Teachers, Schools, and Field Trips

Field Trips

Thank you for considering the U.S. Botanic Garden as an extension of your classroom! Our indoor and outdoor living classrooms offer amazing opportunities for plant-based learning.

Teachers are always welcome to bring students to visit the Garden for their own educational activities. If you're looking for ideas on how to maximize a trip to the U.S. Botanic Garden, please see our Field Trips page.

field trips

Educational Resources and Lesson Plans

Plant-Based Curriculum

This curriculum is designed for grades 3-5 and includes pre-field trip lessons, onsite curriculum, and post-field trip lessons. Learn more and download the curriculum >

Junior Botanist

Our Junior Botanist program is now available to schools on a limited basis. If you are a 3rd-6th grade teacher and would like for your class to use our Junior Botanist Adventure kit while at the U.S. Botanic Garden, please contact Lee Coykendall, Children's Education Specialist.

There is a maximum class size of (36) with (8) backpacks issued. The Botany at Home adventure sheet can be used as a post lesson and upon successful completion of the adventure sheets, teachers may apply to our botanist to become an official U.S. Botanic Garden Junior Botanist class!

There is no fee for participation in this program.

How Plants Work curriculum

Our How Plants Work: A Guide to Being Green is a plant-based curriculum that helps teachers and chaperones lead students through investigations to discover the intriguing life, structural design, adaptability and resourcefulness of plants.

Classroom Resources

The U.S. Botanic Garden offers classroom resources for teachers, including a plant family tree and information on starting your own school garden.

Teacher Training

Each year, the Garden offers special workshops and teacher training opportunities to help engage students in plant-based learning.

  • HOPS Teacher Institute Program
    Description: Day One will be all about water, its importance to plants and plants importance to water, the importance of water to all life and the current health of our local bodies of water. We will use microscopes, test water for temperature, PH and dissolved oxygen, learn about watersheds, and build a watershed and water filter. Day Two is all about how plants work and photosynthesis. Participants will perform plant cuttings and see how oxygen leaves the plant and how plants take in our carbon dioxide, learn that sugar really does happen in the leaf using refractometers, create art using the power of the sun and make seed balls. Day Three explores nature as art. Participants will have a chance to settle into the quiet of the National Garden and watercolor, use compasses to make sundials and microscopically explore the tiniest of plants. Participants will dissect flowers and learn how pollination works while we keep our eyes out for the many pollinators in the Garden. The final day, Day Four will tie everything together with an investigation during which we explore seed dispersal, pollen identification using microscopes, learn that nectar differs from flower to flower, that different flowers have different pollinators, and that soil is not dirt.

    Dates: June 19-20, 2017
    Time: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Applications due by April 30, 2017


    Application Process with Principal Support
    HOPS kits and Certificates of Participation will be provided upon completion: 14 PLUs

Please check back for information regarding DC Teacher Night 2017 (usually held in Fall).