Resources: ECO Arts/Literacy

THINKING WITH YOUR HANDS Resourceshere is a growing list of resources for you, your students and families. Please visit it often and feel free to leave a comment on the usefulness or extension of other resources. Lisanne, Rosemary, Mary Lisa, pat

NJMAC March 4, 2011 and AMS Annual Conference March 24-2, 2011


Brain, Arts, and Learning

See articles and handouts on website




Garden and Flower Books

Schatz, H. & ORNSTEIN, B. J. (2005). BOTANICA. NY, NY: Bulfinch Press.




For Teacher’s

The Growing Classroom. Revised Edition. Developed by the Life Lab Science Program, this award-winning second edition has been revised to meet current science standards. A wonderful collection of classic garden activities, The Growing Classroom is a teacher’s manual featuring step-by-step instructions and strategies for setting up a garden-based science program and outdoor classroom activities. Topics include planning a garden laboratory, facilitating investigative lessons on ecology and nutrition, and involving the community. Includes an expanded gardening resource section. This curriculum is a teacher and NGA staff favorite! 464 pages; gr 2-6.

Preschool Gardening Curriculum The garden is an engaging, stimulating, and — most importantly — fun learning environment for preschool children. Written for early childhood educators, this new book features 16 thoughtful, hands-on activities centered around 4 key questions: What is a plant? Where do plants come from? How do we take care of plants? Why are plants important? Each chapter includes horticultural teacher background information, interdisciplinary extension ideas, and a reproducible “family newsletter” describing an activity to complete at home. Equally suited for educators who are new to gardening and those who are experienced green thumbs, these inspired lessons will let you and your young students embark on a wonderful garden learning adventure. 96 pages. Preschool.

No Student Left Indoors by Richard Louv. Nature is not a destination, nature is everywhere — including right in your own schoolyard. This best-selling educator’s guide helps students discover, observe, and record nature in their urban, suburban, or rural schoolyard. A wonderful multidisciplinary hands-on project that teaches children to learn to appreciate nature, and find it in the most unexpected places! 178 pages. Grades K-8.

Sowing the Seeds of Wonder. Through these hands-on activities from the educators at Life Lab, preschool-age children will engage all of their senses as they discover the joys of gardening. Your young students will develop a lifelong connection to the outdoors as they dig into the soil; observe birds, insects, and other critters in the garden; and enjoy the tastes of fresh fruits and vegetables they have helped to plant, harvest, and prepare. 120 pages. Preschool.

Getting Started: A guide for starting a school garden (free download) The Life Lab Science Program distilled their years of world-wide school garden experience into a concise 50-page guide that asks and answers most questions you need to consider for creating an outdoor classroom garden. Items covered include your garden’s purpose; school staff, volunteers, and students; connecting with curriculum; site selection and design; theme gardens; fund-raising; public awareness; and more. Get this guide if you are thinking about starting a garden for your school or program, then move on to The Growing Classroom and Life Lab Science. This publication is available free as a PDF download,

For Children & Families

Blakey, N. (2002). Go Outside: Over 130 Activities for Outdoor Adventures. Tricycle Press.

Breen, M. & Friestad, K. (2000). The Kid’s Book of Weather Forecasting: Build a Weather

Station, ‘Read the Sky’ and Make Predictions!. Williamson.

Brown, S. (2007). Summer: A User’s Guide. Artisan.

Brunelle, L. (2007). Camp Out!: The Ultimate Kids’ Guide. NYC: Workman.

Carson, R. (1998). The Sense of Wonder. HarperCollins.

Conner. B. (2007). Unplugged Play. NYC: Workman.

Cornell, J. (1998). Sharing Nature with Children. Dawn Publications.

Driscoll, M. (2004). A Child’s Introduction to the Night Sky: The Story of the Stars, Planets,  and Constellations-and How You Can Find Them in the Sky. Black Dog & Leventhal.

Fandex Family Field Guides series (Workman, 1999)

Golden Field Guides series (St. Martins)

Gray, E. & Taylor, D. L. (2003). Track Pack: Animal Tracks in Full Life Size, Stackpole.

Guiness, B. (1996). Creating a Family Garden: Magical Outdoor Spaces for All Ages.  Abbeville Press.

Haas, J. Y., McGown, E. (2008). Coyote’s Guide to Connecting Kids with Nature. Wilderness Awareness School.

Harrison, G. H. (1997). Backyard Bird Watching for Kids: How to Attract, Feed, and Provide Homes for Birds. Willow Creek Press.

Kirkland, J. (2001). Take a Backyard Bird Walk. Stillwater.

Leslie Walker, C. & Roth, C. E. (2003). Keeping a Nature Journal: Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You. Storey.

Louv, Richard, (2008). Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit

Disorder. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.

Lovejoy, S. (1999). Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots: Gardening Together with Children.             NYC: Workman.

Lovejoy, S. (2001). Sunflower Houses: Inspiration from the Garden. NYC: Workman.

McKinney, J. (2005). The Joy of Hiking: Hiking the Trailmaster Way. Wilderness Press.

Mizejewski, D. (2004). Attracting Birds, Butterflies and Other Backyard Wildlife. Creative Homeowner.

Morgan, B. (2005). Rock and Fossil Hunter, Ben Morgan. DK Publishing.

National Audubon Society Field Guides series (Knopf)

Olmstead, A. (1990). My Nature Journal. Pajaro.

Peterson Field Guides and Peterson First Guides series (Houghton Mifflin)

Piper. P. S. & Tag, S. (ed.), (2003). Father Nature: Fathers as Guides to the Natural World. (University of Iowa Press.

Pretor-Pinney, G. (2007). The Cloudspotter’s Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds. Perigee, 2007

Rezendes. P. (1999). Tracking and the Art of Seeing: How to Read Animal Tracks and Signs. Collins.

Sibley Field Guides series (Knopf)

Shelters, Shacks & Shanties: The Classic Guide to Building Wilderness Shelters, (Dover, 2004)

Sobel, D. (2001). Children’s Special Places. Wayne State University Press.

Stiles, D. & Stiles, J. (2006). Treehouses and Playhouses You Can Build. Gibbs Smith.

The Mounaineers. Best Hikes with Children series, guides by geographic region.

Thompson III, B. (2008).  Young Birders’ Guide to Birds of Eastern North America. Houghton Mifflin.

Ward. J. (2008). I Love Dirt!. Trumpeter.

Yankielun, N. E. (2007). How to Build an Igloo: And Other Snow Shelters. Norton, 2007.





Artist’s and the Garden

Pierre Bonnard

Eduoard Degas

Henri Fantin-Latour

Andrew Goldsworthy

Georgia O’Keefe

Serafin Louis

Claude Monet

Pierre Joseph Redoute

Auguste Renoir

Rachel Ruysch

John Singer Sargeant

Vincent VanGogh

Edouard Vuillard

Eco Literacy & Gardening with Children Websites



ECO Literacy:

Gardening with kids:


Leave No Child Inside article by Richard Louv:

Life Lab:

Richard Louv website:



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