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New York Botanical Garden


K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Health

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans
  • Activity - Classroom
  • Activity - Outdoors
  • Worksheets
  • Articles and Websites
  • Videos, 1 minute, 44 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New York, New York City



School Gardening Part 6: Food and Nutrition

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  • In this session, students learn how food originates from plants, how to identify plant parts, which parts we use for food, how to read and interpret a nutrition label, and the importance of plant variety in a healthy human diet.
  • The resource includes a lesson plan about identifying plant parts from produce, a lesson plan about nutrition labels, a tip sheet for writing recipes, a checklist for garden-based kitchen tools, a teacher exercise for themed gardens, a teacher resource about botany, and a link to the USDA dietary guidelines.
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson inspires healthy eating habits for students.
  • Students will love getting outside, harvesting food, and cooking recipes.
  • Students learn to read nutrition labels, which is an important life skill.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This resource is the last part of the six-part series called School Gardening 101 by The New York Botanical Garden. Part One is an introduction, Part Two is about soil, Part Three is about selecting and starting seeds, Part Four is about seedlings, and Part Five is about preparing the garden for winter.
  • For the Pass the Plants, Please! Lesson students will need various store-bought produce items like seeds, fruits, and vegetables. Teachers can provide these, or each student can bring one in from home.
  • The listed materials for the Nutrition Comparison lesson plan are not integral to the lesson. If teachers do not want to provide broccoli, cauliflower, and potato chips, students can easily find these nutrition labels online.
  • The Martha Stewart link for juicing citrus in the Tip Sheet: Utensil/Pantry Checklist is broken.


  • Teachers can make cross-curricular connections with math in the Nutrition Comparison lesson when graphing and comparing.
  • To extend the Pass the Plants, Please! Lesson students can assess their diets to determine what parts of plants they eat regularly. Classes can create graphs and charts to depict the parts of plants and amounts their class eats.
  • Using the How to Write a Recipe tip sheet, students can write a recipe for a plant they love to eat. As a class, students can create a cookbook or recipe blog with Google Sites.
  • Classes can explore how culture intersects with nutrition. Students can be encouraged to share about their cultural foods.
Scientist Notes
This resource from the New York Botanical Garden provides teachers with a food and nutrition lesson. The resource includes a brief (~2 minute) video that discusses school gardening. Also in this resource are lesson topics, tip sheets, and teacher exercises and resources. The resource is well-researched and sourced from credible sources.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
      • 4-LS1-1. Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
  • Comprehensive Health & Physical Education
    • Physical Wellness
      • 2.2.2.N.2: Explain why some foods are healthier to eat than others.
  • English Language Arts
    • Writing (K-12)
      • W.WR.1.5 With prompting and support, generate questions through shared research about a topic and determine possible sources to obtain information on that topic.
  • Related Resources


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