4,6
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    Lettuce:

    lettuce illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    How to Make a Mini Kratky Hydroponic System for Lettuce

    A video on growing lettuce from seed to harvest by a home gardener. (10:42)

    How to Grow Lettuce from Seed to Harvest

    A video on growing lettuce from seed to harvest by a home gardener. (9:18)

    True Food TV: 6 Amazing Heirloom Lettuces to Plant Now for Fall/Home Gardening

    Along with introducing her top picks for easy-to-grow, delicious lettuce, kale, and mustard greens, Nicole Jolly of True Food TV explains the history of lettuce. (10:03)

    PlantPonics: Lettuce Time-Lapsed

    This is a time-lapse video of lettuce being grown using hydroponics. (2:12)

    Lettuce:

    lettuce illustration

    Books

    Oliver’s Fruit Salad by Vivian French (1998)

    Oliver is off to stay with Grandpa, who grows his own vegetables. But Oliver doesn't eat vegetables—only chips. How will Grandpa persuade him into a week of healthy eating?

    Lettuce Grows on the Ground by Mari Schuh and Gail Saunders-Smith (2007)

    Simple text and photographs describe how lettuce grows on the ground.

    Lettuce! by Diana Kizlauskas (2015)

    This thoughtful, fun, and compelling tale focuses on Rabbit, who finds that lettuce he has planted has grown as big as a building... With its complex themes presented in a simple yet delightful story, this will make an excellent addition to any picture-book collection.

  • Radish:

    Radish:

    radish illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    National Ag in the Classroom: A Garden Plot

    Students will identify foods grown in a garden, observe various types of seed, and grow their own "milk jug" garden. Students will hear "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" by Beatrix Potter and learn about produce that is grown in gardens or on farms. Students will conduct a “Rabbit Taste Test” where they give different kinds of rabbit food (lettuce, carrots, beets, radishes) to try. They will record Rabbit Taste Test results on graphs. Students will discuss why rabbits are mammals and the characteristics of all mammals.

    A Garden Plot PDF

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    1.MD.C.4
    2.MD.D.10
    K-LS1-1
    K-ESS3-1
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5

    National Ag in the Classroom: Dig ‘Em Up (Radish)

    In this lesson students will investigate the functions of roots, recognize the difference between a tap and fibrous root system, and identify the roots of some plants as edible.

    Dig 'Em Up Lesson

    Dig 'Em Up Observation Sheet

    Root Identification Activity Sheet

    Roots T-Chart

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K.MD.A.1,2
    1.MD.A.1,2
    2.MD.A.1,2,3,4
    K-LS1-1
    1-LS1-1
    1-LS3-1
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5
    1-E-1.3,4
    1-E-2.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    KidsSoup: Rah, Rah, Radishes!

    This free downloadable book introduces new vocabulary words using gestures, tone of voice, pointing to illustrations, or providing brief explanations. This book can be downloaded in color or in blackline that students can color. Other activities include alphabet cards and story-sequencing cards.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    RL.K.1-10
    RF.K.2,4
    SL.K.1,2,3,6

    KidsSoup: The Red Radish

    Have children listen to the online Twiggle Book The Red Radish or read it to children. Afterwards, give children a chance to read the book with you or aloud to you. At this site there are links for full-colored and black and white printable books and other activities sheets.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K.CC.A.3
    K.CC.B.4
    K-LS1-1 SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6

    Oregon Harvest for Schools: Mystery Veggie

    For this lesson, students will rely on their sense of touch to make and record observations about a mystery vegetable. Once students have either worked as a class or individually to describe their sense of the veggie, have students draw their impression of the veggie and label it with any descriptions needed. Once students have completed the task, provide students the opportunity to guess what the veggie might be and then show them the mystery veggie. Comparisons between what the students wrote and/or drew can then be done to see how well our sense of touch can help us “see” the world.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K-LS1-1
    1-LS1-1
    1-LS3-1
    2-LS2-2
    W.K.1,2
    W.1.1,2
    W.2.1,2
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5

    Radish:

    radish illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    Burpee: Growing Radishes

    Radishes are one of the quickest and tastiest crops to grow in early spring and again in fall. See how easy it is to grow them in your garden. (2:44)

    Mortrek: Radish Time-Lapse

    This is a time-lapse video of a radish seed growing into a harvestable plant with a fairly well-developed taproot. The plants were intentionally deprived of sufficient nutrients until about 38 seconds in, when liquid nutrients were added to the top. The taproot-growth part of the video was accelerated relative to the primary shoot-growth part. The total time-lapse length was 49 days. (0:51)

    Radish:

    radish illustration

    Books

    Rosie Plants a Radish (2000)

    This lift-the-flat picture book tells the story of Rosie, a rabbit who loves radishes. Children can read about how she plants her radish seeds, watches the plants grow and finally pulls the radishes up. They can see what is actually happening to the plant under the ground.

