Educational Resources

A girl uses a microscope to investigate flower partsResources for a Visit to the U.S. Botanic Garden

If you're coming onsite to the Garden, explore educational resources specfically designed to be used in the Garden on our onsite resource page.

Resources for Home or School

Lesson Plans and Activities

Engage young people in plant science through these educational resources. The lesson plans and activities are designed to help adults guide children in using the tools and techniques scientists use to learn about plants and the environment. They are intended to be flexible and we encourage you to adapt them to your child's interests and ability. Each lesson has a recommended grade range, goals and objectives, and materials list and steps to follow for each activity.

Flower to Seed, Seed to Flower Lesson Plan
Explore the life cycle of a flowering plant by examining how and why plants make seeds.

Cover of Greenhouse Manual

Greenhouse Manual

This is an introductory manual for educators wanting to better use new or existing greenhouses for programming. The manual clearly and concisely lays out a basic understanding of greenhouses, how to integrate them into lessons, and how to effectively use greenhouses in classroom curricula and out-of-school activities. The manual includes lesson plans as well as basic information on layout and operations of a greenhouse, growing plants (especially during the school year), growing from seed, seedling nutrition, identifying and treating disease and pest management in greenhouses, basic budgeting, and succession planting.

Cover of School Garden Guide

School Garden Guide

School gardens joyfully engage students and staff, improve academic performance, develop technical skills, promote social skills, and encourage healthy lifestyles. This guide will assist you with: starting a new school garden; maintaining an existing school garden; and providing high-quality garden-based instruction. It provides guidance for establishing a new school garden, maintaining an existing school garden, or using the school garden for instruction. This guide is intended for a broad audience including teachers, school administrators, community-based organization staff, community members, and parents. The guide was created by the United States Botanic Garden, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, and City Blossoms.

Cover of Youth Entrepreneurship Manual

Youth Entrepreneurship Cooperative Manual

This innovative resource, created in partnership with City Blossom, is informed by the work of their Youth Entrepreneurship Cooperative (YEC) program. It is complete with templates and tools to support anyone interested in connecting high school youth with gardens and entrepreneurship skill-building. It gives insight into recruiting participants, forming local partnerships, designing a safe and inviting meeting space, and launching a youth-led cooperative business. This guide was created by City Blossom and the United States Botanic Garden.

Teaching Landscape for Life

Landscape for Life includes a complete kit of teaching resources that can be used to conduct classes in sustainable home gardening. Materials available include a downloadable, illustrated teacher's manual and four slide presentations that illustrate the curriculum.

Educational Collaborators:

Botanical Partners on the Mall
The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany and the U.S. Botanic Garden are botanical partners on the National Mall. As such, we collaborate on a number of projects related to exhibits, research and plants.

North American Orchid Conservation Center
The North American Orchid Conservation Center is a collaboration between the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and the U.S. Botanic Garden that will join public and private organizations to conserve, cultivate and restore North America's native orchids.