School Gardens

Integrating Gardening Throughout the Elementary Curriculum

Kelly Johnson

This course will help you:

Learn to plan and care for a school garden

Establish safety guidelines for gardening with students

Discover ways to avoid garden “burnout”

Create connections between the garden and other academic learning areas

Give your school garden true purpose

Overcome the fear of gardening
Join Kelly Johnson, Montessori educator and children’s gardening expert, as we learn the practicalities of how to maintain a school garden and facilitate learning through gardening in an elementary school setting. 

This course provides specific guidance on how to successfully garden with children, lesson plans for the garden that align with existing Montessori elementary lessons, and the health and academic benefits of gardening with children. 

We will take a look at:

Systemic biases towards outdoor education and how to overcome them
The alignment between Dr. Montessori’s philosophy on children gardening and what current research tells us
The practicalities of how to maintain a school garden and facilitate learning in a school garden setting

After this course, teachers will feel confident about gardening with students. This course includes lesson plans specifically for use with elementary-aged children in school gardens, and teachers will be prepared to offer extension projects that support the Montessori elementary curriculum. 

A certificate of completion for 4 hours is provided. Learn more about certificates here.

This course is eligible for a CEU upgrade from Loyola University- Aspire for an additional fee.

Course Content

So You Have A Garden: An Introduction

We will explore:
-Feelings around adding a garden to an already full plate
-Concerns about not having a “green thumb” and why this is a myth
-Why gardening is a fantastic extension for every authentic Montessori program

Greening Up Our Thumbs

We will dig into:
-Practical gardening know-how
-Garden maintenance
-Safety in garden learning environments (physical and emotional)

Gardening & Curriculum Integration

Curriculum Areas:
-Practical Life
-Science and Math
-Language and Writing

This course also includes:

-PDF lesson plans that align with existing Montessori elementary lessons
-Resources for books to use along with an elementary school garden
-Tips specific to gardening with children
-PDF of Gardening How To’s and practical garden guidance

Kelly Johnson

Kelly seeks to guide humans of all ages to slow down and reconnect with their natural world, creatively. An artist, author, nature journaling guide, Montessorian, and children's garden facilitator, Kelly brings a lifetime of creative expression, academic exploration, and hands-on gardening experience to each of her endeavors. With Wings, Worms, and Wonder, Kelly aims to help and inspire humans to creatively connect with the natural world through the arts and gardening at home and school. Visit Wings, Worms, and Wonder: the online home of Kelly’s books, blog, workshops, nature journaling courses, school consultations, and more!

Kelly holds a BFA, MA, and AMS 6-9 certification.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?

This course consists of pre-recorded videos. You will gain access to all the videos as soon as you register. You have access for one year and you may watch at your convenience, as often as you wish, during that time.

Who is this course for?

This course is intended for elementary teachers, school leaders or administrators, homeschoolers, and anyone interested in gardening with elementary-aged children.

Will this course teach me how to build a garden from scratch?

No, this course focuses on what to do with an existing garden. Specific guidance is given on growing and integrating a thriving, prepared, Montessori-specific gardening environment.

Is this appropriate for parents?

The practical gardening strategies, lessons, and resources found in this course can certainly be applied to the home setting.

Will I receive a Certificate of Attendance?

You can get a certificate of attendance for 4 hours by request. You will need to fill out a feedback form. You will receive a PDF certificate via email. We recommend confirming with your local licensing agency prior to registering if you are relying on having the certificate approved.


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