    Rosey Posey and the Perfectly Pink Radish: Bloomers Island Garden of Stories #2 by Cynthia Wylie and Courtney Carbone (2018)

    Follow young Rosey Posey in a magical, beautifully illustrated story as she attends boarding school on Bloomers Island to learn about gardening and growing her own vegetables. When Professor Sage announces the Very Very Veggie Challenge, Rosey isn’t sure she wants to participate.

    The Red Radish by Twiggle Books

    Working together and helping friends are the focuses of this Twiggle Book. When a rabbit has trouble pulling out a radish from the ground, one by one his friends — big and small — come to his rescue. They pull and pull together until the radish pops out of the ground. Then they all share eating it.

    Rah, Rah, Radishes!: A Vegetable Chant by April Pulley Sayre (2020)

    Veggies take the stage in a rollicking ode to healthy eating in this Classic Board Book edition of "Rah, Rah, Radishes!"

  • Snap Beans:

    Snap Beans:

    snap beans illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    Life Lab: Soil Stories

    Students dig into dirt and discover the secrets of the intricate ecosystem living beneath their feet. After discovering soil’s components, students take the next steps to become stewards of the soil. This lesson plan includes a pre- and post-assessment and four lessons on soil, including planting snap bean seeds in three different types of soil to find out which soil type they prefer.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    2-PS1-1
    2-PS1-2
    2-LS4-1
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5

    National Ag in the Classroom: Growing Plants in Science and Literature

    Students will use the story of "The Empty Pot" to explore literature and science, practicing story mapping and learning about the needs of plants and the importance of soil and water. Like the characters in the story, students will plant and observe the growth of seeds.

    Suggested companion book: "Green Bean! Green Bean!" by Patricia Thomas.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K-LS1-1
    K-ESS3-1
    1-LS1-1
    1-LS3-1
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5

    Snap Beans:

    snap beans illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    Green Beans – Growing Step by Step [How To Do It]

    A step-by-step video on growing and harvesting green beans. (5:40)

    Green Bean Time-Lapse

    This is a time-lapse video of green beans growing in a hydroponics system. (7:21)

    Snap Beans:

    snap beans illustration

    Books

    Green Bean! Green Bean! by Patricia Thomas (2016)

    Plant it ― water it ― weed it ― protect it ― and under the blossoms is the perfect shady nook to read a book! Pretty soon it's time to pick all those long, lean beans, and to harvest a full season of garden knowledge and experience.

    Green Bean Dance by Ryan J. Schroeder

    Finally, a book that gives children a way to discover the JOY in trying new foods. It's time to do the "Green Bean Dance”! Children will delight in the sounds and actions in the story. They'll go from not wanting to eat their vegetables to dancing at the opportunity. Parents will enjoy the simple words that tell an important message — you always have to try new things to find out if you'll like them. "Green Bean Dance" is the perfect book for kids just beginning to read or for parents to read to their child before dinner or at bedtime.

    How Martha Saved Her Parents from Green Beans by David LaRochelle and Mark Fearing (2013)

    Martha HATES green beans. When some mean, green bandits stroll into town, anyone who ever said "Eat your green beans" is in big trouble. But when the beans kidnap Martha's parents, Martha is forced to take action. She can think of only one way to stop the villainous veggies from taking over her town, and it’s not pretty...or tasty. Featuring absurdly funny text and illustrations with attitude, this is a hilarious read for everyone — even the pickiest of eaters.

    Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert (1987)

    "Dad says we are going to grow vegetable soup." So begins Lois Ehlert’s bright, bold picture book about vegetable gardening for the very young. The necessary tools are pictured and labeled, as are the seeds. Then the real gardening happens...planting, weeding, harvesting, washing, chopping, and cooking! In the end? "It was the best soup ever." A recipe for vegetable soup tops it all off!

