Teachers can add interest and bring excitement to their grade level curriculum by taking students outside. Research shows that students are happier, healthier, and smarter when they learn and play in nature. Many Common Core and NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) are easily taught in School gardens and schoolyard habitats. The following links from Life Labs provide suggestions for using the garden to meet curriculum standards in addition to learning about basic gardening principles.
Common Core Connections
NGSS in the Garden
For other curriculum linked lessons go to Life Lab http://www.lifelab.org/content-standards/
If time does not allow for the maintenance of the garden, schools have used after school garden clubs and /or before and after school services to provide the fun planting, maintaining, and harvesting of produce. Teachers give input as to grade level use and possible themed gardens and then the clubs and extended day programs get the gardens ready for classroom use. It is a great partnership with teachers, students, and extended day programs all benefitting.