Reading books with your students that explore themes of local fruits and vegetables, food systems, gardening, agriculture and nutrition is a great way to integrate Farm to School into your classroom. These books also serve as great introductions to longer lessons and activities. All of the books we have featured are available from the Ocean State Library System, and some are also available in Spanish.
For Pre-K and Kindergarten
by Phyllis Root, Illustrations by G. Brian Karas
We love this inclusive read! Great for preschool and younger elementary grades, it showcases how simple gardening can be. It illustrates that gardens can happen anywhere: in an old shoe, a windowsill five stories up, or a box – anywhere where you have soil, sunshine, some water, and a seed.
For Elementary Aged Students
EIEIO: How Old MacDonald Got His Farm with a Little Help from a Hen
by Judy Sierra, Illustrations by Matthew Myers
We have read this book so often, some staff have it memorized from cover-to-cover! This books tells the story of Old MacDonald and how, with some galline help, transformed this yard into a diverse and abundant farm. It explores gardening and compost, making it a great connection to other classroom explorations.
For Middle School and Up
by Paul Fleischman
This book tells the story of a neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio, coming together as an overgrown and neglected lot transforms into a vibrant community garden. Each chapter profiles one resident and their relationship with the garden and their neighbors in a diverse community that has seen waves of immigration. A short read for middle school, it was featured in NPR’s Backseat Book Club a few years ago.
Other Great Stories
- Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert
- A Fruit is a Suitcase for Seeds by Jean Richards, Illustrations by Anca Hariton
- Up, Down and Around by Katherine Ayres, Illustrations by Nadine Bernard Wescott
- Feast for 10 by Cathryn Falwell
- Rah, Rah Radishes by April Pulley Sayre
- We’re Going to the Farmer’s Market by Stefan Page
- The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin
- Eating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z by Lois Ehlert
- Blueberry Mouse by Alice Low, Illustrations by David Michael Friend
- I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child