  • Squash:

    Squash:

    yellow squash illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    California Harvest of the Month: Winter Squash

    This Harvest of the Month newsletter has activities that give students the opportunity to explore, taste, and learn about the importance of eating winter squash. It also includes information on its origins and how it grows.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K-LS-1-1
    K-ESS3-1
    1-LS3-1
    W.K.1,2,3
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    Vermont Harvest of the Month: Winter Squash

    Students will explore, taste, and learn about eating winter squash. Activities include a squash matching game, mapping the history, and making a squash recipe.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K-LS-1-1
    K-ESS3-1
    1-LS3-1
    2-PS1-1
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5
    K.3.1
    K.3.2
    1.3.1
    2.2.4
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    USDA Team Nutrition: Crookneck Squash Row

    In this free downloadable squash curriculum children explore this unique vegetable, experiencing how a crookneck squash looks, feels, smells, and tastes. Children learn how crookneck squash are grown, harvested, and shipped from the farm to farmers markets and stores. This curriculum extends learning to home with parent letters explaining what their children learned about squash in class and follow-up activities and recipes for home. The resources for these lessons can be found in the “Basics Book”: The Basics: Introduction and Resource Materials.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K.G.A.1,2,3 K-LS1-1
    K-ESS3-1
    1-LS3-1
    2-PS1-1
    W.K.1,2,3
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom: Cool Cucurbits (Squash)

    This PDF provides excellent background information for teachers and a wide variety of activity suggestions for English/language arts, science, math, and social studies.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K.MD.A.1,2
    K.MD.B.3
    1.MD.A.1,2
    1.MD.C.4
    2.MD.D.10
    K-LS1-1
    K-ESS3-1
    1-LS3-1
    RL.K.5
    W.K.1,2,3
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5
    K.3.1
    K.3.3
    K.3.5
    1.3.1
    2.2.3
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    Squash:

    yellow squash illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    1,223-Pound Giant Pumpkin Time-Lapse

    This is a time-lapse video of a 1,223-pound giant pumpkin from seed to scale. It was grown from a seed out of the 2,009-pound world record pumpkin grown by Ron Wallace in Rhode Island. (3:40)

    Pumpkin Growth Time-Lapse

    Time-lapse video showing the growth of a pumpkin from seed to mature fruit — 108 days and nights. (4:26)

    Identifying Male and Female Squash Flowers and How to Hand-Pollinate

    There are male and female squash, zucchini, and cucumber flowers. The female flowers have little baby squash on them, but if the flower doesn't get pollinated the squash will grow a bit and die off. Sad. Here is a basic introduction to male and female squash flowers and hand-pollination. (2:38)

    How Summer Squash Grow

    Video showing the development of zucchini squash from immature fruit with flower to mature fruit on the plant. (1:26)

    Zucchini Growing Time-Lapse

    This video shows a zucchini plant growing and flowering during 5 days of filming. (1:20)

    True Food TV: Zucchini Growing Tips That I Wish I Had Known

    Prevent powdery mildew with proper spacing. Identify male and female flowers. Learn which ones will produce fruit, and how to get rid of insect pests specific to squash. (6:44)

    Squash:

    yellow squash illustration

    Books

    I Heard It from Alice Zucchini: Poems About the Garden (2006) by Juanita Havill

    From the still chill of a winter night to the ra-ta-ta, ra-ta-ta, ra-ta-ta-too of a lively vegetable stew, these twenty whimsical poems celebrate the joys of a garden from start to finish. A tour de force of imagination, I Heard It from Alice Zucchini invites you to join in the Pea Pod Chant, wander through the Rhubarb Forest, dance with the Dainty Doily Dill Weed, gossip with Alice Zucchini, and hold your breath on the pumpkin's enchanted evening.

    Sophie’s Squash (2013) by Pat Zietlow Miller

    On a trip to the farmers' market with her parents, Sophie chooses a squash, but instead of letting her mom cook it, she names it Bernice. From then on, Sophie brings Bernice everywhere, despite her parents' gentle warnings that Bernice will begin to rot. As winter nears, Sophie does start to notice changes.... What's a girl to do when the squash she loves is in trouble?

    Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie by Jill Esbaum (2007)

    Photographs show the life cycle of a pumpkin. Nonfiction. Age range: 4-8 years.

    How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara (2007)

    A teacher and his students consider how many seeds might be in the big, medium, and small pumpkins that are sitting on his desk. They make estimates and use skip counting to find out the answer. Age range: 4-8 years.

    Plant Plumbing by Susan Blackaby (2003)

    Learn how plants store food during the winter and carry water up to the leaves through their roots and stems. Age range: 4-8 years.

    Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper (2005)

    A squabble between friends happens while they are cooking pumpkin soup. Age range: 4-8 years.

    The Little Squash Seed by Gayla Seale (2002)

    How is it that a dull, dried-up little seed can produce a brightly colored nutritious vegetable? Miraculous things do happen when a seed is planted in the dirt and cared for by an attentive gardener. Kids can put on their garden gloves, grab their tools, and join the little squash seed, the gardener, and his grandchildren for a season of planting, changing, and growing. Reading level: Elementary.

    Carlos and the Squash Plant by Jan Stevens (1993)

    Carlos’s mother warns Carlos to take a bath each evening after a long day of gardening. See what happens day after day as Carlos refuses to wash the dirt from his body, specifically from inside his ears. Printed in both English and Spanish, this story offers an inside look at Hispanic heritage. Reading level: Elementary.

    Up, Down, and Around by Katherine Ayres (2008)

    A book about plants that grow upright, in the ground, and on the vine. Oversized book available. Grade level: Pre-K to K.

    Mrs. McNosh and the Great Big Squash by Sarah Weeks (2001)

    Through humorous, rhyming text, learn how Mrs. McNosh's giant squash creates problems as it grows. Grade level: Pre-K to 2.

    Zora’s Zucchini by Katherine Pryor (2017)

    What do you do with too much zucchini? Have a garden swap! Winner of the 2016 Growing Good Kids Book Award. Ages: 4-10 years.

    Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert (1987)

    "Dad says we are going to grow vegetable soup." So begins Lois Ehlert’s bright, bold picture book about vegetable gardening for the very young. The necessary tools are pictured and labeled, as are the seeds. Then the real gardening happens...planting, weeding, harvesting, washing, chopping, and cooking! In the end? "It was the best soup ever." A recipe for vegetable soup tops it all off!

  • Strawberries:

    Strawberries:

    strawberry illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    National Ag in the Classroom: Freshest Fruits

    In this lesson students will learn about where fruits grow and their nutritional value. They will observe the size, shape, texture, and seeds of various fruits.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    1-LS1-1
    2-LS2-1
    W.K.1,2,3
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    USDA Team Nutrition: The Strawberry Patch

    In this activity guide children can explore and discover how strawberries look, feel, taste, and smell. They learn that strawberries come from seeds and plants before appearing in baskets at the market. Children taste and enjoy strawberries in many different ways. "Growing at Home" materials are home activities that sprout from the day’s lessons. The resources for these lessons can be found in the The Basics Book.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    1-LS3-1 W.K.1,2,3
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2
    VA-CE-E5

    Harvest for Healthy Kids: Berries

    Activity plans for berries include lessons centered around circle time, meal time, and activity time along with fast and fun activities. Each kit includes an activity plan, family recipe, teacher bites, and a parent newsletter and picture cards available in both English and Spanish.

    Berries Activity Plan

    Berries Family Recipe

    Berries Parent Newsletter - English

    Berries Parent Newsletter - Spanish

    Berries Picture Cards - English

    Berries Picture Cards - Spanish

    Berries Teacher Bites

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    1-LS3-1 W.K.1,2,3
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2
    VA-CE-E5

    Strawberries:

    strawberry illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    TESCO: Sweet Strawberries – How Do They Grow?

    Find out when strawberries are at their juiciest and learn how they're grown on the farm. (2:15)

    Strawberry Plant Runners

    Shows runners coming off strawberries in pots and how these runners make new plants. (1:56)

    Time-Lapse of Strawberry Plant

    A time-lapse video of a strawberry ripening and strawberry flowers opening and closing. (1:49)

    Strawberries:

    strawberry illustration

    Books

    The Grey Lady and the Strawberry Snatcher by Molly Bang (1996)

    A wordless picture book about a woman bringing strawberries home from the market who outwits an imp trying to take them. Age: 5-8 years.

