American Heart Association / Oak Hill Teaching Garden


PTA Teaching Garden Resources

Here are some garden websites with lesson plans and activities:

Chesapeake Bay Foundation – – has challenges on this site

Growing Minds - – curriculum by grade level and subject

Virginia Tech - – garden lesson plans

Dr. Dirt - – soil

Virginia Junior Master Gardeners:

Weed Control and Identification:

UGA Extension School Garden Lesson Plans (K-8):

Growing Gardeners:

Sandbox Network Inc:


We have copies of the following books (check out through Mrs. Wheeler):

Junior Master Gardener Teacher/Leader Guide

Junior Master Gardener Handbook

Junior Master Gardener Literature in the Garden

How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents and Teachers

Outdoor Classrooms: A handbook for School Gardens

The Garden Classroom:  Hands-on Activities in Math, Science, Literacy, and Art



October 2013 Update:

Students from Kindergarten to Third grade have joined Sally Burns in the garden to participate in the fall lessons.  The two lesson plans that have been taught for the fall were about Tops & Bottoms and Cover Cropping.

The K – 2 students learned about vegetables that grow above ground and below ground incorporating Science, English (descriptive words), Math/Geometry (spatial awareness).  Students then planted beets/carrots and spinach.

The 3rd – 6th graders the classes that joined us in the garden learned about cover cropping and how we replenish nutrients in the soil studying the science of the garden, life cycles of organisms and properties of earth materials.  Students then planted snow peas or hairy vetch, both plants that through their roots provide nitrogen to the soil.

The students had great fun learning the new subject areas and getting their hands in the garden.  We look forward to reporting how the garden is growing into the colder months.

The students are also participating in a leaf drive to create leaf mulch for our garden and all of our flower beds.  Please save some of your leaves and bring them up to Oak Hill.  We will be collecting bagged leaves by the back garden shed.   Girl Scout Troop 270 will be working on their bronze award and will also be using the leaves to help improve our beds around the front of the school.

In the early spring we will be back outside working in the garden for our spring crops.


Teaching Garden History


In 2011, Oak Hill was selected as one of 7 schools in the nation to participate in the teaching garden experience with the American Heart Association. The goal of the initiative is to help build healthy bodies and minds by educating students on how to grow, harvest and the value of good eating habits.

April,  2011 was a great month for the Oak Hill and American Heart Association’s teaching garden. The month was kicked off with a planting day that included students from kindergarten to sixth grade. Initial April plantings included: snowpeas, lettuce, spinach, nasturtium (edible flowers), radish, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Each week, classes have gone out to check on their beds and helped with weeding and some thinning of seedlings. It has been a very exciting month as some of the students had the luck of finding out who was eating our cabbage! A groundhog seems to enjoy visiting the garden! We have found some nice organic granules that are very foul smelling that keep the critters away. Each day depending on weather, the SACC group is assisting in the garden by watering the vegetables. The garden is making a great comeback.

The students are learning a great deal from the garden already as we have seen nutritional connections being made with poetry, science connections as well as some wonderful blogs being submitted. The students see how gardening can impact so many areas of their learning. We look forward as the students continue to learn and explore and share their findings.

May was extremely exciting as the students were back in the garden planting some of our warm weather plants such as basil, beans, carrots, corn, cucumbers, marigolds, peppers, sweet potato, tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini squash and perhaps even a pumpkin. On May 12, we held our GRAND OPENING event where many AHA, Government and FCPS officials came out and toured our garden.

This summer, we had families and groups sign up to care for the garden throughout the summer.  Thanks to all those who helped keep our garden growing!