Now is the time to start seedlings indoors to transplant into your outdoor classroom later in the spring.
Cool weather veggies like spinach, lettuce, beets, peas and many other vegetables can be planted right into the garden beginning in March.
Brown, Peter, The Curious Garden, Little, Brown, 2009. (Grades PreK-2)
One rainy day, Liam sights a stairway leading up to an elevated train track, and climbs it, discovering a patch of wildflowers and plants struggling to survive amid the tracks. Liam is determined to turn this mangy growth into a garden, but first he must turn himself into a gardener. He prepares for spring by readig gardening books and gathers the tools and skills to bring his secret garden to full bloom.
Burnie, David, Plant, Eyewitness Books, DK, 2011. (Grades 4-7)
Real-life photographs of flowers, fruits, seeds, leaves and more offer a view of the natural history of plant anatomy and growth. See the biggest flower in the world, where a seed develops, what the inside of a plant stem looks like, how a flower attracts insects, what a plant's reproductive organs look like, and how a dandelion spreads its seeds. Learn how plants defend themselves, why flowers are brightly colored, how a plant can climb, why some plants feed on insects, and why some plants have no seeds. Discover why some plants have spines and stingers, what plants looked like millions of years ago, how plants survive in the desert, how plants turn sunlight into energy, and much, much more.
Colburn, Cherie Foster, Our Shadow Garden, Bright Sky, 2010. (Grades PreK-2)
When a beloved grandmother becomes ill and is no longer able to be in the sun, her granddaughter is inspired to create a garden she can enjoy. She and Poppa work together in secret to transform Nana's garden into a night-blooming oasis, a place where she can be with the creatures and plants that bring her happiness. As they work with seeds, trowels and wheelbarrows to cultivate moon flowers, star jasmine and other luminous, pale, sweet-smelling plants, they discover the sensory beauty of the garden at night. Gardening facts and tips accompany the illustrations, which were created by children who are battling cancer.
Edom, Helen, Science With Plants, Usborne, 2007. (Grades 2-6)
Basic science concepts are presented in fun, hands-on activities for early elementary students. Topics covered include seed germination, water transportation, tranpiration, stem and leaf structure, pollination, vegetative reproduction, composting and basic soil structure. The book closes with an excellent desription of how our needs are met by plants.
Grigsby, Susan, and Nicole Tadgell, First Peas to the Table: How Thomas Jefferson Inspired a School Garden, Albert Whitman, 2012. (Grades 1-4)
Maya loves contests, so she is excited when her teacher announces they will plant a school garden like Thomas Jefferson's garden at Monticello--and they'll have a "First Peas to the Table" contest, just like Jefferson and his neighbors had each spring. Maya plants her pea seeds with a secret head start--found in Jefferson's Garden Book--and keeps careful notes in her garden journal. But her friend Shakayla has plans of her own for the contest...Susan Grigsby's light-hearted classroom story also presents scientific and historical information. Nicole Tadgell's watercolors add both appeal and botanical accuracy.
Kenin, Justine, We Grew It, Let's Eat It!, Tenley Circle, 2010. (Grades PreK-3)
Washington, DC, twins Annie and Veda learn about the White House vegetable garden and want to grow their own fruits and vegetables. But how can they do it, since they live in a city apartment? Watch the twins and senior gardener Ida work and play their way through planting, tending and harvesting in a community garden.
Martin, Jacqueline Briggs, Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table, Readers to Eaters, 2013.
Will Allen is no ordinary farmer. A former basketball star, he's as tall as his truck, and he can hold a cabbage, or a basketball, in one hand. But what is most special about Farmer Will is that he can see what others can't see. When he looked at an abandoned city lot he saw a huge table, big enough to feed the whole world. No space, no problem. Poor soil, there's a solution. Need help, found it.
Peterson, Cris, and David R. Lundquist, Seed, Soil Sun: Earth's Recipe for Food, Boyds Mills, 2010. (Grades PreK-3)
After establishing that most of our food comes from seeds that grow with the help of soil and sunlight, this book talks a little about each element in the title, how it relates to the growing plant and how photosynthesis allows the plant to make energy. The last few pages tell how we consume the plant's energy as food.