    The First Strawberries by Joseph Bruchac (1998)

    A retelling of a Cherokee folktale about how the strawberry came to be. Ages: 3-5 years.

    Strawberries by Robin Nelson (2008)

    Shows the life cycle of a strawberry plant. Nonfiction. Age: 4-7 years.

    Saving Strawberry Farm by Deborah Hopkinson (2005)

    In the hot summer of 1933, a young boy helps rally his town to save the local strawberry farm from a bank auction. Set in the Depression, the book focuses on simple pleasures like homemade lemonade and the importance of community. It also features a description of the Depression era in the back of the book. Age: 5-10 years.

    The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood (1987)

    The lesson in the Woods' book is designed to introduce predicting as a reading strategy to primary students. Reading level: K-2.

  • Sweet Peppers:

    Sweet Peppers:

    red bell pepper illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    2-LS2-1 RL.K.5
    RL.1.4
    RL.2.4
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    Wisconsin Harvest of the Month: Peppers

    A fact sheet about peppers with information on health benefits, cooking tips, biology and ecology facts. Classroom connection activities cover biology, business, and math.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K.CC.B.4
    1.OA.A.1
    2.OA.A.1
    1-LS1-2
    3-LS3-2
    2-LS1-1
    W.K.1,2,3
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    Oregon Harvest for Students: Pepper Predictions

    This lesson is a taste-test and graphing activity for students on the different colors of sweet peppers.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K.CC.A.1
    K.MD.B.3
    1.MD.C.4
    K-LS1-1
    1-LS1-1
    2-LS2-1
    W.K.1,2,3
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    Sweet Peppers:

    red bell pepper illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    True Food TV: Bell Peppers | How Does It Grow?

    Very informative video on how bell peppers are grown commercially. (6:05)

    Time-Lapse of a Bell Pepper Ripening

    Time-lapse video showing the growth of a bell pepper from flower to green pepper to red pepper. (4:45)

    Ted Ed: The Science of Spiciness

    When you take a bite of a hot pepper, your body reacts as if your mouth is on fire — because that's essentially what you've told your brain! Rose Eveleth details the science and history behind spicy foods, giving insights into why some people continue to pay the painful price for a little spice. (3:54)

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Bell Pepper Brochure

    Brochure containing bell pepper facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Bell Pepper Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    Sweet Peppers:

    red bell pepper illustration

    Books

    Green is a Chile Pepper: A Book of Colors by Roseanne Greenfield Thong (2014)

    Featured objects are Latino in origin, and all are universal in appeal. With rich, boisterous illustrations, fun-to-read rhyming text, and an informative glossary, this playful concept book will reinforce the colors found in every child’s day! Reading level: Elementary.

    Grandma’s Gumbo by Deborah Kadair (2003)

    Bell peppers, shrimp, oysters, onions, and okra — all have an important place in gumbo. Reading level: Elementary.

  • Tomatoes:

    Tomatoes:

    tomato illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    National Ag in the Classroom: Tomato Trivia

    Using tomatoes as a theme, the students will practice their math and science skills of estimating, measuring, counting, graphing, and sequencing.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K.CC.B.5
    K.CC.C.6
    K.MD.A.1,2
    K.MD.B.3
    1.MD.A.1
    1.MD.C.4
    K-LS1-1
    1-LS3-1
    2-LS2-1
    W.K.1,2,3
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5

    Vermont’s Harvest of the Month: Tomato

    Eight activities for K-4 that include a taste test as well as measurement, classification, and map skills focused on tomatoes.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K-LS-1-1
    K-ESS3-1
    1-LS3-1
    2-PS1-1
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5
    K.3.1
    K.3.2
    1.3.1
    2.2.4
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    Harvest for Healthy Kids: Tomatoes

    Activity plans for tomatoes include lessons centered around circle time, meal time, and activity time along with fast and fun activities. Each kit includes an activity plan, family recipe, teacher bites, and a parent newsletter and picture cards available in both English and Spanish.

