4-H school garden programs offer students the opportunity to learn about where their food comes from, to understand the science behind plants, and to help cultivate important creative and critical thinking skills. If you're interested in finding out how to start a school garden, or find academic support for your current school garden, contact 4-H Educator Claire Linepensel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Junior Master Gardeners
The Junior Master Gardener program is an international youth gardening program of the university Extension network. JMG engages children in novel ‘hands-on’ group and individual learning experiences that provide a love of gardening, develop an appreciation for the environment, and cultivate the mind.
- Developed by Texas A&M AgriLife, the curriculum offers 8 chapters of independent, discovery learning activities for early childhood, elementary-aged, and middle/high school youths.
- The curriculum helps develop life skills, includes career exploration, and opportunities for service-learning projects.
- As students complete areas of study, they can earn different recognition certifications, including designation as Certified Junior Master Gardeners.
- Through partnership with the Master Gardener volunteers, students gain mentorship and multi-generational experiences.
Click here for more information on Junior Master Gardeners.
JMG Learn, Grow, Eat, and Go!
This curriculum includes the research-based knowledge of the Junior Master Gardener program and couples it with healthy eating and physical activity components. It was developed and based on a 5-year research study by a team of Extension Specialists and researchers from Texas A&M University and was created to address childhood obesity.
- The curriculum is a 10-week linear set of academically rich lessons including learning about plants, what they need, how plants provide for our needs, and how a class can work together to provide for the garden.
- Students will try new foods throughout the program to encourage healthy eating and expanding their palate.
- Short physical activities are included to provide brain breaks for students and improve school performance and the overall health and wellness of children.
For more information about Learn, Grow, Eat, and Go! Click here.
4-H Go Plants!
The 4-H Go Plants! - Growing Opportunties with Plants program engages third and fourth grade students in the exploration of plant science topics through a variety of science skill-building activities. The teaching strategy reflected in this unit encourages inquiry-based learning, the active use of science skills, and the use of creative and critical thinking skills. This includes the planting, growing, and maintenance of plant materials in the classroom under grow lights or in a window-garden situation.
- Go Plants! activities are designed for the busy teacher in mind. This 5-week, 5-lesson unit focuses on a specific part of the plant each week - seeds, roots, stems, leaves, flowers.
- Lessons are designed to be taught in 60-minute intervals, with the potential to expand to 120 minutes if optional activities are conducted.
- The book includes student-ready worksheets and fact sheets to enrich the classroom experience. These materials were developed with a range of reading abilities in mind; however, the content and the activities contained within are appropriate for the third and fourth grade levels.
For more information about Go Plants! contact Claire Linepensel.