    Tomato Activity Plan

    Tomato Family Recipe

    Tomato Parent Newsletter - English

    Tomato Parent Newsletter - Spanish

    Tomato Picture Cards - English

    Tomato Picture Cards - Spanish

    Tomato Teacher Bites

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    Art
    VA-CE-E5
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2

    Tomatoes:

    tomato illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    True Food TV: How to Grow Tomatoes That Taste Amazing!

    Pruning. Trellising. Sucker removal. Pest management...all the things you need to know to grow successful tomato plants. (9:31)

    True Food TV: Heirloom Tomato | How Does It Grow?

    Heirloom tomatoes are scientifically sweeter than the round red ones that dominate our supermarkets. So why don't we see more heirlooms? Because they are insanely difficult to grow — and sell! Very informative video on how heirloom tomatoes are grown. (11:10)

    True Food TV: Tomatoes | How Does It Grow?

    Tomato farming is NOT what you think it is! Meet the farmers behind your pasta sauce, who grow and harvest plum-style processing tomatoes — the source of more vitamins than any other fruit or vegetable consumed in the U.S. The history of the tomato is interwoven into a virtual field trip to a commercial tomato farm. (11:02)

    Super Sprowtz: A Tomato Force Field!

    Tag along with celebrity guest and former White House Chef Sam Kass on a culinary adventure to Aztec, Mexico, and learn about the superpowers inside every tomato. (6:50)

    Super Sprowtz: What’s So Special About A Tomato?

    Todd the Tomato wonders whether his super safe superpowers are just as incredible as the rest of the Sprowtz team. (5:44)

    GroVeg: Ways of Ripening Green Tomatoes

    Explains multiple ways of ripening green tomatoes. (3:31)

    Time-Lapse – Tomato Plant HD

    Shows the sprouting of tomato seeds through day 22 (seedlings are about 6 inches tall). (1:13)

    Center for Ecoliteracy: Nourishing Students: Posters

    Display these posters in kitchens, cafeterias, classrooms, and during after-school programs as a fun and engaging way to promote fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy eating. This set of free, downloadable full-color posters features wildlife animals with the following fruit or vegetable: Radish, Strawberry, Grape, Tomato, Orange.

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Tomato Brochure

    Brochure containing tomato facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Tomato Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    Tomatoes:

    tomato illustration

    Books

    Little Yellow Pear Tomatoes (2005)

    This exquisite offering examines the universal circle of life through the innocent eyes of a young girl, who marvels at all the energy and collaboration it takes to grow her yellow pear tomatoes. She sees that everyone and everything brings something essential to the little fruits she loves so much.

    When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons by Julie Fogliano (2016)

    A book of free verse poems that follow the seasons, beginning and ending in the spring. Reading level: 5-10 years.

    Runaway Tomato by Kim Cooley Reeder (2014)

    When a giant tomato breaks loose at the top of a hill, it takes every tractor, fire engine, and helicopter to stop it. Told in catchy rhyme, culminating in a jam-packed gate-fold spread of the town's Tomato Festival. What will happen when it rains on all those giant seeds? One giant surprise. Ages: 3-5 years.

    Tomatoes Grow on a Vine by Mari Schuh (2011)

    A book that explores the life cycle of the tomato. The book features labeled close-up photos. Ages: 4-8 years.

    Life Cycles: Tomatoes by Robin Nelson (2009)

    A close-up view of the life cycle of a tomato. Nonfiction. Ages: 5-8 years.

    I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child (2003)

    This story makes a fun hook to engage young students with healthy eating. Lola is a very fussy eater. Carrots are for rabbits and peas are 'too small and too green.' One day, after rattling off her long list of despised foods, she ends with the vehement pronouncement, "And I absolutely will never not ever eat a tomato." Not convinced, Lola's older sister Charlie has an idea. She tells Lola that the orange things on the table are not carrots, but "orange twiglets from Jupiter" and peas are in fact "green drops from Greenland." Mashed potatoes, when pitched as "cloud fluff from the pointiest peak of Mount Fuji" suddenly seem appealing to Lola. And in the end, might she even eat a tomato?

    First Tomato by Rosemary Wells (1992)

    On a cold winter day, Claire takes a trip to the Bunny Planet where it’s always summer and the tomatoes are just starting to get ripe. Grade level: 1-2.

    Big Red and the Terrible Tomato Hornworm by Cynthia Wylie (2018)

    Big Red starts planting tomatoes and discovers that he’ll have to battle hornworms to keep his tomatoes healthy and safe. In the end, he has to use his newfound gardening knowledge and peacemaking skills to work with the hornworms and save his tomatoes. Ages: 4-8 years.

    Our Community Garden by Barbara Pollak (2004)

    If you could plant a garden that represented your personality, what would it include? Maybe cherry tomatoes, green peppers, and delicious strawberries? Audrey Aubergine and her friends do just that in their neighborhood’s community garden, where they play hide-and-seek, tend giant sunflowers, and discover nature’s possibilities.

  • General Information:

    General Information:

    tomato illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    Louisiana Harvest of Month Taste Test Guide

    Students are often reluctant to try new foods. Taste tests introduce new menu items in a way that increases familiarity with healthy food choices, involves the school community, and builds a culture of trying new foods. This guide discusses benefits of taste tests and tips for running a successful taste test.

    Louisiana Harvest of the Month Compendium of Activities

    This collection of lessons, books, and videos connected to Louisiana Student Standards was designed to teach your students about Harvest of the Month items.

    Louisiana Harvest of the Month Materials and Resources

    Louisiana K-12 schools and after-school programs can register for Louisiana Harvest of the Month free-of-charge at any point during the school year. Registered sites will receive a packet of printed materials including posters, Louisiana-grown produce seasonality charts, and "I Tried It" stickers. Resources for each Harvest of the Month can be found at this site including: posters, recipes, and templates. Just click on the fruit or vegetable link.

    Florida Ag in the Classroom Resources

    This site gives you links for their three curricula: Gardening for Nutrition, Gardening for Grades, STEMming Up Gardening. You can download these full-color curricula and/or request a hardcopy of these resources. These beautiful teacher guides will arrive at your door in a week totally free of charge. There are links for Make and Take Activities that are quick activities that would be excellent for STEM family nights. At this site you can also search for lessons with a keyword. Also, this site includes links for several Florida Ag in the Classroom Activity Newspapers where you can download and request class sets.

    Garden-Based Learning Distance Teaching Resources

    This is a growing collection of online resources including lessons, videos, read-alouds, and videos.

    Farm Bureau: My American Farm

    My American Farm is an educational game platform used to engage students in American agriculture. This free site offers agriculturally-themed games and more than 100 free educator resources such as ag lesson plans, activity sheets and comics. Students will discover the amazing world of agriculture as you build farm equipment, create your own avatar, travel the country, and help organize the barn - and that's just the beginning. You'll enjoy playing these games, which reinforce core academic learning standards. Many games are also available in app form. Including the My American Farm App, the My American Farm - All About Beef App - The Ag Across America App and The My American Farm STEM app. These are all free to download.

    Growing Minds Farm to School: Veggie Crowns

    In this lesson students are introduced to new fruits and vegetables by creating their own veggie crowns. The veggie crowns can be used in a variety of ways to have conversations with students about fruits and vegetables. Using seed catalogs or provided cut-outs, you can have students make crowns with various themes such as favorite fruits and vegetables or fruits and vegetables that they would like to try. If you do taste tests in your classroom, veggie crowns make a great "passport" with students adding a picture of each fruit or vegetable that they taste. Adding a picture to their crown is highly motivating for some students to try something new! Vegetable Cut-Outs — This is a PDF of vegetable line drawing for students to cut out and glue to their crowns, but don’t let this PDF limit students' selections of vegetable and/or fruits. You can draw more or let your students draw or cut pictures from seed catalogs.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    SL.K.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.1.1,2,3,5,6
    SL.2.1,2,3,5
    1-E-1.3
    7-E-1.1,2
    VA-CE-E5

    General Information:

    tomato illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    Life Lab: Pondering Plants-First Grade Exploration

    This first-grade curriculum includes six lessons that teach about the functions of plant parts. Examining the jobs of three different plant parts - roots, stems, and leaves - helps students to understand that all plants need the same fundamental resources: sun, soil, water, and air.

    National Agricultural Literacy Outcomes

    This free downloadable document outlines benchmarks related to agricultural literacy and academic achievement.

    USDA: Fruit and Vegetable Blackline Masters

    Blackline masters for students to color and display.

    USDA: Fruit and Vegetable Drawings

    Beautiful full-color drawings of fruits and vegetables to display on a bulletin board or other places.